What is the nature of reality? What are we really, and why are we here? Deep questions at the heart of our universe.
Category : Philosophy
Yesterday I saved a baby mouse.
I was looking for a hammer in my tool chest out in the shed when I found a nest made of shredded paper, cardboard and other fibers. Being where it did not belong, I tossed the whole nest outside to throw away later as I continued my search. Only a few moments later I began to hear a faint squeaking. I went over to inspect the nest and found a baby mouse, still pink but with a short coat of brown fur.
It was the only one there and I found no traces of other mice. Since mice are significant pests (as my tool chest can attest to), I briefly considered just stepping on it to end its suffering. It’s the same thing many other people would do without even thinking.
However, as small and insignificant as a tiny, baby mouse is, I was taught that all life matters. Even the insignificant ones.
Expecting it to die anyway, I was going to try to feed it to our red-tailed boa, Cynder. At least then its life would have made some impact. And yes I know that pets should not be fed wild rodents. We feed our snake frozen rats purchased from a local pet store. This was a single exception to make use of a life that would otherwise be wasted.
But as luck would have it, Cynder wanted no part of eating this baby mouse. My wife and daughter swooped to the rescue and decided they would try to help it survive.
So far, it seems to be working. It has been eating and pooping, kept warmed and constantly looked after. It may just make it after all. And if so, it looks like we’re going to have a pet mouse.
In any case, my point is that I was brought up with a very strong connection to nature. My great-grandfather was full blooded Native American and much of their philosophy has been passed down through my grandfather to my father to me.
As a family we are hunters. We have the knowledge and ability to kill for our food. But that does not mean we do not respect life. Any time I have taken an animal’s life, or even the lives of trees or plants, I take a moment to thank it for giving its life to me, to provide sustenance, shelter, tools, or whatever use I need it for. As the Native Americans always have, it is also of the utmost importance to use as much of the animal as possible.
I am an omnivore, and I love the taste of meat. But that does not make me a monster. I feel more attuned to nature than many self-professed animal lovers (especially PETA), because I understand that nature, and life, is a cycle. My wife would insert a silly Lion King reference here, but I’m feeling a little to serious for that.
Life becomes death and death becomes life. You mess with any part of that and the whole thing goes down. Celebrate life wherever it occurs and mourn death when it is necessary.
Understanding that is what truly makes you a nature lover.
Nihilism has to be the perfect philosophy.
Nothing can ever let you down!