predators and prey tagged posts

Five Photos Challenging Our Notions of a Benevolent God

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Even all the hairs on your head are numbered.”

That’s the gospel of Matthew, verses 29-30, positing a benevolent and merciful God who cares for and directs the lives of his creatures and creation down to the very last detail.

And in this corner, Tennyson’s “Nature, red in tooth and claw,” his famous poetic line denoting the unblinking savagery with which creatures stalk, tear into and consume other creatures for their own sustenance.

Which vision reflects reality, once we set down our books and toys, cast off our fanciful cloaks, and head out from our cloistered drawing rooms to confront the challenges of day-to-day survival?

This question is perhaps particularly relevant to the carnivores among us, who rely on slaughterhouses to go about the business that lesser animals must tend to ...

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The Lizard, the Crows, the Soldier…and Me

Returning from a run at the school track around the corner, I behold a small gathering of crows in the middle of the street, all of them looking down, as they tend to do, with their uncanny radar for discerning food in the urban wilderness. The object of their attention looks to be a small tree branch at first, but I can’t fathom why that would occupy them so concertedly, so curiosity bids me to intrude upon their circle. Where I come across an obviously besieged alligator lizard, its mouth agape in an “I will bite and swallow you all!” bluff that had been effective enough to keep the gathered crows dancing gingerly in the moments before my arrival. The crows squawk in retreating to the surrounding trees and telephone wires, wary eyes cast upon me, their sudden competition for a protein snack.

One lone lizard, maybe an inch high and a few inches long, already missing its tail, against probably five c...

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