The first video I came across quite by accident in my Facebook feed. Since it involved a dolphin, and I had just written about the dolphin movie, I was unusually open to watching it, despite the fact that I am often jaded when it comes to "cute animal videos." Bow found it quite engaging, too.
|To watch the video click here|
While I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the video, unless it is severely edited, the dolpin does not seem to be coerced or bribed in any way. Nobody is standing over it with a stick, nor is anybody giving it a fish for returning the ball. The little boy and the dolphin are just having fun. This is taking place, I assume, in Russia or some Russian speaking location, and the caption says "Просто играют друг с другом", " or "just playing friend with friend."
Bow watched the video once, then asked to see it again, and for the third repetition, he figured out where he should press. Sometimes he got excited, but much of the time he sat still and watched, sometimes vocalizing his involvement, and sometimes sticking out his tongue at the boy and the dolphin, which is what he does when he likes someone.
Are dolphins wild animals? Can they be violent? Well, yes, to the same extent that we are also wild animals and can get violent when it serves our best interests. But this dolphin does not see this particular child as a threat, and he seems to enjoy playing with him. They are friends.
That is such a simple concept, that if there were no animal rights activists in the world, there would be no point in belaboring it. But there you have it. There's your answer to the wild animal propaganda.
The second film is somewhat more sobering, because it deals with predation, and how life comes from killing. Bow watched it only once, and he did find it enjoyable, but he did not ask to see it again.
However, the uptake, for anyone who thinks about it, is that predators make life better for everyone, including the prey. I have long believed that, and it's not that different from what my father wrote in his article about the greater good.
Greater than Ourselves by Amnon Katz
My experience with trying to share this article has been mixed. A lot of people of the altruistic persuasion respond favorably to some of the set phrases, such as "greater than the individual." But when I explained to them that this is an argument in favor of laissez faire, they got mad at me. One woman even blocked me on a social networking site. She thought my father's article was great, but that my take on it was not.
Vegetarianism does not pay, if everybody practices it. It is fine as a limited way of life, and I have nothing against those who choose it for themselves for personal reasons. But those who want everybody to be vegetarian, including wolves and cats, have no idea what they are wishing on the world. Herbivores need carnivores to keep themselves healthy and to make sure that their population is not too great and that they don't overgraze. Even soil erosion can be laid at the feet of rampant vegetarianism. The Middle East is now largely a desert because of the unchecked practice of agriculture, which started there and spread elsewhere more slowly.
Even in economic terms, there are reasons for the trophic pyramid, with few at the top and many at the bottom. Eliminate the one percent, and life becomes much harder for the other 99%. Did the makers of that little nature film realize what they were saying? I doubt it. But there it is.
Bow seems to understand. Do you?