Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

CRUELTY
I have always liked the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, you hear him drumming on a hollow branch to establish his territory or you see this shy colourful visitor on
Woodpecker
the garden nut feeder. Make the slightest movement and he will be off with a flash of his bright red under belly.

In the nearby branches the hook beaked Sparrow Hawk is lurking. He swoops down and our beautiful Woodpecker is clamped in the talons of the hawk and his still warm body is being torn to pieces at the feeding post.

I wonder why we see the hawk as cruel? Or the Magpie feeding from the new
Sparrow Hawk
born chicks of the Hedge Sparrow or Chaffinch. We find it impossible to understand why the bloodthirsty fox, when he gets in to the unguarded chicken enclosure, kills every bird.

The Hawk, Magpie and fox are doing what comes naturally, feeding themselves and their young. The fox would, if undisturbed, come back and remove the chickens to a food store for future use.

We humans no longer hunt for food, we leave it to farmers and butchers to kill for us and to store the meat for our future use. We might 'Ooh and aah' at the lovely
Lamb1
little lambs in Spring but then go home to tuck in to the juicy lamb chops for dinner.

The animals and birds might fight their own species over a mate or territory but rarely to the death. We, on the other hand, are easily persuaded by our pack leaders to hate humans belonging to a different tribe. Not only that,
Blitz 2
we kill and maim as many as we can. With modern technology we can kill tens of thousand in one strike. On the face of it, they may be so close to us in appearance it would be impossible to visually separate us but we are told that they are our enemy and must be destroyed.

What is it in the human makeup that allows us to behave in a way that is beyond any cruelty in the rest of the animal world? What turns the young man who is part of our family; part of our nation into a ruthless killer? It’s no good saying the enemy poured bombs on men women and children in our cities. As part of a sustained campaign of strategic bombing during t
Hamburg
he last week of July 1943 the R.A.F and U.S. air force killed an estimated 35,000 civilians and wounded 125,000 more in Hamburg, virtually destroying most of the city.

On the night of March 9-10, 1945 an aerial armada of 334 B-29 bombers took off from bases in the Mariana Islands, bound for Tokyo. In the space of a few hours, they dropped 1,667 tons of napalm-filled incendiary bombs on the Japanese capital, killing more than 100,000 people in a single strike, and injuring several times that number.

The men who flew in the bombers, English, American, Japanese or German were not psychopathic killers they were ordinary sons and brothers brainwashed into believing that the cruel deaths and injuries they inflicted was the right thing to do.

Bomber pilots1

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