Chapter 8

Whatever the cause, the bug has fallen. Which means, its life has come to an end. All living organisms will face the same destiny, although not necessarily under such dramatic circumstances. Death is an inseparable and unavoidable attribute of life. The question is, why did Nature do this to us? Let’s compare living beings with those that don’t show signs of life. The fact that the former die is a glaring injustice. A turtle, for instance, is a developmental successor to a stone. Why can the predecessor go on endlessly, while the turtle has to say goodbye at some point? Although the turtle doesn’t actually have it that bad. What about a fly? Assuming the optimistic variant, it will live up to a month at the longest. So there’s no need to get upset if you don’t manage to swat it. The pest isn’t going to last long, anyway.
What’s all this dying about? Let’s remember what developmental outcomes Nature expects. The best possible ones, to put it concisely. Some may find the method a bit brutal, but the threat of complete elimination is certainly a great motivator. It’s really hard to imagine a zebra going to extraordinary lengths to escape a lion if the consequence of getting caught was, say, being knocked into the grass. Or listening to the triumphant roar of the lion that it was faster after all.
Some might object that I’m not presenting the issue in a fair way. A lot of animals don’t like meat, and consumption takes place under far less dramatic circumstances. First of all, not really. Quite a few plants work hard to make eating them not so easy. They equip themselves with spikes, stingers, and poisonous substances (or at least with ones that fool the senses). Secondly, there are other factors besides reliability that an author needs to take into consideration. A gorilla chewing shoots for hours on end is hardly an exciting picture. Without a good dose of drama, the reader is going to be bored pretty soon. There is a reason why nature documentaries show a lot of sinking fangs and tearing apart or ripping out of guts (everything still alive) rather than just grazing or nibbling on leaves. Reliability and fairness? Let’s just say, the rent and bills aren’t going to pay themselves, are they, dear journalists? (…)