The other day I was reading about nature being “red in tooth and claw.” The meaning offered for the phrase was this: “A reference to the sometimes violent natural world, in which predatory animals unsentimentally cover their teeth and claws with the blood of their prey as they kill and devour them.”
I couldn’t help but think of how we simply separate ourselves from this phrase – only animals are “red in tooth and claw.” After all, we’re not part of nature; we’re somehow nobly above it.
At least nature’s red in tooth and claw flows out of its pure motive to survive. It kills only for what it needs for its survival. Only humankind kills for sport, greed, and other insatiable appetites. I wonder who is really red in tooth and claw? Who is it that really kills and devours covering tooth and claw in blood?
I must confess moments of deep frustration, even anguish, when I share the sentiments of Laurens Van Der Post: “Should the last man vanish from the earth tomorrow, there is not a plant, bird or animal who would not breathe a sigh of relief.”