A Blog About Punching People In the Face

On being a lizard

In Thoughts by Tyson on November 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Today I looked out my window and saw a bird with a lizard hanging from its beak. The lizard was still alive but had since gone limp. Perhaps it had accepted its fate and was preparing to be consumed. At that moment I wondered what it must feel like to be a lizard, to be caught in the mouth of such a terrible thing.  Then I wondered whether birds can feel empathy. I have a friend who says that our empathy is proof that we are “touched by God.” But I wonder if our empathy is nothing more than the byproduct of a full stomach: hunger, perhaps, has a way of ravaging empathy. Still, I am haunted by the vacant stare of avian eyes. I do not have a good sense of  what’s behind them — my fear is that there is nothing there but the synaptic firings of a machine in search of food.


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