The Sri Lanka tragedy still pervades my whole senses today, even invades my mind despite attempts at meditation using the ideas recently introduced by a friend who follows the Theravada principles.
Why do animals kill? Usually for food. But, there are some that kill their own, be it from cannibalism, infanticide or simply aggression. Urghhlings are violent, but how do we compare with other animals? About 8% of hyenas are devoured by their own species, mongoose 10%, and the cute lemurs are the worst killers of their own, at 17%, according to National Geographic.
Humans however are the only species I know that commit the extermination of a group of its own species. Genocide, the deliberate massacre of a particular group of people, be it race, culture or religion. The Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terror attacks were waged on high-end hotel guests who were having their breakfast, and on Christian worshippers celebrating mass. Massacred whilst praying in three houses of God, in the name of religion against another religion. The Islamist militant group National Thowfeek Jamaath has been accused although at the time of writing, the Sri Lanka government has not produced any evidence. Refrain from looking at the photos, you’d spew at the blood-spattered pews and unrecognisable body parts. We ought to respect the dead.
Are humans the only animals that torture their victims, before killing them? Unfortunately, we cannot measure emotions of other animals to decide on whether they have sadistic tendencies and we cannot know if they derive sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others.
I contend there are no other species in the animal kingdom can surpass Urghhlings as the most vile, indiscriminate and effective in “mass killings” to which I include a war as one. Our history is littered with many horrendous examples. Citing highest estimates, the European invasion of the Americas top the list at 138 million dead, WW2 at 118 million dead. China, during the Taiping Rebellion, lost 100 million lives. Mao’s Great Leap Forward cost 56 million lives. Pause a bit. These are not just numbers. These were once upon a time people who breathed, worked, had personal goals, had places they called home, people who loved and were loved.
Urghhlings still rule the world. There is therefore still a great disturbance out there…….