Is The Whole World Really A Jungle?

Recently I watched a documentary about lions on TV.
It made me thankful that over time Man did become civilized.
The cruelty, brutality, and selfishness among lions shocked me.
Just how often lions bring death to other lions I hadn't realized.

When a dominant male takes over by aggression a pride from an older male,
The first thing he does is kill all the young lion cubs, showing no compassion.
All the replacement cubs then are sired by this new lion male,
Ensuring the passage of his DNA, a fact he accomplishes in this brutal fashion.

If food is in short supply, lion mothers eat, letting their cubs starve and die.
Once a female is hurt or old, she is ostracized from the group.
Should the pride get numerous enough adults to make the try,
They will seize new territory by decimating a neighboring lion troop.
(Thank goodness, Mankind is now far more civilized as a race.
For such behavior would mean war and genocide if ever it took place!)

Now sitting at my kitchen table writing this, I'm observing the yard out back.
Birds share the feeder goodies with their own kind, but drive others away.
Toward different type birds, no hostility or aggression do they lack.
Fortunately, civilized man would never show racial prejudice this way!

Man has risen above lower animals in mercy and compassion, I can report.
But then, only Man kills, not for protection or food, but just for sport.
It is really difficult to decide just how far above the beasts Man has truly evolved.
There is so much contradictory data that for me the issue cannot be readily resolved.

Harry Edward Gilleland      11.04.01