Other animals have preyed on it, gutted it, picked it clean, following the rules of the game.  So one might say.  That’s why I’m looking for the place where the disemboweling happened.  I would like it to be a place that, by human standards, is cruelty-free.  I would like to know a good word for the absence of cruelty.

Torture.  Murder.  Mutilation.  These are actions that belong solely to human kind.  Along with abstract reasoning and other cognitive phenomena, it is this that separates man from beast: there is nothing on earth that can treat another creature with such savage disregard as man does his own.  I can furnish this claim with countless examples, drawing from a pot older than the first cities and as vast as the globe.  From pogrom to pogrom, from Holy Inquisition to Holocaust, one could cross the Pacific Ocean on the backs of history’s victims and not wet so much as a single toe. Read the rest of this entry »