Never a dull moment #987,567

A few days ago, in a bid to keep some third-graders amused, I dug out an old National Geographic book for children and together we browsed through the beautiful wildlife pictures.  One of the pictures was an unattractive portrait of the much-maligned hyena, and I explained to the kids that hyenas are widely disliked – by humans at least – because of their practice of feeding upon dead animal carcasses, rather than making their own kills.

After the lesson, one of my brighter kids approached me and asked shyly, “Miss, why is it bad for hyenas to feed on dead animals?  Don’t humans do the same thing?”  Well, I didn’t really know how to answer him.   I still don’t now.

Why is scavenging bad?  Surely it’s actually a good thing, for the environment and all?

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2 comments on “Never a dull moment #987,567

  1. Karen says:

    Of course it is. In fact, the Native Americans here had the right idea as far as I’m concerned. The dead person was left out in the wild on a platform, decorated with whatever was appropriate to the person and tribe. The belief was/is that the by being devoured by predators, the person was returning to nature. Our tradition of burying people in the ground goes far back to prehistoric times as a superstition. And I suppose hygiene had some part in it too. But I think it is a huge waste of beautiful land to bury people. I want my body donated to a forensic farm.

  2. Miko says:

    I’m afraid any forensic farm would send my body back with a note saying “we’re not that desperate!”

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