Friday, January 4, 2013

Let man learn from beasts
by Lieut-General Baljit Singh (retd)

MAN has much to learn from the beasts. So let us not belittle the nobility of animals by describing the six depraved homo sapien rapists as “beasts” because beasts do not rape, ever. Yes, beasts do copulate with their opposite gender but always in dignity, governed by the sacred biological urge to perpetrate their species. Again, out of an in-born genetic instinct, beasts are guided by the law of “Natural Selection” in which it is the most “receptive” of females who chooses and opts to mate with physically the fittest among their males. No more and no less. The female then bears, suckles and ultimately detaches from its progeny!
Take the case of birds. Most species bond once a year as a universal truth and remain united till the fledging of their young. But in the case of several species such as the sarus crane, the geese and the pigeons, much like the homo sapiens, they too pair for life. But the similarity ends with that action alone; because the sacredness of the act of procreation among the paired-for-life birds (and bees and beasts) is renewed mostly once every year or more often as per their biological clock, and each renewal is celebrated with the joy of an act of faith by both partners. The male puts on the wooing display each time with ardour and total commitment, oblivious of the world around, till he wins the heart of his “fair-lady” all over again! There is never any groping or violence or molestation to speak of. Little wonder that as in the case of the sarus cranes (and many more), when one of the pair dies a natural or an unnatural death, the survivor more often pines and perishes but never takes on a new partner in life.
Now, unlike the homo sapien males, the male of some species among the so-called “beastly” mammals may pair with more than one female in the same season but always with consenting females only. Take the case of the Asian elephants, the largest terrestrial “beast” alive today. They live in large herds but mating is performed in strict privacy by detaching from the herd. The following day, the consummated pair rejoins the herd. The gestation stretches to almost two years during which period cows and young bulls of the entire herd shelter the pregnant cows against all harm. Shortly before birth, the herd seeks out a secluded river or any other water body. While the expecting female bathes, a few members mount guard and the rest of the herd prepare a cushion of soft branches and leaves as the maternity mattress. They then encircle the area from a discreet distance, leaving the cow to bear the calf in security and privacy.
The birth is then signalled to the world at large, with collective and joyous trumpeting with up-raised trunks, by the entire herd. Those who have witnessed consider it the ultimate experience of a lifetime. It is time that homo sapiens, especially their male gender, reclaimed the coupling urges from their “beastly” past.

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