Lexicon Addendum: Predation, Continued

While our site is devoted to three different modules– eat, prey, and hate– the one requiring the most explanation for the casual reader remains “prey.”  Indeed, we have loosely defined predation on the sidebar of the homepage, and The Lawgiver has added a note of explanation in a recent post.

Still, as The Lawgiver notes, ‘predation’ is a “loaded term… contingent and contextual.”  I would add to this deft qualification another: that “predation” as a term fails to capture predation as a practice.  This is one of the times when language is inadequate to fully encapsulate reality.  Nevertheless, despite the difficulty of the task, I continue the attempt here to more closely sketch an outline of predation.

I will do so by using the variability of language to my advantage; that is, I will reference this site and its use of the term “predation” as a way to more clearly define how EPH defines it.

The title of this web page, “Avoiding Predation,” refers to the need in the animal kingdom to not be eaten.  In short, the page highlights the remarkable adaptations that certain animals have developed to avoid becoming prey (and to a lesser extent, the ways that some predators have adapted to keep eating).  These adaptations include mimicry, camouflage, and chemical defenses.  EPH could easily make the case that such adaptations in the animal kingdom to avoid predation are actually predatory in themselves, but let’s leave that aside for now.

There's some food here somewhere...

Rather, let’s focus on some of the language of this valuable web page to exhibit how too many in the human race also assiduously avoid predation.  First, the page notes that “Many animals are patterned to blend in with their surroundings.”  This is nowhere more true than in the human realm.  As a recent post of mine demonstrates, people often seek to look and dress alike.  What’s worse, people often also go past this surface-level conformism to seek to be invisible.  This practice is highly un-predatory.  Those who wish to blend in are not individuals.  They are the meek, the passive, the subordinate.  When someone asks, “Who will stand with me,” these people look about them to see if everyone else is going to heed the call.  Only then will they step forward, and sometimes not even then.

Indeed, as the “Avoiding Predation” site further argues, those who fear predation adapt camouflage or masquerade as something they are not in order to hide from danger.  As EPH has repeatedly contended, to predate is to step to danger and give it a crotch chop.  It is to say, “Hey, danger.  I thought that was you.  No, no, don’t go slinking away now, you little bitch.  You know the name of the game, fool.  It’s Donkey Kong Country now.  Let’s do this.”

In the animal kingdom, running with the pack or pretending to be a stick makes sense (because who wants to be eaten fresh out the womb or cocoon?).  However, to do so as a human being is to deny predation.  Ironically, to treat oneself as potential prey is, indeed, to avoid predation.   We here at EPH live to avoid avoiding predation, and we ask for others to heed the call.  Who will come with us?

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