Instincts, every being possesses them. Although we exist as humans, are we truly just animals at our core?
We crave for what we think our body, more so our soul, needs. We strive for something more – something bigger. The human feeding time.
Looking at the artwork of John James Audubon’s, depicting beautifully graceful birds preying on squirrels, rabbits, and the like, stirs something up inside of me, forcing me to see them as evil. But they’re really just following their instincts, they’re growling stomachs.
The mundane drives us to feeding time. The longing for adrenaline, for a rush of capturing our dreams in our talons and digging into them, draining them for all they’re worth.
Is that so bad? To change the path you’re on? To change your life? To push for something bigger?
Selfish ambition, something much different than feeding time. That’s being the falcon who decides to kill, and kill, and kill until it’s sick. It’s the hawk who kills mice over and over again and leaves their corpses for the buzzards.
It all begins with just a taste of something more. An idea, the possibility. Then obsession sinks in. It takes you away from your everyday life, out of the now. You’re no longer living your current life, but focusing on the possibility of the future, your so-called saving grace.
Day and night you dream about it. You feel as though you have to go outside the realm of feeding time to achieve your bloodthirsty wants.
The more you crave it, the more it becomes reality. The more you put steps into action. Each step you take, each time you fan your wings, pecking away at your prey, you’re submerging deeper and deeper into the world of animalistic rabidity.
The time has come. You can taste the sweet, sweet blood of the prey you’ve never gone after. The one bigger than you thought you could conquer. Beads of sweat start to pop up along your brow. You use them as ammunition to fuel your adrenaline. Finally, your boredom is subsiding, you feel fully alive. You’re soaring just above the beating heart of your deepest desire. You’re now a full-fledged fiend. As your own heart beats quicker and quicker, your shakiness grows. It’s now or never. You swiftly swoop closer and closer. You can almost smell it. But you miss.
You soar back up into the blue sky for just a second before you swoop back down into the pit of darkness and this time one of your talons grazes its skin. It tears your prey just enough to let a little red line of blood seep through. The animal is now aware of your presence. You realize what you’ve done. It’s no longer about instinct. You’ve caused pain. Not just to the harmless animal but to your soul. You’ve frightened it, caused irreversible physical damage.
You black out. When you wake, nothing exists but darkness. You thought it was a dream until you looked down and saw your blood stained claw. You can’t cope or accept who you are. Your whole body comes into awareness. How did you get this far? You lost yourself in what you thought was just instinct. The path you laid out to excite you past the mundane hurt not only you, but friends, family, the physicality of the prey, and other moving parts you cannot even fathom. But, it doesn’t have to end this way.
We are not purely animals. We are not fully built on instinct. We have the ability to chase our dreams, to conquer the mundane through love. The love that others refuse to spread; the love that puts others above instinct, above feeding time.
Inspired by American Animals.