The Web: Killing

by Farley Mowat

Despite his formidable fighting abilities, Wol [a pet owl] was seldom the aggressor. Those other beasts which, like man, have developed the unnatural blood lusts that go with civilization would have found Wol's restraint rather baffling, for he used his powerful weapons only to protect himself, or to fill his belly, and never simply for the joy of killing. There was no moral or ethical philosophy behind his restraint - there was only the indisputable fact that killing, for its own sake, gave him no pleasure. Although perhaps, if he and his descendants had lived long enough in human company, he might have become as sanguinary and as cruel as we conceive all other carnivores - except ourselves - to be.

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