September 28, 2021

The Primary Survival Skill of the Animal Kingdom and How We’ve Lost It

Red Bench under Maple Tree at Chicken Coop

I saw something this morning. I’ve seen it countless times. It’s so normal that I don’t even think about it beyond just that — being “normal”.

What did I observe? Simply, my chickens as they went on about their morning. Their day. Always the same.

I was sitting on my recently painted Red Bench watching the chickens with my dog as he sat on the grass next to me. Positioned under the Maple Tree beside the chicken coop, pen, and fenced-in range, it’s the perfect shady spot for chicken entertainment.

What Animals Do Constantly…

Forage for food. It is their mission. Their primary survival skill. Find food. Eat it. Repeat.

It’s obviously Survival 101 for them. Must. Find. Food (and Water).

I find it entertaining to watch the chickens chase grasshoppers and other flying bugs as they race around with their Assault Beaks. More often than not their incredible eye-beak coordination chomps the bug — which sets off a round of “catch the chicken who has the bug” by all the others…

They will be out in their little open-range area for a while (looking for food of course). Bugs, insects, grass, weeds, whatever… Then they’ll walk back in to the pen (looking for other food of course) and munch on some grain pellets from their human supplied feeder. Maybe they’ll walk over to the water feeder.

Then it’s right back outside again because one of the hens appear to have found something! (more food of course). On and on. Amusement all day as they constantly search for food.

It’s not just chickens. Think about it. Pretty much all animals are always looking for food. Priority One. All day (or night) long. The birds. Deer. Bears. Whatever…

“Hey Ken, So What?”

Well, while sitting there on the bench, it just popped into my head how we humans used to be pretty darn similar!

Some in this world of ~ 7 billion still are. Though the MAJORITY of world population no longer need to spend their day on the constant quest for food sustenance.

Increasingly modern technologies have enabled humankind to entirely ignore the primal nature and know-how of acquiring / producing one’s own food beyond simply paying for it.

Within the timeline of human civilization, this luxury has been very recent indeed. It has happened quickly.

We go about our days doing other things. Food is never a concern for most. You might simply say that we’re an advanced species so that’s no big surprise. Well, that’s true.

But sometimes I can’t help but contemplate the risks. What if our own hubris of high technology somehow leads to our downfall? And what if it happens quickly?

The chickens know what to do and how to do it. The animals roaming the land know.

But do we?

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