Why Animal Mothers Eat Their Young

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It’s horrifying, really, the idea of mothers eating their young.

But it’s the circle of life. Nature is sometimes violent, and within some species, eating their young means survival.

This article for National Geographic tells the story of a sloth bear mother who ate two of her newborn cubs, and had started to ignore a third, because they’d all been born ill. And this article on theweek.com shares a list of which species regularly eliminate their young.

Within the animal kingdom, only the strong survive, and if parents and siblings recognize that one of their own has little chance for survival, they’ll make them lunch.

For humans, this is difficult to imagine. As human parents, we nurture and love our children no matter what, seemingly even more so when they’re ill.

There would never be a scenario that would catapult a human parent into a place where they’d even fathom eating their young.

Except adolescence.

I have the feeling that it’s not necessarily all about survival. There may be a few other things going on in the animal kingdom…

For example, have those animal mothers:

  1. Taken their 13 year-old daughter Back-To-School shopping?
  2. Had endless conversations about why Snapchat isn’t going to happen?
  3. Heard no less than 100,000 times that their child has to “do everything around here”?
  4. Been accused of “hating me and thinking I’m fat and ugly”?
  5. Tried tirelessly, to little or no avail, to explain the importance of personal hygiene?
  6. Ridden the “I-hate-you-I-love-you-I-hate-you-I-love-you” roller coaster one time too many?
  7. Been reminded almost daily that they are “just too old to understand”?
  8. Seen no less than 15 different personalities from the same child in a period of three hours?
  9. Heard every night for the last 3 years that, “ugh, we’re having that for dinner?” accompanied by copious eye-rolling and disgust?
  10. Started to feel like they’re banging their heads against a wall because they’ve asked their offspring countless times and in countless ways to “PICK UP YOUR STUFF!!!!!”?
  11. Had enough of the “general disdain”?

 

I think this warrants further study.

 

 

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