As for death, when I look at the world of nature, its most impressive feature as a closed system is the lavish expenditure of life at every level. Every time a whale takes a mouthful he swallows a million plankton. Every garden pond is a constant scene of constant sacrifice of life for the building up of other life. Death is not some evil intruder who has upset beautiful creation; it is woven into the very fabric and essence of the beautiful creation itself having created this food pyramid, and placed man at its apex, the Creator instructed him to enjoy and use it all responsibly. In modern Western culture, we tend to see a certain ruthlessness and lack of love in nature, but I believe that viewpoint comes from a civilization whose main contract with animal life is through domestic pets and children’s anthropomorphic animal stories.- Paul Brand M.D.