“There is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed” – Gandhi
The scavengers were quick to arrive. The hippo had been dead less than 24 hours and already there was a plethora of vultures and hyenas gorging amongst each other for the feast. This was a large bounty and for every animal there, it was highly important to grasp as much meat as possible.
In between shrieks from the hyenas and hoarse squawks from the vultures, the feeding party tolerated each other. As the carcass slowly deteriorated the rampant rapacious conflict begin. It seemed to me that greed was ever present…at first lingering, then quite suddenly the sole purpose. Desecrated scraps of flesh and sinew became items of wealth and the previously permissive creatures quickly turned on each other in their own selfish pursuits.
When a pride of lions arrived the self perpetuating negative spiral of want disintegrated. As quick to flee as they had been to arrive. As quick to seek out the next bargain as they had been to devour the current one. I sat there pondering the scenario before disregarding my human constructs towards these creatures. Theirs was a life of keen survival, not one of meaningless want and consumption. Their insatiability was justified on the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy. It was not greed, it was only survival.
The unfolding scene was perplexing…I couldn’t help but think where you draw the lines between the two. Is stealing ‘prey’ justifiable? Is someone’s misfortune another’s gain simply because it is nature? In a world afflicted by affluenza and over consumption, where is the line between greed and survival?
Written & Photographed by: Rich Laburn
FIlmed by: Adam Bannister