Days Like These – Part I

The reality and palpability of my fear of mortality comes and goes without much warning. Most days, I enjoy routine activities and take pleasure in beauty without a single thought to the fact that I will die, and if that thought should grace my mind, I welcome it as my duty and my responsibility.

You see, every ounce of my life is sustained by consuming other life. Any time I eat, I extract nourishment and sustenance from the carcass of some other thing, be it meat, fruit or vegetable. Eating to feed the living is, by nature, inextricably connected with the deaths of many other things. Many more lives than my own must perish to keep mine persisting for just one more day.

It would be awfully selfish of me to keep life all to myself, to never die for a lifetime of subsisting on the deaths of others. The longer I live, the more life I have to consume, and if my life is never extinguished for the survival of others, then I will be forever reducing the headcount of life while never contributing to its number.

Immortality, on these days, is almost a harder concept to stomach than mortality. If all things lived forever, then I would never eat. If I never ate, I couldn’t live forever, so all things also could not live forever, and everything would die. If, however, all things ate and were confined to a limited life terminating in death, then all things would still die, but in death would feed other things that would also eventually die to feed other things.

The cycle of life is intrinsically dependent on death; without things dying, life would (surprisingly) cease to exist, and I cannot support that notion. On days like these, I fully support and accept death.

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