We as Food and Feeders [chapter]

Harald Brüssow
<i title="Springer New York"> The Quest for Food </i> &nbsp;
Becoming Food at Death As we are with respect to our body a physical part of the creation, we represent of course a source of food for other organisms. Since we have experienced a spectacular population growth over the last 10,000 years or so, other organisms will not overlook the naked ape as food. Psychologically, we have lost the impression of representing an integral part of the food chain. However, there are a number of ways for us to become food for other organisms. If our body is buried
more &raquo; ... fter death, a sequence of detrivores take care of it. People throughout time were aware of that, and the paintings of the late medieval time in Europe frightened their observers with the specter of decomposing human bodies. In the western hemisphere, we have learned to blot out the idea that death is part of our life as for any other organism and we leave this impression to the specialists of forensic medicine. On the other hand we have got used to the idea that we are the top predators in the biosphere, that we have lost the memory that we can fall victim to predators, large and small. Attack by Carnivores Large carnivores still take their toll. In Tanzania lions (Figure 7 .1) killed more than 560 people over the last 15 years, and the trend is increasing (Packer et al. 2005). Lions pull people out of bed, attack nursing mothers, and catch playing children. A typical scenario is an attack on a farmer sleeping in a makeshift hut on his fields to protect the crops from nocturnal raids by bush pigs. The rising trend is easily explained: humans intrude into areas where lions live and since they eliminate the natural prey of these large carnivores (kudu, zebra, hartebeest, and the like), lions take humans as a surrogate prey. Similar cases could be told for the Asian tiger, but overall only a negligible part of the world population becomes prey to carnivores. 671 672 7. We as Food and Feeders
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