Guest Blog: Rabbits and Foxes

Hello peoples!

Today I thought I should introduce you to the genius writing of my good friend “Mark”. He is a really good sport, allowing me to base unflattering characters on his appearance, and serving as the inspiration for both Tannenbaum and the other guy in my cartoons.

Yes, he’s the negative dark haired fellow.

This is a piece he wrote a few years ago and it has always struck me as wildly intelligent. I demanded that he expand the piece into a series of blogs, but he went back to his boring job of saving the world.

Bother.

Oh, well. At any rate, here is his beautiful written work.

Thanks for reading! 😉 -BW

Rabbits and Foxes: An Application of the Contrasting Principles of Moral Absolutism and Consequentialism in the Setting of Animal Society or: If You’re a Rabbit You’re Screwed Either Way

 

In an old forest far away from the sea, there lived both rabbits and foxes. The rabbits, of course, were the foxes’ food, and the grass the rabbit’s food. Rabbits being rabbits, they bred just about as fast as the foxes could eat them, and forests being forests, the grass was never scarce. Because of this, a sort understanding was established. The rabbits would run around breeding, grazing, and trying not to get eaten by foxes while the foxes would spend their time either hunting rabbits or sleeping. It should be noted that the foxes were the best at sleeping in the forest, and loved it even more than hunting rabbits.

 

One day, the foxes got especially lazy, and got to thinking. Perhaps they should strike up a deal with the rabbits. If the rabbits just brought a certain number of their own to the foxes every day, they’d leave the rabbits alone for the rest of the time. None of that pesky hunting, and the rabbits wouldn’t even have to hide all day. In the end, both sides would come out happier. They thought this to be perfectly fair and decided to propose it to the rabbits, to whom they’d leave the details of the agreement. Now, being that the rabbits were sensible, rational animals they managed their affairs in a proper democratic fashion. Not by every rabbit voting, of course. That would be too difficult. But by a council of 50 or so rabbits who got together and decided things for the rest.

 

When the rabbit council heard the foxes proposal, they weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Surely it was a trap. The foxes would never let the rabbits decide anything for themselves as long as they had anything to say about it. But then the rabbits remembered that the foxes liked sleeping even more than they liked hunting. Maybe it wasn’t a trap after all. This deal would obviously benefit the foxes. It would leave much more of their day to sleeping, and save them the trouble of running around after their food. A few of the rabbits in the council spoke in uproar against the proposal.

“How would you like to be the one to get sent to the foxes?” one asked.

“It certainly won’t be me!” another one said.

One of the smarter rabbits spoke up “Of course not. We’ll make it perfectly fair. We can’t take any rabbits from the council. Without a council, the rest of the rabbits would pick anyone they wanted, and there’s no way of telling how fair that would be.” he proceeded to scribble some markings on a piece of bark and showed it to the council. “There, you see? On an average day the foxes eat 3 young rabbits, 5 middle aged rabbits, and 2 old rabbits. Since these rabbits will be eaten anyway, it won’t cost us anything just to give them up, and we’ll have peace! We won’t have to hide underground any longer!”

There were a few cheers and a few objections, but the room quickly grew quiet when one of the oldest and wisest rabbits stood up to speak.

“I have a question for all of you.” he said. “Why is it that you we don’t like the foxes?”

The rabbits thought for a moment.

“Well, because they’re evil of course.” one said.

“They’re murderers.” said another.

“Is it because they are murderers that they are evil?” asked the old rabbit.

There was a murmur of agreement around the room.

“Let’s not forget in their eyes, the murder doesn’t seem so evil. We’re just food to them, and we’re quite tasty at that.”

The room was silent. None of the rabbits had ever thought about it like that.

“In the same way, the murder of our fellow rabbits doesn’t seem so evil, because the promise of peace seems so good. If we do this, we will be no better than the foxes. No longer could we consider them evil, for if we did, we would have to considered ourselves evil too. If we accept the proposal, we’ll be no different than the foxes we were hiding from all along, and then we’ll just as well be hiding from ourselves.”

I told you he was smart. Let’s try and convince him to make a blog. -BW

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