Viewed from a distance, the natural world may present a vista of sublime, majestic placidity. Yet beneath the foliage and concealed from the distant eye, a continuous massacre is occurring. Virtually everywhere that there is animal life, predators are stalking, chasing, capturing, killing, and devouring their prey. The means of killing are various: dismemberment, asphyxiation, disembowelment, poison, and so on. This normally invisible carnage provided part of the basis for the philosophical pessimism of Schopenhauer, who suggested that“one simple test of the claim that the pleasure in the world outweighs the pain… is to compare the feelings of an animal that is devouring another with those of the animal being devoured.” 1