Revenge of Animals
An Animal Rights Article from

June 2021

Many disasters and catastrophes through human history have been interpreted as a kind of payment for the damage done to animals.

circus Bear
Circus Bear

The diseases that animals transmit to humans as well as diseases originating from the animal world can in general be termed “Revenge of Animals.” Many disasters and catastrophes through human history have been interpreted as a kind of payment for the damage done. Known as the Wrath of God, the Vengeance of the Sea, the Revenge of Nature or the Revenge of Gaia, as some examples. This strange phenomenon often occurs because of the brutal interventions of people over animals and nature. The examples are countless. A tsunami is a series of large waves produced by an underwater earthquake, or volcanic eruption. Following the towering tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, posted a poem called “Tsunami” on Facebook, which describes how the tsunami is the fearful wrath of Neptune:

From out of the East with the rising sun
The seas fearful wrath burst upon the land
With little time to prepare or to run
Against a power no human can stand.

Many people think that the tsunami in March 2011, was some sort of retribution for whaling and fishing. The fact is that the local economy of destroyed cities was based heavily on commercial fishing and food processing, for example, Ishinomaki, the city with the highest number of victims: 3,173. The tsunami crashed deep into the cities across the bay and the rivers that flow into the ocean, destroying the ports and fishing boats.

One of the earliest records that describes the “Revenge of Animals” phenomenon is found in the book, Essays on Liberating Life by Zhuhong. He was the 16th century Chinese Buddhist leader, also known as the Great Master Lotus Pond. The first such story is about Mr. Gu, who was a butcher. He slaughtered countless oxen, until the day he suddenly went blind. His wife was also struck with a fatal disease. Day and night she screamed and said, “The underworld officers are butchering me as if I were a cow!,” until finally she died.

The second such story describes the tragic destiny of Wei Mou, from Wuxing County, Zhejiang Province. Wei Mou destroyed many bird nests and killed all kinds of little animals: squid, frogs, turtles and fish.

One morning he woke up exhausted with countless boiling bubbles on his body. Suddenly, countless birds, frogs, turtles and other animals came to eat the poor man’s body. Wei died in pain while the animals slowly bit him.

Though horrible, this bizarre legend certainly had the goal of being instructive. Zhuhong was an early animal advocate and practiced the “release of life” (Fangsheng ). Just like philosopher Pythagoras in ancient Greek, he was a vegetarian and he bought fish and other animals at the markets to set them free.  

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