Q: Mrs. Pinto, the English wife of a friend, told me that she was surprised to find that the cow in India is so mild and docile. In England, it seems, it may attack men.
Most animals kill only for food; there are very few that are inherently ferocious. Even snakes don’t attack unless they are frightened. There was a variety of maneless lion in America—the Puma—that would have been friendly to man. Of course it had to live and so killed animals. But the Americans have been killing it—nearly exterminating it. Most of the wild animals don’t kill man unless they find that he is dangerous. That’s what happen in Africa. Man begins to shoot them down and they turn against him. In Africa the State had to legislate to prevent the extermination of certain animals. Otherwise people would have killed them off for sport. You can’t say man kills only when he is compelled. And yet we cannot declare man has made no progress. True, the philosopher today is not superior to Plato, but there are many who can philosophise today, also many more who can understand philosophy than in Plato’s time. And throughout the course of history a small minority has been carrying the torch to save humanity in spite of itself.
– Sri Aurobindo