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Man's destructive hand spares nothing that lives; he kills to feed himself, he kills to clothe himself, he kills to adorn himself, he kills to attack, he kills to defend himself, he kills to instruct himself, he kills to amuse himself, he kills for the sake of killing. Proud and terrible king, he wants everything and nothing resists him… from the lamb he tears its guts and makes his harp resound… from the wolf his most deadly tooth to polish his pretty works of art; from the elephant his tusks to make a toy for his child – his table is covered with corpses… And who [in this general carnage] will exterminate him who exterminates all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man… So it is accomplished… the great law of the violent destruction of living creatures. The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.
– Josef de Maistre
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