grizzly eats elk alive
Credit: Nature is Metal/Instagram

Watch: Brown Bear with ‘No Honor’ Eats Elk Alive

A video showing a brown bear chowing down on a helpless elk leads some to argue that the animal lives without "honor," but many disagree.

The social media channel Nature is Metal shares videos showing the harsh realities of the natural world. The channel's videos often show predators and scavengers eating other creatures. In the most recent video, a brown bear chows down on a helpless elk. The powerful figure eats away at an animal as it lays on the ground and seemingly accepts its fate.

In the caption, the channel describes brown bears as opportunists because they have such a varied diet. As omnivores, they can eat anything, including plants, insects, fish, and other mammals. Because of that and their strength, brown bears have not evolved to be "precision" hunters like hypercarnivores, which often kill their food before eating it.

"They are so strong and capable they've had no need to develop specialized killing techniques. Their immense power allows them to overpower and subdue their prey without the need for precision. As long as what they're hunting can be subdued, that's good enough for them," says the caption.

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Now let's talk about the comments

One of the top comments under the video was by champion shooter and gun influencer Kirsten Joy Weiss, who described animals like grizzlies and wolves as "magnificent predators, but have no 'honor' (unlike big cats)."

Weiss argued that people project a sense of "nobility" onto those animals. Then, she described them as naturally cruel as wolves will "rip baby elk out of mother's stomachs while they are alive" and grizzlies "enjoy eating from the back while prey is alive." Therefore, these "overpopulated" species "need to be managed or transferred" to other areas.

In response, other commenters pointed out flaws in her argument, saying that there is plenty of documentation of "big cats" like lions eating unborn animals and other creatures while they're still alive. "The sense of reality that (animals) have is what we give to them. They don't follow codes of honor. They just follow the law of nature," said one person.

Another person added: "Why you are comparing the two is weird and illogical. Take wolves and grizzly's (sic) out of their environment and there will be an overpopulation of elk and deer that will then be another issue."

While Weiss backtracked her characterization of big cats as having honor, she maintained that there are dangers to anthropomorphizing animals. Which is true. Experts say projecting human qualities onto animals — like grizzlies or wolves having no honor — mischaracterizes their behavior.