The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

On the impact of hierarchy

Some days ago I was on a hike with a friend. We walked past someone who had installed himself with his lunch and a glass of red wine in the sun. My friend addressed him sharing how nice it was to see him bringing such quality into his morning. While we didn’t accept his invitation to join him for a glass of wine, it still marked the start of an interesting conversation.

He shared how the presence of wild boars had changed along the last years, to an extent that they couldn’t manage their population anymore. During the last few years, nature had produced easily accessible food even in winter. There was no natural cause regulating the population. To this, he added how hunting had also focused on the bigger animals. As he described it, focusing on the dominant animals disrupted the structure of the sounder, splitting them up into smaller groups and thus spreading the boar population more widely than before.

In a way what he was describing was how the structure of their society was being continuously disrupted by removing a leading animal. This transformation of the given hierarchy impacted the community of boars. It contributed to creating some chaos during the years in which nature made it easier than usual for them to survive. The disrupted system contributed to the expansion of their population.

Their hierarchy does more than establish a leader. It shapes the way they live.


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