I was gently reprimanded recently for commenting on someone's blog post that nature is cruel as well as beautiful. It seems I was wrong to use the word cruel.
It prompted me to think about the meaning of the term and consider why it automatically sprang to mind when reading about the killing of one creature by another.
According to various dictionary definitions, cruelty is the wilful causing of pain and distress to another being. I suppose that cannot therefore be applied to creatures other than humans as the wilful part of that definition would presumably not be the case. Animals suffer through predation, disease, injury, starvation and other natural disasters. It is all part of nature but is not wilful.
In this case then I seem to have fallen for the hackneyed cliché "the cruelty of nature" , but it still appears that way to an emotional old softie like me.