Many years ago I read a great column, that I think was by Olivia Judson (80% sure), that was one of her first few columns in the Opinionator (80% sure) that had a great quote and nature and life.
It was something on the order of “99.9% of all living creatures exit this world while being eaten alive.”
Dying of old age, as a result, was something rather rare and something that humans really have gotten to face only recently.
it also added perspective of how glorious our lives generally have become in the last 10,000 and even more so in the last 1000 years.
Basically, the chances of you or me being eaten alive are tiny today. This was not true not so long ago in the grand scope of things..
Anyway–I can no longer find the citation for this–not through google, not through the New York Times search engine.. nothing. I must have the wrong words as search terms, but I really haven’t been able to find anything close.. Crap..