self-preservation is the first law of nature

self-preservation is the first law of nature

1. Proverb All living things prioritize their own survival above all else and will do what is necessary to stay alive. You should never approach a wild animal when it has been cornered. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and they might do you serious harm trying to escape.
2. Proverb By extension, people are all naturally inclined to think selfishly of their own well-being first and foremost, even if it is to the detriment of those around them. A: "I can't believe he would throw me under the bus like that just to save his own career!" B: "Self-preservation is the first law of nature." I felt bad about walking away from the company like that when it was bleeding money, but self-preservation is the first law of nature.
See also: first, law, nature, of

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

Prov. Every living thing will fight to survive.; It is natural to think of yourself first. When foe's best friend was arrested, Joe pretended not to know him. "Perhaps it wasn't very loyal of me," he thought, "but self-preservation is the first law of nature."
See also: first, law, nature, of