Even if the free will defense were capable of explaining some of the evil in the world, however, it still doesn't explain the indiscriminate suffering caused by natural disasters, nor does it even remotely touch on the sheer cruelty found in the animal world.
Consider parasites, or the predator-prey dichotomy. What kind of benevolent God would create beings whose survival depends upon the violent and gruesome destruction of others? Why not make everyone herbivores? Why would a kind and intelligent designer design parasitic worms whose ideal environment is the eyes of children consigned to blindness as a result? And what kind of loving God would create a creature like the golden eagle, who so viciously preys upon Bambi's family?
And if you need further proof these birds are not fucking around, here is what happened to one cameraman:
Check out a recent NYT article on the problem of evil in terms of animal suffering, and the ethics of driving meat-eating animals to extinction.