So what’s the big deal?
My first blow with a slipper didn’t do the job. The injured bug took off as best it could, but not so fast that I couldn’t strike again and finish the job.
As I thought about that ugly unwanted creature, I was impressed by how hard it worked to live. And I thought, not for the first time, how important life is to all creatures, no matter how low on the totem pole they exist. And how I hated ending it.
This wasn’t the first time I deplored taking a life. Any life. It just seems so wrong to me. You can say it’s just a bug. But it was a bug that wanted to live. And I stopped it from doing so.
The time will come, of course, when I’ll do it again. After all, this morning it was invading my space, and I’m sure other bugs will as well. This is Florida after all. But I don’t think I ever will be happy when I do.
And I won’t do it unless it’s necessary. For example, if I see a roach outside, perhaps walking across a sidewalk, I won’t attack it. It’s not in my space. You could even argue I was in its space. It’s the same with ants.
I’m sure this sounds crazy and you have to wonder if I’ve gone loopy in my dotage.
But where do you draw the line? When is it okay to wipe some creature from existence simply because you can? As a child my friends and I used to cut worms in half because both halves continued to wiggle. The thought makes me sick now. Are worms too low a creature to worry about?
What about cats and dogs? I think most of us draw the line there. Although not everyone. Serial killers often get their start at a young age with animals.
There seem to be more and more people willing to slaughter humans. Usually with no good reason. They don’t like a skin color. Someone cut them off on the road. They disagree politically. And now, with guns everywhere, it is so easy. Such violence is tacitly condoned by those opposed to any form of gun control, which means they are essentially agreeing that taking human life is acceptable.
Just as most of us condone killing cockroaches.
And this thought started me wondering. Does the ease with which we accept the killing of a cockroach somehow make it easier to accept eliminating something higher on the life scale? Perhaps a rat, for example. Not much controversy about that, is there? So then does it, as a result, become more acceptable to get the cat that roams the neighborhood. And then the bear who enters the area where you live. Does this chain of acceptance wind up making it easier to murder humans? We do seem to accept such action more than at any prior time in my life.
As for me, I’m going to make sure there is good reason to destroy any animal.
Because life, any life, means everything to the creature living it.