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Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

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Belindi
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » December 5th, 2018, 11:38 am

Thrylix wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Animals that are significant enough that I don't think it's okay to toy with them for callous curiosity.
That's arrogant of you to claim to know which animals are significant.

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Greta
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » December 5th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 11:38 am
Thrylix wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Animals that are significant enough that I don't think it's okay to toy with them for callous curiosity.
That's arrogant of you to claim to know which animals are significant.
I know what he means, Belinda. I toyed with insects out of callous curiosity as a child, and was ruthless as an adult, before I "got it". It's horrible in hindsight but I simply had no clue. I was in Plato's cave, seeing the flame as just a shadow, and treating those small sparks of the flame as just shadows.

It's very easy to forget that every living thing is just like us, only with different morphology with which to express that basic drive that IS us to live and grow. As a child I terrorised ants at times, partially through resentment because there was a large nest in our garden and I was regularly stung. I drowned them, stepped on them, once even used a magnifying glass (only once, that did not feel good, even with an ant as a somewhat disturbed child).

Today I avoid stepping on ants, and provide food treats to encourage the trails to go where I want them to go (away from the house) and only kill the scouts who occasionally test the waters for a fresh invasion. Today I watch them like the entomologist I arguably should have been, the days in spring and early summer when they pack off their little winged queens, the way they strip other insect carcasses, their impact on the lawn (grr!) and beautiful blackboy plant when it flowers (double grr!), and so on.

Today I recognise insects as fellow beings, while being aware that we, they and all other animals are locked into this zero sum game, ensuring conflicts of interest and killing. Some pest species' breeding habits mean that their appearance in your house forces you into a decision - kill or give up your home.

I try to maintain a low grade ecosystem in the house. Daddy longlegs spiders and very small non-biting and non-filching creatures get a free pass. At times in high summer there's so many webs in my home it might as well be owned by the Addams Family, but if they can find things to eat, good luck to them. However, rats, mice, cockroaches, termites, most ants and mosquitoes get a death sentence in my home. Large non-lethal spiders are caught in plastic takeaway containers and released outdoors. If flies take the hint and leave via an open door they will survive entering the home (amusingly, I found there's a bit of an art to ushering flies out of an exit, using your body to create what I think of as "fly feng shui" that invites the insect to fly a certain route :lol:

Surely the bottom line here is acceptance of nature's innate violence while trying not to participate in that violence any more vigorously than is absolutely necessary.

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h_k_s
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by h_k_s » December 5th, 2018, 8:09 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 11:38 am
Thrylix wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Animals that are significant enough that I don't think it's okay to toy with them for callous curiosity.
That's arrogant of you to claim to know which animals are significant.
I must agree with @Belindi .

All of God's creations are significant. And the plants too.

However based on the historical track record of mosquitoes I do kill them on sight since they kill more humans than does any other animal.

I also kill fleas and ticks too, and I am not wild about leeches.

While I do not worry about how many bugs I have killed while driving my car, since they are unavoidable, I do watch out for dogs, coyotes, cats, bobcats, squirrels, and chipmunks. All life is precious.

Unless you must eat it you should not kill it -- or unless it committed some crime like killing a human.

Mosquitoes are killers.

Belindi
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » December 6th, 2018, 10:08 am

Greta, I commend your excellent gloss on my reply to Thrylix. Your post includes a generous account of your own earlier attitudes which are much the same as my own. I owe a debt to fairly recent popular ecology for making me be more enlightened, not that I'm claiming to be a proper ecologist, only that my moral attitude to other animals is like yours, and I do try to live like that.

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Greta
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » December 6th, 2018, 3:24 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 10:08 am
Greta, I commend your excellent gloss on my reply to Thrylix. Your post includes a generous account of your own earlier attitudes which are much the same as my own. I owe a debt to fairly recent popular ecology for making me be more enlightened, not that I'm claiming to be a proper ecologist, only that my moral attitude to other animals is like yours, and I do try to live like that.
The balance can be tricky.

These days, when I kill insects there is a part of me that imagines this little light going out. A light just like any of ours, but expressed through different morphology. It brings a little sadness, small sadnesses I'd rather have than not, to recognise the reality of the situation.

Nature red in tooth and claw applies to people as well as to dinosaurs, mosquitos, and tigers. It's inescapable that we the humans have a lot of power over other species. If the human arbiters of what's right and what's wrong lacked sympathy for the others we the human arbiters could not make rational decisions, therefore the sadness that you feel is all good, and if humans lack that sadness we will perish for lack of reason.

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