August 12, 2011

A sad bug story

Poor little guy.
Recently I wrote about the BugZooka, a great tool for catching bugs without hurting them. I'm still wildly happy with the contraption but ...

The other day I was contending with the tiny moths that have moved into my kitchen. (I think they come from the rice or maybe a wheat cereal; I'm not sure. They certainly don't come from the 50-lb sacks of wild bird seed all over my house.) Anyway, I caught four or five of them and then saw another one.

Unfortunately, it was flying. It's hard to snatch them out of the air with the BugZooka. You have to wait for them to land. So I waited, and waited -- and I noticed the moth kept flying toward me, no matter where I moved. Finally I stood still to see what it would do.

It landed on the end of the clear plastic BugZooka tube. It wanted to be with its fellow moths! And then it walked right to the very end of the tube, which allowed me to pull the trigger and suck it inside.

There are no holes in the capture tube, so it's hard to understand how the moth could hear its pals inside. That's a mystery. And I was constantly moving, as was the moth, so how could it see that there were moths inside the tube? I can't understand how it knew where the others were. Thinking about all this reminded me how little we know about the perceptions and inner life of other creatures.

Afterward, I went outside and set them free. But the moth's actions left me feeling sad. We don't understand any other creature on this planet (okay, maybe dogs) yet we feel we own them all and can kill or torture them at will. It just ain't right. Who knows what the lives of these creatures are like? They could be finer than our own lives. We just don't know. 

Don't kill anything. It's mean and wrong-headed.


Artichoke Annie said...

Not to get "preachy & religious" on you but your display of kindness toward all life forms reminds me of why lean toward Buddhism for my spiritual centering.

There are Five Precepts in Buddhism and the first one is:

"Do not kill. This is sometimes translated as "not harming" or an absence of violence."

It really applies to ALL living things. As the old joke likes to be told, "Don't kill that grasshopper he could be your uncle."

writenow said...

Buddhism is definitely the least offensive religion. Why, I don't mind it at all. But I like to think for myself, with guidance from science.

I keep thinking I should do a tolerant post about religion. I"m not mean to individual people who believe in stuff (unless they spout nonsense in my house, in which case they have to leave instantly).

Ghandi was admirable. Same for Freeman Dyson. Yet they were both rabidly religious. Some religious folks are plain old great. But that doesn't make their religious beliefs more sensible. There is no god. Period.

(I even like some religious art, like that movie, "The Apostle" with Robert Duvall. I remember you said you put it in your queue after I reviewed it. Did you ever watch it? Fabulous movie.)

Artichoke Annie said...

I did watch "The Apostle" - I agree it was a great movie.

Sooze said...

While I certainly believe in Do Not Kill, and that it should apply to all things I must admit that I can not abide rodents and have in my time arranged for their demise. Roaches too, although if I had a bug thing like you describe, I might use it. Happily, at this point in my life I have neither and the lady bug that appeared in my apartment yesterday was placed on the window sill to hasten her return to her family.

Reading the grasshopper joke reminded me of a true story told by a friend who was a Public Health Nurse. They go into homes to check up on patients. The home she was visiting was overrun with roaches. They were everywhere. She suggested it would be healthier if the resident got rid of the roaches. The resident said that they believed in reincarnation and so couldn't kill the roaches. The quick thinking nurse suggested that anyone who came back as a roach would probably be happy to move on to her next incarnation.

I don't know the results of her suggestion but I've always admired her quick solution to a public health problem.

writenow said...

Sooze, glad you learned how to comment. See? It ain't hard. As for roaches, it's hard for a former city-boy like me to care what happens to them. I think I'd do the same thing I always did when I lived in the city: mix sweetened, condensed, evaporated milk with boric acid powder, make little balls and place them in cabinets, and in corners everywhere. No more roaches. You don't see bodies, either. They just move elsewhere. But if you do this, folks, know that the balls will kill pets and little children, too. Not safe if you have such visitors.

Sorry to include this in your response, Sooze. And I"m so glad you commented! Now keep it up.