The title is misleading. It means a lot of things. Too many things. But lets just focus on one thing, a piece of a thing, a whisper of a thing:
Why is everyone so quick to squish a bug? Why, rather, am I so opposed to it?
There are many answers to both questions. Probably more than I would be able to think of in the few moments that I would attempt. I just started wondering at it, not as deeply as I normally would have gone, in the random moment that I noticed a teeny tiny black beetle crawling up my white bathroom wall. For a mere flash of a moment I questioned, “Crush it?”, then immediately my feeling shifted to “I’ll it to move outside.” The first question, as it crossed my mind, startled me slightly because a) as far as I could tell, the tiny little beetle did not pose any threat to me and b) I am the type of person who feels immense guilt at harming another creature, bugs included. Unless, of course I’m pitted in an unfortunate battle of life and death against this creature and survival depended on my actions and/or choices. However, that is a completely different circumstance that I’m writing off now as a “No need to approach” subject because it has nothing to do with my personal feelings towards harming or killing another creature.
That being said, the fact that the solution was instantly to kill it was still the first though in my mind. Why is that?
~*- 99% of the people I know are either afraid of bugs and/or disgusted by them. The typical response to something you are disgusted of: get rid of it/get it away from you. The typical response to something that frightens you: get rid of it/get it away from you. So, there’s that. However, I was neither frightened or disgusted by it so this wouldn’t apply.
~*-Bugs do not belong in your house. Eliminate them if they attempt to enter. Not only did that sentence sound, to me, like something that would either come from the mouth of a power-hungry Monarch or General or some paranoid shut-in…but I’m 100% okay with a bug or two in the house once in a while. Granted, I will promptly attempt to peacefully relocate them outside my personal living space which I do not wish to share with said bugs, but it’s understand able that small things that live outside may make their way into my living space from time to time. To think anything other seems very foolish to me which, once again, does not answer my first question.
~*-It’s ugly, scary, moves too fast, and for the love of god WHERE DID IT GO? Right, this really only applies to spiders for me or any other thing that can actually bite, sting, or in someway make me feel pain or discomfort. I’ve seen some pretty ugly dogs in my time, but I will still pet, feed, and cuddle the living hell out of them. I’ve also seen some pretty unfortunate looking humans in my 20+ years but I have never refused to talk to or acknowledge them. Doesn’t apply.
~*-I’ve been trained to/am used to being either told or seeing other people immediately kill them to be rid of them. There we go. Not everyone feels the same way I do considering “They’re only bugs” so generally, it’s squashville. Plus, I didn’t always have quite the intense abhorrence of causing harm to anything smaller than the smallest animal. The fact that bugs crawled their way into my heart was something that took quite a while because…well…they’re ugly, scary, they move too fast and for the love of god WHERE DID IT GO?
Why am I so opposed to squishing something as seemingly-insignificant as a bug?
~*-I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14. My reasons seemed pretty simple to me: The thought of putting a dead animal in my mouth disgusted me. The thought of consuming something that had the ability to produce a family and love something else did not sit right with me. Every time I saw roadkill I thought “That’s dead. It’s going to be dinner,” and I related it to my own dinner. Meat was never tasty to me in the first place. I love animals more than any other thing in the world, meaning hurting one or thinking about one suffering is absolutely unbearable to me. I was fresh into High School and a teenager, so doing something my family didn’t want me to do seemed like the way to go. Plus, the judgments of people around me for making a choice about my body (which I STILL don’t understand, by the way…) didn’t bother me.
~*-I already stated that hurting an animal is unbearable to me, as is the thought of the suffering. It brings me to tears, makes me physically sick, and ignites a rage in me that is rather terrifying as I’m typically a peaceful person, non-confrontational person. I’m pretty sure that grew into “It has eyes, it walks around, and might have a teeny brain. Maybe it has a family. What it if has tiny eggs in it’s tiny home? It’s trying to live it’s tiny life. I’ll just let it be” which people close to me think is adorable and people who don’t know me think it stupid. It is what it is.
~*-Every creature has some type of significant purpose in the way this planet and our environment works. If I don’t have to destroy it, why bother disrupting it? If it was a rabid raccoon going after a small child, I would shoot it without a second thought. If I was collapsed from exhaustion, about to feel the strike of a cobra, and some passerby kicked it across the ground, I wouldn’t accost them in anger. I understand there are time of necessity and unavoidable actions for one reason or another. However, if it’s not necessary, I’m not doing it. Why? Because I’m a lover of my planet and I have a deep respect for nature, the environment, and all things living.
Since I’ve been vegetarian since I was 14, I’ve pretty much heard all the nasty rebuttals and arguments to every single feeling, opinion, choice, action, and reason I have for being so. I would never tell another person to become vegetarian or vegan. I would never intentionally make someone feel bad for their choice to eat meat. I’ve never once refused to make something for my boyfriend or force him to only eat what I eat (except vegetables in general because they’re healthy for you). A large amount of other people, however, seem to think that my personal choices are stupid or offensive. Why is that, exactly? If I don’t want to kill a spider, but would rather put it outside so it can continue living (or dying…or what ever it was doing), why is either stupid? If I value something different than what other people value, why is it stupid? It’s not, and it has taken quite a while for me to realize that after years of being embarrassed when someone found out I was vegetarian because I was unsure of how they would perceive me.
The argument that “You eat plants which are living, so you’re a hypocrite” doesn’t even make me mad anymore. It makes me sad and judgmental. Sad that this person has gotten so upset by my diet that they had to find a reason to make me feel smaller about it. Judgmental because this person is trying to make me feel smaller about something I personally feel strongly about and does not, in any way affect them, their daily life, or their greasy Burger King burger. I never said I am a vegetarian because I don’t want to eat something that is living, and anyone who is vegetarian or vegan who has said that (hopefully) means something different. I do. Otherwise, we would be dead because rocks, clay and bleach are not part of any type of diet that could keep you alive.
I realize this has evolved into something completely different than my thoughts about an insignificant account with a little black beetle, but that’s pretty much what always happens when I write. That is why I write. I thought about killing the beetle because that is what I have been trained by society to do. I did not kill the beetle because I don’t feel killing without reason is necessary. The end.
My coffee cup is empty and the bread I left of my deck for Mama and Papa bird is now gone, so I need to get off the computer and fix both of these horrific issues.