Several years ago, i was playing a board game in which you are asked questions, most of which have to do with integrity and character.
Suldog has been writing about insects, and that brought it back to my mind.
The question was, "Would you pull the wings off of a roach for a million dollars? Why or why not?"
My answer at that time was an unqualified and emphatic no, and still is. Do i squish roaches as disease carrying critters that don't belong in my house? Yes. Would i do it as a professional exterminator for a reasonable fee? If that was my line of work, yes.
To torment a living thing just for money is repugnant to me. To torment it for any reason is repugnant to me.
In this game, the questions had more than one part, and someone else read the questions to you so that you couldn't read ahead and spoil it. So the second question was, "Would your answer change if it was a beautiful butterfly?"
Again, my answer was and still is, not going to do that.
Third question was, "What if you were only going to get a dollar?"
The amount doesn't change my answer. If i absolutely have to kill something, whether for food or to keep it out of my food, i'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it goes quickly and doesn't suffer. My lack of willingness to kill for my own survival is one reason why i try to eat totally vegan, and think long and hard before ordering fish a couple of times a year in a restaurant.
There are probably people out there who would do it to a roach and not a butterfly, citing beauty as giving meaning to life, and considering the other vermin. Some would do it to either, just because there is money involved. For some, the amount wouldn't matter, they would have no problem tormenting a bug.
Suldog's recent musings reminded me of the game and question, and i'm glad he did. Since he rescues most of the bugs he runs across in his home, as i do, i decided to elaborate on the idea.
This reminds me, too, of a joke i once quoted, but since i'm getting old and forgetful, allow me to repeat myself.
Did you hear about the three churches in town that got overrun with squirrels?
One church prayed about it, and decided these were G-d's creatures, too, and they were put there for a reason, and G-d allowed it for a reason, and so did nothing. The squirrels did a great deal of damage in the attics of the buildings and made themselves a huge nuisance.
The second church prayed about it, decided these were G-d's creatures, too, and had them humanely trapped and relocated. The squirrels were back within 3 days, and did a great deal of damage in the attics of the buildings, and were a huge nuisance.
The third church prayed about it, decided these were G-d's creatures, too, so they baptized them and made them members and now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
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Denise Richards, 1972
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The first volume of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is
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