“Look, an animal!”

“Let’s KILL it.”


And this is how mistakes are made.

I’m not perfect. I killed a snake once when I was a kid. I massacred entire ant colonies. I did stupid shit like that.

The Flood, that was me.



I
regret every moment of it and go way out of my way not to cause harm to
our fine feathered, furred, and carapaced little friends. I’ve written
a few times about the the Brown Recluse Spider I found in my home that
I took to the woods and freed, hoping to create a few ripples of good
animal karma for down the line. So far, not one Bengal Tiger has
attacked me at the mall so I have to be doing something right.

But other people… they suck.

I
cannot believe how many times I’ve been in a situation where I’ve been
around people and upon seeing a bug, fish, or land animal, a person I’m
with has the first reaction to showcase their human dominance and
attempt to destroy it.

Sometimes
its the hunters, who don’t see a deer as a beautiful animal but
something to shoot and theoretically turn into food and a trophy.
Sometimes it’s the people who are afraid of any insect whose first
impulse is to swat, not thinking about how short these little creatures
lives are without our interference. Sometimes it’s people who are
potential psychopaths, starting a killing path they’ll follow to a
clocktower some day.

I
was at the home of my relatives in Florida recently and in their back
patio spotted a snake. A ring snake, full adult size: 5 inches. It’d
have to go to the gym three weeks straight just to attain harmlessness.
My uncle’s first instinct… KILL IT. The same goes for any lizard or
bug who wanders in from the oppressive Florida heat. Left to their own
devices the snake eat the lizards, the lizards eat the bugs, and
whomever’s left steers way clear of the humans. Sounds like harmony to
me.

I’m
sitting on someone’s deck playing poker and one of the crew makes a big
presentation about slamming their hands around a beetle flying in the
vicinity. As if he were saving us from Pearl Harbor 2: The Teenage Years.
It’s a bug traveling from over there to across the way, one who was
probably about to be tasted by a finch anyways… why interfere?

I’m
at the bar and a little spider can be spotted in the sunlight
hightailing down his web towards the ground where some little jackass
gnat was probably causing some shit. A broom appears and is swung onto
the tiny beast on its descent. Some people didn’t get the memo: SPIDERS
ARE HELPFUL.

I’m
at my father in-law’s house and there’s a pellet gun leaned against the
window, the weapon of choice to use upon the squirrels and rabbits who
happen to head into his garden to enjoy the delicacies planted there.
Suburban critters can’t read but they do know that grocery stores were
invented so modern folks don’t need to be Early American settlers. Way
I see it, if there’s a squirrel in the garden let the dogs out. They’ll
keep ‘em honest.

I’m
on the golf course and a family of deer crosses the fairway. One of the
group mentions that he wished he had his hunting rifle.

I never played golf with that cocksucker again. Fuck him.

Folks,
they have exactly as much right living as you do. They are not one iota
less a part of the world. Many times, their lifespans are a fraction of
ours. Add that to the numerous things we are doing on purpose and
inadvertently to kill them off and I think the hollow joy folks feel
when they showcase their dominance ought to be snuffed out for the
greater good.

Animals
are great. Even the ugly ones. And remember, we are one scientific
experiment away from having an onslaught of 20 foot-tall crickets
shredding our homes and rupturing our eardrums with their sweet leg
songs.

There will be a reckoning and even if there isn’t, why not try being not an asshole.