Friday, March 23, 2012

"Oh, the inhumanity!"

During a commercial break of the morning news, I switched over the the DIY Channel to watched a few minutes of Cool Tools. Most of the time it's really about - well, cool tools that you'd love to own. I happened to catch a quick presentation of a power fly catcher. It's a space-aged looking plastic pistol with a long barrel that you sneak up on a fly with and it sucks the fly into a holding tube. At first, it looked like a fun game. Hey, anything that keeps you from smacking furniture with a Fly Swatter and leaving fly splatter around the house, can't be all bad. But here's the interesting difference. It catches flies into a tube so you can release them later - presumably somewhere else - and of course they're back in the house before you are. They called it "humane treatment of flies". Hmmm. Have you ever worried about the humane treatment of flies? Why do I tend to think that something that comes from maggots, lands on and eats things I don't want to even mention, and then comes into my house uninvited to dive-bomb my dinner plate and drive me crazy buzzing back and forth deserves to die? And why would anyone apply the word "humane" to such a critter? Look at the word "humane" and guess what the root word is? It comes from the idea of humans treating one another with kindness and compassion. I'm sorry - I guess I'm a killer at heart, because I feel neither kindness nor compassion towards a fly. We have a hard enough time showing both to humans. Someone has a lot of extra time on their hands, especially when there are so many humans in need of a little kindness and compassion.
It makes me laugh to think of someone losing sleep worried about the plight of the house fly. I guess we all have our burdens to carry. Maybe someone can come up with a Halfway House for Flies who have been "saved" by the fly catcher, or how about a Twelve Step Plan for flies hooked on cow patties. And what about all those poor mosquitoes who get slapped and smashed by the thousands? They only want a little of your "humane" blood.
I guess I'm going to have to work on my "humane" treatment of insects. You do know that they really don't talk and sing and dance like the animated films say they do? Well, I still may "shew" a fly out the door instead of splattering it with a swatter, but any mosquito that comes near me - indoors or outdoors - is dead meat, and you don't want to hear about the horrors of what I'll do to any spider that I find in my basement. I actually pay good money for a "hitman" to do most of my dirty work. He's the Terminator from Terminix, and he always says, "I'll be back."


Sandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger and Sandra said...

I'm likely opening a can of worms that I will wish I hadn't but for me there's another side to this. At the outset let me make clear that I'm a hunter. More specifically, as of late I'm an upland bird hunter that loves his bird dogs. With that said I had an experience last fall that has really impacted me. I was grouse hunting and after I had shot a bird and the dog had retrieved it to me, as I held that bird in my hand and looked at it, I was struck deeply with the thought that I had just taken life. It was a profound experience that still gives me pause. It's not that I quit hunting but it has created with me a deeper respect for the value of all life and that the taking of it (at whatever level) should not be done thoughtlessly or frivolously . My point is simply that I have no trouble swatting flies, slapping mosquitoes or calling Terminix for spiders but even this is an awesome responsibility not to be taken lightly because it's created life. And maybe if we gave greater thought to the taking of life in smaller things we might be more responsible as a society when it comes to taking of life in bigger things. That's maybe a stretch for most but it's where I'm at right now. Just my 2¢. Roger