Thursday, 5 July 2007

death and the snail

i killed a snail last night ... i was pacing, smoking and pacing, thinking and smoking and pacing ... i do that.
a moment in time, my eleven stone weight, concentrated in my right foot, descended on a fatal collision course with one small snail.did i intend to kill that snail, hell no, was i sorry, was i upset, definitely!my lack of malice, my oh, i'm sorry, so sorry .....did they make even one iota of difference? the snail was dead, as dead as if i had deliberately stamped my foot and crushed the life from it. you know when you have stood on a snail, it crunches, stand on a slug and it sludges underfoot. smaller insects, do we even notice, how many insect lives do i take every time i take a step? they die because i am relatively big and they are relatively tiny, they die because in a moment of time our paths cross, we are unaware of each other and yet our momentary interaction ends in their destruction. fact is we can see insects, if we look... what about the bacteria, the virus, invisible to our naked eye, we find it perfectly acceptable to swallow antibiotics, clean with cleaners which claim to kill 99 percent of all bacteria. if we had half a chance to rid ourselves of these invisible little trouble makers ...why, we would do it without a second thought. i dislike spiders, yet i will always remove them gently from my proximity and place them outside in the garden, to live out their spidery life. mosquitoes, now that is another kettle of fish entirely ... they bite me, they make me itch, their whine keeps me awake in the night. i will slap down a mosquito with the most deadly intent, don't even give the matter a thought ...splat, one less mosquito to bother me.
so i have to ask myself, why am i so disrespectful of a mosquito's right, to live out in full, it's blood sucking days.
i abhor fox hunting ...unnecessarily cruel and barbaric in my book. yet, i expect, to the farmer whose new born lambs he takes, to the owner of the ducks and geese, killed by mr fox with such gay abandon. i expect they feels a deep need to splat that fox,in the same manner as i casually kill a mosquito.
there are folks, a minority i hope, who love to hunt, who enjoy the kill. they feel no remorse and are able to gaze on their newly dead trophy with pride. not for them the horror i feel, at the sudden seeping of life from a living creature.

"do not judge", a very difficult instruction to follow. i guess being judgmental is a natural born talent. after all in our judgment of others, we confirm our own superiority.we feel entitled, infallible and ....oh my god we are a totally insufferable species! mosquitoes probably have more humility than we do. until such time as i am able to sit in peace while a swarm of mosquitoes feed off my blood, remove them gently, cease and desist from using toxic sprays which annihilate them in their hundreds. until this miracle occurs, i do not have the right to judge the hunter, the killer of the larger species in the animal kingdom. i have no right to claim ... "i do no harm", until... i gently sweep a path before me and never lower my weight on to my foot without first giving thought to the myriad of small creatures i threaten with each foot fall.

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