Friday, November 12, 2010

The Ethics of Killing Bugs

We've got a bit of a bug problem. They are all over the yard, all over the outside of the house, and now creeping into the house, where my baby lives. Most people don't even think twice about killing bugs. They are annoying, sometimes harmful, and usually gross. You spray your yard and house with lots of poisons to kill them and keep them away from you. But I was thinking today, as I delicately transferred yet another from the baby's room to the toilet (that's right Anderson, I killed a bug! All by myself!), that maybe it's mean. Cruel to kill them. They are, after all, living creatures that experience pain. I don't imagine that drowning is a pleasant way to go. Or poisoning. Crushing at least is merciful, but messy.

With these bugs in particular, since they are not harmful, I started to question why I find the need to kill them. Shouldn't I treat them just as I would any other living creature, with kindness and respect? I realized that to some degree it boils down to prejudice based on outward appearance. Would I kill a ladybug that found it's way into my house? Or would I pick it up and take it outside, because it's pretty? Shouldn't I treat all bugs as though they are ladybugs?

Of course, there is also their status as invaders that impacts me. I don't routinely attack human beings, but if one invaded my home, you can bet I would. And I would feel perfectly justified and ethical doing so. Can I apply that principle to the bugs? Or does the fact that they are not quite so sentient and not at all malicious mean that I should be more understanding?

Is it less evil if I kill them using environmentally friendly products, at least?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Okay, here's what I really wanted to write about, but maybe it's weird for you to read about? Well, tough it out. Or not. You are warned and disclaimed.

So, nursing a toddler. First of all, at what age does a baby become a toddler? I say now. He is toddling around. Anyway, we're still nursing, but it's not all gummy baby sweet falling asleep nursing, with some little whines or cries to indicate hunger. It's, hey, let me stick my arm down the front of your shirt and see if those things are still there cause I kind of want them right now. It's lying in bed hoping for a moment to rest but instead get baby acrobatics all over the place. Let's see, can I stand up while I nurse? Can I climb on top of Mama? Or swing my leg over her side? Or poke her eyes? But I gotta say, I kind of love it. He's getting so independent and person-like, but still needs to come and snuggle and nurse. And while part of me is ready to be done with it, most of me is dreading the day.

I don't think that was as weird as I thought it might sound. I don't think. Just keep in mind I could have been a lot more explicit.

Next up, be impressed at all the things my baby can do when asked. Yes, all I do is ask him like I would ask a normal person! But he is just a baby! Or toddler. 13 months.

1. Put dirty clothes in the hamper.
2. Pick up toys.
3. Do things with toys (hide, stack, open, shake, etc).
4. Put trash in the garbage can.
5. Put ANYTHING in the garbage can (see previous post).
6. Find his shoes or my shoes. (Does this even when not asked, if he wants to go outside.)
7. Indicate his wants and desires.
8. Dance.
9. Bounce.
10. Kiss, hug, high five.
11. Be the best ever.

a list of things

1. Abraham threw the phone in the garbage today.

2. He is obsessed with the garbage can. See above.

3. Should I write a fantasy novel? It seems like it would be easy.

4. Next year I will do more for Halloween. Like dress up and decorate.

5. Oh clutter, my old nemesis, you return!

6. I am impressed with my baby and how he knows words like a person.

7. Getting a hair cut tomorrow, for realz. Probably more than one. Probably all of them. Short.

8. Who wants to go to the zoo?

9. Why don't you return my calls? Okay, call. And email. And FB. Doesn't that count as more than one call?

10. The end.