Recently I read in a local paper a piece that made me think. The writer shared with us that on a recent night at 10 pm when she was letting the dogs out for one last time before they were to come in for the night she accidentally stepped on something that crunched. The crunch under her flip-flops sent pangs of horror though her. She turned on an outside light and saw that indeed she had crushed a snail. The author saw nearby a “baby” snail “just as big as a minute” and felt like she had “ruined a family.” She explains that with age she has gained a respect for life and that she has no business deciding when a life ends. She admits to having arachnophobia but explains that when she sees a spider she gets a cup and a piece of hard paper and relocates the spider outside the walls of her home.
Most of the time animal rights people take things a little too far. I object to the projection of human emotions on animals. I think that it is disrespectful to the animal and very manipulative. Maybe that mother snail was abusive in which case that baby was grateful for the loss of that parent. And instead of ruining a family the author had given the baby a bright future full of potential. Now it could grow up to be a snail doctor or snail lawyer.
Where does the author draw the line? I wonder when the author gets strep throat if she takes antibiotics. Bacteria are living. If she takes the antibiotics she has caused the cessation of a life.
We need to be respectful of all living things but we don’t need to hold a funeral when we kill an insect.