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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I haven't read that book but I should.




1. I found ants in my dorm room.
2. I exterminated as many ants as I saw with my shoe.
3. I reflected.

What if I woke up the next morning to discover that ants had crawled into my somewhat lofted bed and gnawed up a section of my forearm. I would be pissed off and uncomfortable. As far as I know, ants are not coordinated enough to exact vengeance for an ant massacre, but if they were... would it be wrong?

Do I only not care about killing the ants because I calculate that the risk of retribution or other post-slaughter-danger-to-self is minimal?

Did I cause them pain? Dunno. I'm not sure where to look for solid information about whether or not insects feel pain. I killed a whole bunch of them though.

I know that they are only ants. But a dog is only a dog too, and we agonize about it dying whether it was your dog or not. Larger mammals = cuddlier = compassion? Without dire need I can't imagine killing a dog, much less ~30 dogs just for convenience.

Humans are creatures. Did I kill the ants the same way a territorial animal might attack those who come onto its turf? I'm carbon. It's carbon. I've got a more advanced central nervous system than that piece of carbon.

This isn't the type of thing I usually think about. I'm not a vegetarian or vegan and I've never had a strong bond with a pet. I'm not sure if this is a worthwhile line of questioning or not, but I would appreciate any resources on the amorphous blob of "is it cool to kill creatures?"

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