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#1
Old 11-22-2014, 11:39 AM
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Do you think its wrong to step on bugs and stuff?

I'm 22 years old, a lifeguard at my local beach. The other day I was getting out of my car to go to work and the parking lot was crawling with like a thousand little hermit crabs that the tide washed up from a storm the night before. I was going to walk barefoot to the beach and avoid them but I was running late so I put my sneakers on my feet and just jogged through them. I couldn't avoid stepping on and crushing a bunch of these little crabs.

Now I'm actually a pretty good guy, but some dude and his kid saw me stamping through and approached me when I was wiping my feet off on the sand to remove the layer of little crab guts and exoskeletons that got gunked up in the treads of my running shoes. Basically told me I was careless, shouldn't be working at the beach, etc.

Was what I did really that wrong? I'm pretty environmentally conscious but I was running late. I'm pretty good about preservation of the environment; although I do step on most bugs I see and smack flies.. but honestly the smell of my feet is probably enough to kill those guys. What are your thoughts?
#2
Old 11-22-2014, 01:57 PM
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I don't think you did anything wrong. (how did the dickheads get to your location to spout off without doing the same thing ?)

You didn't do anything wrong because it wasn't your intention to cruelly kill living things for no reason. That would be wrong and it doesn't matter what the creature is. You had little choice in the matter and no viable alternative.

I personally dislike intensely people who go about trying to kill things just because they can. It says volumes about their real character to me.

I believe taking the life of any living thing is serious business and should not be done without good reason. Is there anything wrong with that concept ?

Last edited by Toastmaker; 11-22-2014 at 02:00 PM.
#3
Old 11-22-2014, 02:05 PM
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Any roach or scorpion had better run.. If wasps leave me alone I'll return the favor. I encourage the little green/brown Anole lizards to wander around in my flower plants.. Love frogs&toads -- outside please.. The snails that get on my flowers are picked off,transported across the street and thrown down the hill. There are lots of weeds and grass down there.
I'd have scuffed my shoes through the crabs,at least.
#4
Old 11-22-2014, 02:14 PM
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Gross, but not wrong.
#5
Old 11-22-2014, 02:19 PM
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Not wrong. If they were in the parking lot, how do people avoid running them over with their cars? The ones you stepped on might have gotten flattened by someone else anyway.
#6
Old 11-22-2014, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeyjake View Post
I do step on most bugs I see
And why is this? 'Cause bugs are, like, gross?

You is one green dude.

I am tempted to say that when I zoom down the beach in my dune buggy I don't always slow to avoid lifeguards. But that would be wrong.
#7
Old 11-22-2014, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
And why is this? 'Cause bugs are, like, gross?

You is one green dude.

I am tempted to say that when I zoom down the beach in my dune buggy I don't always slow to avoid lifeguards. But that would be wrong.
I so knew this was coming.


Let the shitstorm begin!
#8
Old 11-22-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
And why is this? 'Cause bugs are, like, gross?

You is one green dude.

I am tempted to say that when I zoom down the beach in my dune buggy I don't always slow to avoid lifeguards. But that would be wrong.
No real reason... I find most of them annoying, so I step on them. If a big line of ants start invading my lunchbox, of course I am going to stamp my feet on them.
#9
Old 11-22-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I am tempted to say that when I zoom down the beach in my dune buggy I don't always slow to avoid lifeguards. But that would be wrong.
When I zoom down the beach in my dune buggy, I stop to watch the buxom lifeguards run in slow motion.
#10
Old 11-22-2014, 04:35 PM
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Why not just move your lunch?

Quite aside from the fact I find the idea of killing for 'no real reason' personally repugnant, there's thousands of ants in a colony- if a 'big line' of them have found your food, you'll have to stamp on a hell of a lot of them to stop them coming...
#11
Old 11-22-2014, 04:36 PM
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You didn't do anything wrong in the philosophical sense, although i can see how a child might not agree.

I actually read an interesting essay on this subject this morning:

http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/h...ne%20Essays%29
#12
Old 11-22-2014, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeyjake View Post
No real reason... I find most of them annoying, so I step on them. If a big line of ants start invading my lunchbox, of course I am going to stamp my feet on them.
Smarter to simply move your food - since you're the human with the big complex modern brain it seems weird that you'd resort to primitive "stamping" as a remedy against insects. That's the most intelligent strategy you could come up with, really? All righty, then.

As to your original scenario, I am also curious how the other guy and his kid were in the same locale as you without squashing crabs. That just makes no logical sense.

Also, well, sometimes stepping on bugs, or crabs, or frogs, or whatever, is unavoidable sometimes. But because you find them "annoying" is not a valid reason. Unless they are mosquitoes or fleas, in which case go for it.
#13
Old 11-22-2014, 06:07 PM
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I'm not trying to be judgmental, but I would've done everything possible to avoid stepping on the little crabs. I had one for a pet as a kid, and believe it or not she had a personality. Makes me sick to think of someone stepping on these little guys because they were inconvenient.
#14
Old 11-22-2014, 06:36 PM
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eat what you off.
#15
Old 11-22-2014, 07:53 PM
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How were you making up any time if you then stopped to wipe your shoes and chat?

And why couldn't you just drag your feet along, shoving them aside and creating a path, instead of stomping on them? Your shoes would not have got messed and you would not waste time cleaning them. That's what I would have done, I think.
#16
Old 11-22-2014, 10:17 PM
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What about rats? I used to think the only good rat was a dead one. (Think The Black Death in Europe yes I know it was actually the fleas).

Anyway one day my crew and I were cleaning up a yard. I picked up an over turned wooden box and there was a mother rat with several babies inside. The mother actually stood up on its hind legs and gave me a look that seemed to say, "kill me, but please leave my children be." I put the box back down and told everyone to leave it alone.
#17
Old 11-22-2014, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeyjake View Post
I Basically told me I was careless, shouldn't be working at the beach, etc.
I believe that the proper response might be...

SPOILER:
"Oh yeah? Well if you took care of your crabs the way you take care of your kid, maybe I wouldn't have this problem now, would I...?"

Happy Holidays from your Ex- Lifeguard Friend

This Hallmark moment is available with a limited edition beachball/sunglasses ornament that doesn't smell like Feet at All.
Hallmark: when you care enough to pay Polite Canadians to do your insulting for you.

#18
Old 11-23-2014, 06:35 AM
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Squashing bugs for no reason is wrong I think, but we all have different lines that we draw when deciding on what is a valid reason.

If we're really honest with ourselves, we could safely and peacefully share our homes with most common household pests. Some household pests eat other household pests, so it may be best to just maintain the balance.

Still, it seems the cultural norm that extermination of household pests is o.k. because not wanting bugs in your home counts as a reason for killing them. You're not killing them for no reason, you have a reason: you don't want bugs in your house.

Someone may actually choose not to do home extermination because they're fine with seeing a few bugs around their home but- realizing that many other people are not o.k. with seeing bugs- they may follow up with extermination at their place of business. If you've never seen the extremes in people's reactions to seeing a bug at a hotel or restaurant, trust me: not wanting to hear people freak out and yell at you can seem like a pretty good reason to kill some bugs.

Other people see a bug, then fear if they turn their attention away from it that it might crawl on them. Eeew! It might crawl on me! A bug! Crawling on me! So, they kill it but they don't kill it for no reason, they have a reason: they're scared it may crawl on them.

Other people just have it deeply ingrained in them that bugs are bad and/or gross. Not much thought goes through their head when they step on a bug, it's just their natural impulse. They don't sadistically find joy in it, they're just programmed to step on bugs. These people aren't killing for no reason, their reason is "bugs are to be stepped on."


I think at the very least those of us who feel programmed that "bugs are to be stepped on" should work to overcome that. The irrational fear that "it might crawl on me" is another reaction that I thing we ought to try to overcome.

I work in the service industry and, sorry, I'm going to keep killing bugs at work. There are just too many people who freak out over such things. Maybe not fair to the bugs, but I can't bring myself to care. I'd rather make it through my 8 hours at work without people flipping out at me. Of course, this goes both ways: I once caught a mouse at work, I covered it and crushed it (very quick death)- I knew full well that there was an equal chance that someone would deem me a monster for killing a harmless little mouse. The service industry very often puts you in lose/lose situations.

At home, I've never bothered too much with pests. I've always been in apartments, and most of the landlords I've had have been a hassle to deal with anyway so it's just a headache to get it taken care of.

We had termites that had to be dealt with a few years ago- my landlord didn't want his building eaten away. Currently, we are beginning to suspect that the one mouse we've been seeing over the past month might actually be several mice. Mice leave bigger poops than silverfish, and they also eat through food packaging. So, we may decide that we have a "reason" to kill the mice. We're not thrilled about it though.
#19
Old 11-23-2014, 09:37 AM
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I wouldn't go out of my way to kill one unless there was a major pest control problem at the house but...

Well, one day at work I saw something move. I thought it was a mouse and started chasing it. I chased it right into the ladies restroom and it was a roach and I raised my foot to send it to roach Heaven and it looked at me with its big brown eyes....

No, I just decided it was such an impressive specimen of roachdom that I caught it, put it in a box, damn near accidentally mailed it to a client but got that straightened out at the last minute, thank OG, took it home, named it Gregor Samsa.

Never had much of a personality, did Gregor. He did like to eat baloney and didn't mind a bit of beer either.
#20
Old 11-23-2014, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bienville View Post
Currently, we are beginning to suspect that the one mouse we've been seeing over the past month might actually be several mice. Mice leave bigger poops than silverfish, and they also eat through food packaging. So, we may decide that we have a "reason" to kill the mice. We're not thrilled about it though.
Traps went down this morning. 6 Mice in the past 9 hours.
All put out of their misery fairly quickly after getting themselves trapped.
#21
Old 11-23-2014, 10:43 PM
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Whether or not what you did was immoral, your reasoning is pretty weak. "Running late" is not a valid reason for acts of cruelty.
#22
Old 11-24-2014, 08:26 AM
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Cruelty would be torturing things.. getting instantly crushed by a massive foot doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
#23
Old 11-24-2014, 11:29 AM
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Hermit crabs are not bugs. I wouldn't step on them if I can help it. Actual bugs? Fuck them all
#24
Old 11-24-2014, 12:29 PM
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Okay, I love bugs and refuse to kill them for no good reason, and will become upset if one is gratuitiously killed in my presence. But I have made exceptions to the rule, such as, but not limited to, infestation by ants.

I would have probably been upset by what you did, but wouldn't have said anything, and anyway it's difficult to tell from the context just how easy it was to avoid smashing them.

But as a general rule, I am anti-smashing living creatures simply because they are inconvenient or creepy to look at.
#25
Old 11-24-2014, 01:37 PM
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I've been known to move worms from the sidewalk to the dirt after it rains. I have no problem with the circle of life, and most critters will end up dead anyway, but I just hate the thought of a worm dying for no reason at all. A worm dying to feed a bird is fine, but when it is just crawling along the wet sidewalk heading in the wrong direction I just don't like it.

I've personally killed and butchered and devoured plenty of animals in my day, so that's not it. I just hate the senselessness of an animal dying or suffering for no reason at all.
#26
Old 11-24-2014, 02:19 PM
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Spiders and other invaders in my home are captured and escorted to the great outdoors. Mosquitoes and flies get no such pardon (mainly because they are too hard to catch). I try not to smash bugs underfoot if I can avoid it. I know just driving a few miles probably kills hundreds of living things by them colliding with the front of my car, but I cannot avoid that - the ones I can avoid killing, I do.

We saw a mouse inside and I got one of those catch-and-release traps. No luck yet, so perhaps the mouse became part of the food chain somewhere. The directions on the trap say to release the mice 1-2 miles away. I plan to do that should we catch it.
#27
Old 11-24-2014, 03:11 PM
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I go out of my way to kill things, but I get bored with it quickly. Its about as wrong as the sun cooking a worm on the sidewalk or the wind blowing an egg out of a tree.
#28
Old 11-24-2014, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
I've been known to move worms from the sidewalk to the dirt after it rains. I have no problem with the circle of life, and most critters will end up dead anyway, but I just hate the thought of a worm dying for no reason at all. A worm dying to feed a bird is fine, but when it is just crawling along the wet sidewalk heading in the wrong direction I just don't like it.
Agreed. Plus it gives me an excuse to touch a worm. I like worms.
#29
Old 11-24-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
I go out of my way to kill things, but I get bored with it quickly. Its about as wrong as the sun cooking a worm on the sidewalk or the wind blowing an egg out of a tree.
You really don't see the difference?
#30
Old 11-25-2014, 06:10 PM
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Reminds of a question from the game of Scruples. Something like would you pull the wings off of a butterfly for a million dollars? What about a flying cockroach....,my memory fails me. I won't kill bugs that happen to be in the wrong place, I.e., my house, if I can successfully extricate them. BUT that rule is broken for centipedes and water bugs. Why? They freak me out! Shallow? Yep.
#31
Old 11-25-2014, 06:24 PM
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I caught a mouse recently. I actually decided to give it a break, so I detached it from the trap and turned it loose in a nearby schoolyard, then e-mailed my sister telling her I hoped it ran through the cafeteria during lunch and caused an Ebola scare. So far no luck.
#32
Old 11-25-2014, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
I'm not trying to be judgmental, but I would've done everything possible to avoid stepping on the little crabs. I had one for a pet as a kid, and believe it or not she had a personality. Makes me sick to think of someone stepping on these little guys because they were inconvenient.
Agree 100%. We are the protectors of all life.

I try to relocate most bugs I find inside. Headlight bugs, moths, whatever the cat drags in. I would have gone out of my way to not harm a single crab.
#33
Old 11-26-2014, 12:09 AM
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I wouldn't have been upset by the crab massacre because a crushing death is quick, and it's not as if crabs morn, raise their young, or have a concept of death. If you were pointlessly poking at them with sticks to provoke their fight or flight reflexes for your own amusement, I'd be a lot more bothered.

Helena333, when you say your pet crab had a personality, how do you mean? I'm having a hard time working that out. I'm not saying its silly to be attached to a pet crab, or to project a personality onto them, but are you saying that your crab acted in a noticeably different way than another? They seem like awfully simple creatures for that.

My rule with bugs, if anyone cares, is that when I'm outside, I'm in their house. I leave them alone. When they're in my house, all bets are off.

Last edited by Small Hen; 11-26-2014 at 12:09 AM.
#34
Old 11-26-2014, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Do you think its wrong to step on bugs and stuff?
Step on bogs? Maybe not.

"And STUFF?" Um, I'm not willing to give you approval to step on any possible thing you want. I need a list.
#35
Old 11-26-2014, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Hen View Post

Helena333, when you say your pet crab had a personality, how do you mean? I'm having a hard time working that out. I'm not saying its silly to be attached to a pet crab, or to project a personality onto them, but are you saying that your crab acted in a noticeably different way than another? They seem like awfully simple creatures for that.
Here's a page with a little detail on hermit crab personalities:

http://hermit-crabs.com/aggression.html

I Googled since my sample size is one. She was one of the sweeter crabs and never pinched me although since I was a kid she probably had reason. She was shy when I first got her, but I held her a lot and she became braver. There were definite preferences for toys (things to climb on) and surfaces. She recognized when a human would come over to her tank-I think she knew that either she'd get fed or get out to explore. Whichever, she was always out of her shell and not hiding in it. When I had her in my hand and I'd talk to her, she'd turn and look at me like she was listening.

Definitely a unique pet. Looking at the site in the link above, there were a lot of things we did wrong, but she seemed happy.
#36
Old 11-26-2014, 02:46 AM
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For myself, I'd just as soon minimize the killing overall.

I do have a sort of cost/benefit equation I do in my head. Bugs that are pests I will certainly kill as needed and without remorse. I've been known to save useful bugs - earthworms and dragonflies, for example. Something like a spider is maybe in the middle of the pest/usefulness spectrum; not bad enough to kill most of the time, but not useful enough to be worth saving.

In the OP's situation, part of my cost/benefit thinking would surely be "How would other people think about me stepping on crabs?" and that might weigh more heavily than the crabs themselves. A pro-crab person is more likely to be upset by the killing of crabs than an anti-crab person would be upset by the saving of crabs. Yes, I'm shallow. The fate of hundreds of crabs really does rest mainly on what actions will produce the lowest probability of being yelled at.
#37
Old 11-26-2014, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
Here's a page with a little detail on hermit crab personalities:

http://hermit-crabs.com/aggression.html

I Googled since my sample size is one. She was one of the sweeter crabs and never pinched me although since I was a kid she probably had reason. She was shy when I first got her, but I held her a lot and she became braver. There were definite preferences for toys (things to climb on) and surfaces. She recognized when a human would come over to her tank-I think she knew that either she'd get fed or get out to explore. Whichever, she was always out of her shell and not hiding in it. When I had her in my hand and I'd talk to her, she'd turn and look at me like she was listening.

Definitely a unique pet. Looking at the site in the link above, there were a lot of things we did wrong, but she seemed happy.
Oh, that's interesting! Consider my ignorance fought. It makes me wonder how simplistic an animal can be and still have a distinct personality.
#38
Old 11-26-2014, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Small Hen View Post
Oh, that's interesting! Consider my ignorance fought. It makes me wonder how simplistic an animal can be and still have a distinct personality.
As a snake and fish owner, I know that they also have "personalities." At one point, I had four goldfish that looked almost identical, but I could tell them apart by things like their level of curiosity, food preferences and aggressiveness.

I hesitate to anthropomorphize too much, though. For example, the previous poster says that the crab "knew" things and I'm not sure if we're ascribing too much thought to it. It might be better to say that each crab has a predisposition toward certain behaviors - a combination of genetic/instinctive and learned behaviors. Some are more receptive to conditioning than others. Some react more aggressively to a threat and others more defensively.

That predisposition does result in distinct behaviors between the individuals and we can reasonably call that a personality... but again, does one crab "know" that people are safe when another doesn't? Or do they just have different settings on their genetic "potential threat response" threshold? Is one crab "happy" and one "angry" or do they just have different instinctual responses to stimuli?
#39
Old 11-26-2014, 04:20 PM
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Speaking of odd pets, I got to know a neighborhood squirrel by feeding it at the window, and later out of my hand and shirt pocket. Eventually it got to the point of amazing and impressing my friends. It would see me on the street, race out of a tree, run up my leg and start rooting for treats in my pocket. Surprised the hell out of me the first time that happened, and of course I had to start putting nuts in my pocket whenever I went out.
#40
Old 06-20-2017, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Smarter to simply move your food - since you're the human with the big complex modern brain it seems weird that you'd resort to primitive "stamping" as a remedy against insects. That's the most intelligent strategy you could come up with, really? All righty, then.

As to your original scenario, I am also curious how the other guy and his kid were in the same locale as you without squashing crabs. That just makes no logical sense.

Also, well, sometimes stepping on bugs, or crabs, or frogs, or whatever, is unavoidable sometimes. But because you find them "annoying" is not a valid reason. Unless they are mosquitoes or fleas, in which case go for it.


Why is it weird that primitive stamping would be my solution? It might not be the most intelligent or sophisticated thing I could do, but it's quick, effective, and takes very little effort to walk over to their home and just demolish it with a couple stamps of my feet.
#41
Old 06-20-2017, 08:54 PM
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It's wrong to take life for no good reason. "I was in a hurry and they were in my way", "I don't like bugs" and "who cares" are not good reasons.

Sorry. It was indeed wrong.

The world would be a goddamn fucking better place if people thought other life forms were also important.
#42
Old 06-20-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
It's wrong to take life for no good reason. "I was in a hurry and they were in my way", "I don't like bugs" and "who cares" are not good reasons.

Sorry. It was indeed wrong.

The world would be a goddamn fucking better place if people thought other life forms were also important.
How far do you extend this sanctity? Do you morally object to the senseless slaughter of weeds? Or if it's done to make one's yard look better, is that enough of a reason to justify the taking of these lives?
#43
Old 06-20-2017, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Step on bogs? Maybe not.

"And STUFF?" Um, I'm not willing to give you approval to step on any possible thing you want. I need a list.
right?
#44
Old 06-20-2017, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mangosteen View Post
What about rats? I used to think the only good rat was a dead one. (Think The Black Death in Europe yes I know it was actually the fleas).

Anyway one day my crew and I were cleaning up a yard. I picked up an over turned wooden box and there was a mother rat with several babies inside. The mother actually stood up on its hind legs and gave me a look that seemed to say, "kill me, but please leave my children be." I put the box back down and told everyone to leave it alone.
I was working at farm in Berkeley Ca. and we were losing chicken every night. We found a rat nest that had a lot of chicken feathers around it . There was a huge pile of rocks that the rats lived under, we had to move the rocks to get rid of the nest and a small rat came running right at me and I stepped on it with my men working boots and killed it ! I did this so fast that it took me a few seconds to realize I just stepped on a rat ! It was an instant reflex kill the rat or get bitten by it . Yeah I will step on a small rat if I felt threaten by it.
#45
Old 06-20-2017, 11:44 PM
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Depends on what kind of bug and if it's outside or in my space. We often get little lizards, skinks I think they are called, and I will try my best to relocate it outside. If a moth or any other flying outdoor bug gets in I will try my best to get it out alive. Exceptions are flies and cockroaches.
#46
Old 06-20-2017, 11:47 PM
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I am very much bothered by people who kill spiders for no reason other than that the spiders exist and they find the appearance unpleasant. People who have no rationale to offer, other than, "It's a spider," as if that somehow in and of itself justifies the killing.

You can cite statistics all day long about how spiders eat several hundred thousand tons of harmful insects annually and it falls on deaf ears, totally deaf ears.

These same folks would be livid if someone killed a duckling or kitten, and in fact quite a few call t themselves animal-rights activists. Guess where spiders rank in classification? Kingdom Animalia!
#47
Old 06-21-2017, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KRC View Post
I wouldn't go out of my way to kill one unless there was a major pest control problem at the house but...

Well, one day at work I saw something move. I thought it was a mouse and started chasing it. I chased it right into the ladies restroom and it was a roach and I raised my foot to send it to roach Heaven and it looked at me with its big brown eyes....

No, I just decided it was such an impressive specimen of roachdom that I caught it, put it in a box, damn near accidentally mailed it to a client but got that straightened out at the last minute, thank OG, took it home, named it Gregor Samsa.

Never had much of a personality, did Gregor. He did like to eat baloney and didn't mind a bit of beer either.
I actually paid ten bucks for a gigantic Madagascgar Hissing Cockroach. No bug squishing for me! I even evict large wolf spiders. However, I draw the line at fleas, bedbugs and Mosquitos, all of which show no hesitation in hurting me!
#48
Old 06-21-2017, 02:02 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Home Of The Bengals!
Posts: 16,070
Jesus Christ. Any or all of you that express such sympathy for insects better not be eating meat from a grocery store. If you are, I hope you choke on your meaningless platitudes.
#49
Old 06-21-2017, 02:46 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 56,665
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Jesus Christ. Any or all of you that express such sympathy for insects better not be eating meat from a grocery store. If you are, I hope you choke on your meaningless platitudes.
If a cricket enters my living room, I'll do my best to catch it carefully and put it back outside.

If I want to, I will eat fried crickets.

I don't believe there is any inconsistency between these two behaviours. There is no reason for my actions to be so blunt and monolithic.
#50
Old 06-21-2017, 02:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,052
Is it a cockroach? My answer depends on whether it is a cockroach, or some other type of bug.
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