To Collect or not to collect?

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at
Sat Mar 7 12:41:49 EST 1998

Paul Naftzger wrote:

> Now I have children, two wonderful boys, and one
> is just getting into that age of curiosity. Has society changed? Is
> "collecting" the politically incorrect thing to do? I am interested in
> your
> comments.

Fortunately, I think some of society, including land holding agencies,
are changing.  There was a time when society encouraged killing insects
as a good thing.  Some of society still agrees (witness the lawn
maintenance companies spraying insecticides on yards and gardens and the
reaction to gypsy moths), but fortunately we are becoming more
enlightened on the benefits of all animals including insects.

On the other hand, collecting is still just fine, but there should be a
reason, other than killing insects.  Your fond memories of running
through the fields can be passed-on for the adventure and fun of
observation, and if there is a reason, for collecting.  I have no
problems getting permits and approval when I collect for a purpose, but
I am definitely denied both if I collect just for the sake of
collecting.  This is fine with me. I'm an active collector, but I make
sure I legitimize my activities.  I also give away, to public museums,
nearly everything I collect.  This is part of my legitimacy.

Your boys are lucky to have such a parent.  You are interested, and you
are asking the correct questions.  By all means, have them collect, but
give them direction, and let them have a reason.  Check out the
collecting guidelines at the home page of The Lepidopterists' Society     A little reason will help
them and all of us.

Good luck.

Eric H. Metzler
Columbus  OH

More information about the Leps-l mailing list