Origins of NABA's Membership, etc.

Mark Walker MWalker at
Fri Jun 18 20:11:18 EDT 1999

Mike Quinn wrote:

<some snippage>

> Now if someone says that collecting is the best way to study 
> beetles or
> micro-lepidoptera, they would get no argument from me. 
> Collecting is nearly
> the *only* way to study these diverse groups.

Probably so, but I'm not sure how butterflies are any different than
beetles, flies, etc.  Why is it that people in general have such a problem
with _dispatching_ butterflies, while they don't have a problem with the
rest of Insecta?  It's because butterflies are large, showy and graceful and
relatively benign to humans (at least in the adult stage).  These
characteristics have iconicized butterflies to a level that seems to
supercede their place within the food chain.  And it's not MY value system
I'm referring to - it's all of humankind.  If I walked around with a hammer
and pounded cockroaches, I doubt that many would complain.  But chasing a
butterfly with a net, now that's just sacrilegious!  

As I've said more times than I like to admit, it's the hypocrisy of it all
that bugs me so.  

Mark Walker.

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