NOT the collecting debate :-)

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Tue Jun 22 09:12:46 EDT 1999

Just so it isn't green eggs and ham. 
Speaking for those of us who joggle more than we jog, Paul, I object to
your line of argument. 
if we get into an "I love the baby best" debate where we are forced to
choose up sides, we destroy our relationship and wreck the baby. 
None of us admires hypocrisy, although I suspect that everyone will find
a tiny corner of it in his personality, if he hunts around thoroughly.
 As a leather-shoe wearing, dead-cow eating NABA member with a few dead
butterflies adorning my house, I suggest that we give the NABA
statements a less sensitive reading. Abandon the chip on the shoulder. 
Surely you do not object to people amusing themselves with butterflies
in a non-consumptive manner. Must we all poach caterpillars? 
As we continue to fill up this plundered planet, there are not going to
be enough bugs to go around. We are all, collectors and non-collectors
and non-combatants in this great debate, doing what we can to preserve
and create habitat for bugs ... and to create a warm and welcoming
learning environment for the children we hope will study them. 
It is horribly likely that the insensitive oafs that insulted Mark were
wearing canvas shoes, had eaten carrots and tofu for dinner, and in all
other respects led a non-violent life. 
I was once accosted by some fellow on a nature walk ... a Sierra Clubber
perhaps ... who pointed out that the stone-washed jeans I happened to be
wearing had been battered into comfort with strip-mined pumice stones,
at the cost of heaven knows how many acres of virgin wilderness. 
As I had bought them for three dollars at a thrift store, I claimed that
the bad karma had been washed out long before. The devil is in the
I don't think there is a non-collecting argument. I think there's a
series of arguments, on increasingly crumbling bits of high ground, as
we reach a consensus. 
Discussion of collecting need not polarize us. There's plenty of middle
You collect. I admire your collections. You catch and release
butterflies, moths etc. You show them to me ... for, while the laughter
of little children is music to my ears, I prefer not to inspire it by
gamboling across the greensward. 
You catch rare critters for scientific reasons ... no problem. You catch
rare critters to fill gaps in your stamp collection ...with this I have
a problem.  
Greed is the problem we're circling round, I think. The non-collector,
in his innocence, supposes that the collector is trying for the last
Great Auk. The solution is to hang out with them, let them get to know
you, allow them to observe that you don't have horns and a tail. Mark,
you probably did a good deal to put the anti-collectors' minds at ease
about collectors, just by talking to them. 
So. Visit schools, show the kids how to set butterflies, be visible and
lovable ... and don't let the weirdos you encounter in NABA freeze you
out ... for every group has its weirdos. 
Anne Kilmer

Paul Cherubini wrote:
> DR. JAMES ADAMS wrote:
> > One reason why I hesitate to discuss the
> > collecting/not collecting debate on leps-l anymore is the hypocrisy
> > of the non-collecting argument.  Lines seem to be drawn arbitrarily -
> > - this (butterflies) shouldn't ever be collected, but who cares about
> > that (moths) . . . or that (mosquitos) . . . or that (roaches) . . . or
> > that (amoebae).
> Not only that, but how much do the anti-collecting activists care or pay attention to the
> well being and fate of "higher" vertebrate animals like cows, chickens, pigs, goats, etc.?
> A large percentage of Americans / Europeans - including the anti-collecting activists --are
> overweight. That means countless millions of farm animals are needlessly raised in
> crowded, captive conditions and then deliberately killed--not for the purpose of keeping
> people alive and in good health, but to satisfy the western society lust for physical
> pleasure (i.e.eating fat, juicy farm animals and their butter, cheese, ice cream etc.
> byproducts to excess).
> I agree with you and Mark Walker about the double standards and hypocrisy.
> Paul Cherubini

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