Maybe the collecting debate :-)

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue Jun 22 10:15:41 EDT 1999

Chris R. wrote:

> For me - no. The use of wild-caught butterflies for pure decoration
> smacks of the use of wild animal furs, feathers etc. If the animals in
> question are farmed then it makes the question less clear cut but wild
> stuff should be left alone unless there is a very good reason for
> taking it.

This argument sounds great, but do you really uphold it?  Don't you include
all sorts of ornamental things in your home that came from wild things?
What about wood furniture, and other things that have been taken from wild
flora instead of fauna?  (I'll assume that you don't have any ivory,
snakeskin, furs, or 10-point elk racks in your house).  

If we can draw the line between flora and fauna, then why not consider
moving the line between the higher order animals and the lower order
animals?  And why the distinction between wild and otherwise?  If it's the
ethics of killing living creatures we're debating, then one is the same as
the other.  And we're all guilty of doing this, anyway.  If it's permanently
impacting wildlife we're debating, then we're all guilty of this also.  And
if a case can be made that shows that collecting insects responsibly does
not add to the negative impact we're all contributing to already, then I say
(and I do) that collecting is not unethical.  And it most certainly
shouldn't be discouraged by any whom could be found guilty of these other
atrocities - which is basically everyone. 

The bottom line is that I disagree.  I believe that _wild_ insects can
ethically be taken purely for admiration or decoration, as long as it is
done responsibly.  And, as usual, I am claiming that because of my passion
for insects, I am more responsible and considerate of their well being than
99% of the rest of the world.

Mark Walker.
Mission Viejo, CA

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