Maybe the collecting debate :-)

Chris Raper triocomp at
Wed Jun 23 09:00:59 EDT 1999

On 22 Jun 1999 07:22:23 -0700, MWalker at (Mark Walker) wrote:

>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?

Hi Mark

Sure. I guess you could count most conservationists as hypocrits. But,
like you say, we all try - I don't buy ivory, snakeskin - or have a
10-point Elk on my wall at home! :-)  I also don't buy Mahogany if I
can get the chance and I try to be as 'green' as possible without
going completely vegan. Where possible I buy recycled paper and I look
out for things made from renewable resources. But when it comes down
to it I bet you could find all sorts of things that derive from wild
collected flora & fauna - doesn't mean I like it, just that I didn't
have much choice at the time or I wasn't aware.

>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.  

Well, I'm not into long drawn-out ethical debates - I leave that to
others way more eloquent than myself. :-)  

Unfortunately the issues involved just aren't black/white choices. For
me _commercial_ killing of wild animals/plants for 'trinkets' needs
more justification than say, private collection of vouchers. Just as
collection of rarites needs more justification than collection of
common species. Exactly where you stand on these issues is largely a
personal opinion. 

>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.  

That's fine - and, believe it or not, very close to my own opinion. I
just chose not to kill things for decoration.

>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.

Of course - I think we are all guilty of assuming that we are 'right'
when really we just have a firmly held view :-)

Best wishes,
Chris R.

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