What is a lepidopterist?
MWalker at gensym.com
Mon Jan 28 21:29:56 EST 2002
Not to be controversial, but I don't entirely agree with Ron. I wouldn't
call everyone who has an interest in animals a "zoologist". Likewise, the
term "lepidopterist" is better reserved for those with a strong link to
scientific activities - regardless of any professional affiliation.
Similarly, I do agree that formal education is NOT a requirement - nor, as
I've mentioned, is net swinging. The bottom line: if you think you're a
lepidopterist, then you are.
Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> This was not intended as a controversial thread when Rudy
> first posted on
> it. But in actuality there is a very important underlying issue here.
> Here is my take on this whole matter.
> For hundreds of years the term lepidopterist was used by all
> people who
> simply dealt with butterflies and moths in any way. There
> was no other
> term. Today The Lepidopterists' Society (est. 1947) exists as
> it always
> has. The Lepidopterist Society is a membership of "anyone
> interested in
> any aspect of lepidopterology." There are several other regional leps
> societies in the US and many others around the world. Here,
> the Ohio,
> Utah, Southern etcs. are all the same. They are made up of
> people with
> entomological education and people with no formal education.
> They are made
> up of folks who collect and folks who mostly or only observe.
> Gardeners and
> non gardeners. Photographers, breeders, dealers. This is THE only
> accurate historical answer to the question of what is a
> lepidopterist - it
> is _anyone_ and _everyone_ engaged in any and every activity
> Asking what a lepidopterist is, is exactly like asking what
> a human being
> is. We are all humans - we are all lepidopterists. Now,
> not every human
> receives others humans as such. This has been a continual
> human problem.
> We have come a long way in eliminating prejudice and bigotry
> from world
> society - though elements still remain. But while society has made
> progress in understanding the amalgam of humanity - the
> lepidopterist world
> 15 to 20 years ago begun to move in the opposite direction.
> (How do I know
> the time frame? Because I have lived for 20 years on both
> sides of that
> time "divide". )
> I got a private email from someone the other day who
> emphatically informed
> me that they were "a watcher -- not a lepidopterist". I was
> very taken
> back by this for as an old timer I grew up in this butterfly thing as
> viewing us as all the same - lepidopterists.
> But a new generation has now come into being who are being
> raised up in a
> segregated leps world. They are being groomed to see
> differences. They are
> taught to be separatists. They are taught that they should sit in the
> front of the buss and lepidopterists (which term they have
> been taught to =
> collectors which term they have been taught to = poachers, killers,
> destroyers, enemies of butterflies and moths.) should not
> even be alowed to
> ride on the buss. Until 15 +/- years ago there were no
> "butterfly wars"
> at all among those who were involved with any and all aspects
> or activities
> relative to butterflies and moths. _What_ happened back then
> to bring this
> current division about? And _who_ started and is promoting
> it? It is not
> historical lepidopterists, their societies, or their leadership.
> Because lepidopterists are multifaceted they are tolerant and
> embracive of
> all other lepidopterists whose specific interests differ from
> their own .
> Lepidopterists are unifying not divisive. Lepidopterists go
> both ways -
> that is they will be members of both Lep Soc and NABA for example.
> Lepidopterists are integrated and are not net-phobic, voucher-phobic,
> watch-phobic, garden-phobic, etc. Lepidopterists and their societies
> still see us as they always have - one group with one interest.
> Ron Gatrelle
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