You evil bastards!

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Fri Mar 15 12:30:53 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "b swallocks" <bswallocks2000 at>
To: <leps-l at>
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 11:37 AM
Subject: You evil bastards!

> You people are really evil. You take poor sweet innocent butterflies and
kill them by sticking pins in them.
> You evil cruel bastards!
> Betty Swallocks

Hi -
First, I take it that you are serious in your post and not making a joke. I
am genuinely interested in having you share with the rest of us how and
when you came to these conclusions.  I think there are a lot of people who
feel the same way you do.  I personally do not share your opinion.  In
fact, I think it very likely that you (and the hundreds - if  not thousands
who feel as you do) have arrived at this honest personal view by having
been lied to and manipulated by people motivated by their personal
political agendas under the pretense of being friends of butterflies.
Please allow me to explain.

Are you aware that thousands of butterfly and moth species and subspecies
are still unknown to science?  You do know that something that is unknown
can not be protected.  Historically, the main reason people
(lepidopterists) have "collected" butterflies and moths is for the purpose
of 1) discovering these unknown life forms so they can 2) be determined as
to what they are through the science of systematic taxonomy, and 3)
documenting them through scientific descriptions and publication.  The laws
around the world to protect any living thing are of no use if we do not
know they exist.  New _species_ of butterflies are being uncovered right
here in the eastern United States - several in just the last few years.

We all know there are bad apples in every bunch - and this is certainly
true with "some" butterfly "collectors".   But you have made a broad
indictment of a lot of people who are spending their whole lives and
personal resources as real conservationists to aid in the protection of
butterflies and moths and their habitat.  Historically, the vast majority
of butterfly and moth research has been _and is- carried out by "amateurs".
There are simply not enough "professionals" to do all the work that is
still to be done.  Without amateur "collectors" the majority of the
undiscovered species/subspecies will vanish before they are discovered.  Be
it butterflies or moon rocks, collecting is the first step of access to all
other scientific information -and protection.

If you are seriously interested in helping butterflies, I invite you to
visit this link and make a donation.  Funds are greatly needed - and
lacking.  These funds are not being used to build
some "butterfly house" in the middle of no where and destroy hundreds of
acres of habitat in the process.  They are used directly for real research
into, and conservation of, Lepidoptera.

Ron Gatrelle
TILS president
Charleston, SC - USA


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