Monday, August 10, 2009

Let's give spiders and snakes some respect

Several years ago, a coworker was telling me about how she was having a problem with snakes turning up in her garden. Her solution was to kill them with her shovel. The thing is, this really bothered me. I tried to explain that if she had snakes, they were no doubt getting rid of things that actually were harmful to her garden. She paid this argument absolutely no mind. Why? Because snakes are bad for some reason.

I realize that there are poisonous snakes out there (although where I live, you're much more likely to run into the kind that's perfectly harmless to humans), and of course I don't like the idea of being bitten by one. Even with them though, it's not like they go out of their way to find you and bite you. Generally speaking, you can avoid being bitten - unless you're a snake handler, and in that case you're not praying to DA JEEBUS hard enough.

I suppose that I can understand why somebody would find them unappealing to look at, but is it necessary to kill them for that reason? Personally, I think that they're pretty fascinating, and even quite beautiful and graceful in their own right. And whether you like the way they look or not, my argument to my coworker was right. Those snakes are killing mice and gophers that destroy gardens. In a way, they're working FOR you, and killing them only serves to aid a rampant rodent population.

I feel somewhat similar about spiders. Whenever there's one in the house, I don't like squashing it. I always grab a glass and release it in the outdoors. The thing is, I really can't stand most bugs, and spiders are like my double-agents that kill all those other bugs that I don't like. And for the most part, spiders either walk in a straight line or stay in one spot. They're not like crickets or grasshoppers that jump all over the place.

Oh, and I did some reading and all that crap about people swallowing X number of spiders in their sleep is total bunk. What the heck would a spider find appealing about your mouth? I suppose if you ate a bug sandwich right before going to bed, then maybe there'd be a reason. Otherwise, I think they prefer dry places where other bugs are likely to be. And yes, I'm aware of poisonous, dangerous spiders like the brown recluse. Again, in my area, most of the spiders you encounter are harmless to humans.

Maybe I'm just some kind of bleeding-heart nature boy or something, but I do think that there should be some respect for life - even the ones you might think are ugly.


Danielle said...

Just as I opened this I saw a spider crawling next to my laptop. I squished it, but it was smaller than an ant.

Also I think it's genetic for humans to dislike snakes and spiders because back in the day our ancestors had to stay the hell away or die.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I think you're right - especially those talking snakes! : )