View of pests is relative

It was time to set out the tomato plants. As I was weeding my vegetable garden, I came across a few cutworms and immediately pinched them dead.

 

Then I thought: This is one of God’s little creatures, too. Who am I to decide they should die? Then I saw another cutworm and pinched it dead, too – no sense in letting them eat the roots of my tomato plants if I can help it.

As I wondered about this dilemma, my thoughts went to the weeds I was killing. I remembered my grandmother’s definition of a weed: “a plant that you don’t want where it is.” I realized that in some cultures, these worms and plants are valuable, but to me they are just pests.

Then I thought of the recent newspaper articles about too many stray dogs and cats, and how some people are very sensitive about how they are being treated.

Of course, to other people, they are just pests. A recent letter to the editor (“What about the abortions?” April 6) compared the stray pet problem to killing our unborn human babies. I guess these unborn babies must be “just pests” to some people.

In a few short years, I will be decrepit enough to go to a nursing home, and someone else will be in charge of my thoughts. Then perhaps I will be a “pest,” too. Who am I to decide which pests should die?

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