Do you know what's not fair?
This weird belief that anything that can’t cuddle with you isn’t worth giving a damn about.
I don’t care if it DOES have no legs, two legs, four legs, six legs, eight legs, hundreds of legs, no eyes, two eyes, eight eyes, scales, fins, gills, fangs, or is hairless.
It is alive.
What other criteria should anything have to meet for anyone to stop thinking of it as something disgusting or horrible?
It. Is. Alive.
So just respect its space if you don’t want to handle it.
Because squashing on spiders and other such creepy crawlies because they “scare you” or “they’re gross” and expecting us to not give a sh-t is like everyone not giving a shit when someone kicks cats in the gut because they scare them or they aren’t cat people.
And if you DO want to handle it, then please acknowledge that it’s alive and its life’s purpose is not to be your plaything. Take good care of it.
Because keeping a goldfish in a vase is like keeping your puppy in the closet.
And anything, a puppy, a goldfish, a tarantula, anything deserves respect at the very least. Can we all agree on that?
P.S. Pouring salt on top of snails and slugs to watch them shrivel up? That shouldn’t be fun. It doesn’t matter that they can’t scream. Look at this fellow:
Isn’t he beautiful?
Be nice to him.
A friend recently told me he liked my blog, except for the creepy crawlies. And that got me thinking. So this is a special post brought to you by…
Though I’m about to sing the praises of creepy crawlies, I know the feeling he’s talking about—but it has almost nothing to do with insects, and everything to do with humans. Remember: you are the product of natural selection. When you perceive a given organism as creepy, that’s a feature of you, not the other organism. How you perceive and label things is a feature of you and a reflection of you.
You, me, ‘creepy crawlies,’ and other life forms are all just self-assembled configurations of atoms. Let me just re-emphasize that: without any specific goal or driving force, atoms assemble themselves into complex ordered systems. Some last longer than others, but none last forever.
So, what are these configurations? In other words, what are some ways atoms are able to tumble together? All organisms are answers to this question. Literally everything I can perceive (plus a far vaster collection of things I can’t perceive) is an answer to this question. The more I perceive, the more complex my world becomes, and the bigger the question gets.
Without even looking at ecological roles or outward appearances (aspects fascinating in their own right), all organisms could be seen as amazing for the simple reason that they are transient, complex ordered systems that assembled themselves. Even within species, each individual is a different—completely unique—answer to the question. Even within an individual, different points in the life cycle provide unique answers to the question.
Since the primary point of my blog/life/education is to wonder, in what configurations can atoms exist?, I wouldn’t purposefully exclude any group of organisms, since that would only limit my ability to conceive of the sheer vastness and diversity of the possible answers to the question—an ability already limited by the fact that I can only see a tiny sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum, the fact that I am too big to perceive a majority of the Earth’s organisms without a microscope, the fact that I’m alive in just one time, for only a short while, on just select areas of just the land portion of just one planet… and of course the fact that most of the information I get is not empirical, but second-hand, exclusively from other members of a single species that share all of my restrictions.
So, next time you see a spider on your computer screen and get a jolt of adrenaline, ask yourself: what’s truly creepy about that situation? The complex organic machine in the picture, or the fact that your consciousness is inexplicably bound to this collection of physiological processes—some outdated and unnecessary—that you didn’t choose and can’t control?
The fact that we perceive anything as beautiful is another result of natural selection. Your body is a tool that you use to perceive things. You didn’t decide how it works, but you can use it how you want. Perceive things as beautiful or ugly, it’s up to you. Decide if you’d rather live in a world full of beautiful atoms, or a world full of ugly atoms—then label them that way. Or don’t label them at all (harder than it sounds). Your perception can change faster than you think.