Testing My Compassion

I’ve written about my trouble with moths in my house on here before. Thankfully, I was able to pretty successfully get rid of them by placing lavender scented cotton balls throughout my cabinets, closets, and drawers. But now there is another plague upon my house: ladybugs.

My grandmother would often complain about ladybugs being in her house. I can remember seeing a few on a windowsill when I was a kid. I’ve also had a little trouble with them myself since I’ve lived here, but nothing too terrible. I’m not sure what has changed this year. Maybe it’s the weather or perhaps catching and releasing a jar full of stinkbugs from my room made more space for them, but they have absolutely taken over my home. I can’t walk through a room without seeing at least one. I brush four or five off of my kitchen counter and put them outside every time I try to cook. They crawl all over the windows. Dead ladybug bodies are scattered around the floor again a day after I’ve vacuumed.

I am really at a loss about what to do. And it isn’t just an annoyance. For me, it’s also a moral dilemma. At first, like the stinkbugs, I just found them silly, a mild inconvenience. But it’s really been out of control this year. I’ve started to look at them with anger and disgust. I feel hatred towards them. I have started to lose sight of the fact that they are living things. And I’m so ashamed of that.

I don’t want to feel this hatred. They don’t deserve my fury. They are just small beings doing their best to survive in this bizarre world. Just like I am. This has really been a trial of compassion. A test to see if I can maintain my connection with my heart as I move through my own home that’s been invaded. A test to see if I can show compassion to the very beings that have invaded it.

I have not intentionally squashed any of them and I don’t even plan on it. I simply couldn’t. Even if they do make me angry. I still feel guilty collecting them up to put them outside. They will most likely not be able to survive in the snow. But what am I to do? I know that in time, just like in the years before, they will dwindle and disappear again. I just need to be patient and cultivate my compassion until then.

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Making Peace with Insects

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In my opinion, one of the hardest aspects of becoming vegan is learning to love insects. Some people may not consider it necessary to love and protect insects, considering they are not a part of the animal kingdom. I, however, still count them, and believe that everyone else should as well. They are still conscious creatures that can feel pain, so why harm them? They have a necessary role to play in our world and are no threat to us in most cases.

For some reason, most humans find insects and arachnids to be quite creepy. They didn’t choose to appear that way though, and death is an unjust punishment for a less than desirable appearance. Besides, once you start paying more attention to them, they can almost seem cute. Watching their antennae searching out in front of them, seeing the way they analyze each little piece of their surroundings, wondering what in the world their perspective must be like. All of these things have helped me to make peace with the insects of this earth.

There are still some bugs that will still give me that fearful feeling, but I don’t let that bother me anymore. I remember that they are just a tiny little soul on a journey of their own. I remember that my irrational discomfort in regards to their presence does not justify ending a life. As a vegan, I want to help preserve and cherish all life. It would be hypocritical to exclude bugs from our love and protection. Vegans don’t eat honey for a reason. It is important to make an effort to end the irrational fear of them. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to view a bug as just another cute little sweetie.

So let’s all try to keep our hearts open to insects as well. ❤

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