Sunday, May 21, 2017

Overly Sensitive

I could not get motivated to get out of the house yesterday. Olga kept looking at me imploringly, but it was intermittently rainy and neither one of us wanted to get caught in a downpour. So I read, finishing "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and a couple of magazines and newspapers.

(As I write, there's a big Eurasian jay perched on the fence near our peanut feeder. It keeps turning its head, appraising the feeder from different angles. Poor thing looks confused.)

Anyway, I also weeded the forget-me-nots out of the flower bed -- they're pretty much done for the year -- and tidied things up in the garden. I did all the laundry and cleaned the bathrooms -- which, with four of us using them, is a frequent and essential task. Then, in the evening, Dave made a four-course dinner for the nieces, who had been out all day around Borough Market and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Dave made leg of lamb. As I always say when he makes that dish: "Poor lamb. He wanted his leg."

To which Dave usually replies: "Yes, but I have thumbs."

Survival of the fittest, or at least the most dexterous -- I admire Dave's clarity on that issue, though for me, eating meat is still a struggle. As is putting down slug pellets (which we do sparingly) and anything else that will result in the death of a creature. I spent a ridiculous amount of time yesterday thinking about a slug that I put into the garden waste bag with the weeded forget-me-nots. Afterwards, I could only imagine it struggling, trying to get out. I even tried to liberate it from the bag but I couldn't find it again. Maybe it got out on its own.

I know -- I am insane. But I feel for creatures in a situation like that -- almost like a physical pain -- and the guilt just nags and nags at me. I am not bragging about my sensitivity. If anything, I think it may show genuine psychological impairment! (Why I only feel that way belatedly, and not when I'm putting the slug into the bag in the first place, is a question I can't answer. I suspect I'm just focused on the task at hand.)

I gotta get the dog to the Heath today. Poor thing has been deprived!

(Photos: An interesting, ornate building I found near London Bridge station, a week or two ago.)


  1. Sounds like you and Dave balance each other nicely. :0)
    Gotta be better about keeping up with things - I've just now read your last three entries and laughed out loud at the lurid book covers!

  2. I also need an appointment with a psychiatrist as I also have a strong aversion to killing any of The Earth's creatures. I do put down slug pellets but it pains me and I also feel sorry for mosquitoes when I smack them dead. Thanks heavens we don't have them here in Yorkshire...but we have very big wasps - the size of budgerigars - maybe bigger.

  3. And when the day comes that you stop eating meat, which I would imagine it will, you'll wonder how you ever ate it at all...

  4. You're like me in that if we had to kill our own meat, we'd be vegetarians. Which I think is probably true for a lot of people.
    I just put my hand down on a wasp which of course stung me and I did feel a tiny bit of sadness for it as I finished crushing it into a paper towel. My hand is already swollen from a bite yesterday from a yellow fly, I guess. I feel no remorse for killing those at all. I would gladly kill every one of them on earth.

  5. I think your slug easily crawled out of the bag . so not to worry . You'll meet your slug again.

  6. I enjoy your stories about rescuing insects and plants. You have a good heart! I like that building. I would have photographed it too if I had seen it. There is a building near the Mornington Crescent tube station called the Carreras Cigarette Factory that was on my list of places to photograph when I was there but i never made it over there to do it. It has all these Egyptian features. Have you seen that one?

  7. I am intermittently sensitive about other creatures. I had a fly in my bathroom that was just sort of roaming around desultorily. Then I thought it was dead, but every time I came back into the room it was in a different location. I thought maybe I was being gaslighted. Ha!

  8. I think it's good to be sensitive to the pain we might inflict on others - even the lowliest of animals. If I have to kill something I at least try to give it a fast death. That's my compromise position! We all have to die sometime, and a trail of ants (or earwigs, or wasps, or ...) in my house has to be stopped somehow!!

    It just occurred to me to wonder if slug pellets, eaten by a slug, who is then eaten by a bird or other larger animal, will poison the one eating the slug?? Oh, something new to worry about now ...

  9. Marty: I'm glad they make non-librarians laugh, too! :)

    YP: Well, I'm glad to know it's not just me.

    Elle: I used to be a vegetarian, actually. When I began working out in my 30s I added fish and chicken to my diet for the extra protein. Now the workouts have ceased (whew!) but I eat some meat because Dave loves to cook and I don't want to deny him the ability to prepare it. I'm still usually vegetarian when I choose my own food, like at a restaurant.

    Ms Moon: Absolutely. I could never kill or, god forbid, butcher my own meat.

    Red: LOL! I don't have to MEET it, necessarily, but hopefully it's out there doing its slug thing and staying away from my garden plants.

    Sharon: Yes! I have photographed that building. It's very deco and has cats all over it! In fact I blogged it more than five years ago:
    The pictures aren't very good...

    Bug: Psychological torture fly!

    Jenny-O: The makers of slug pellets supposedly engineer them to be unsavory to birds -- they're bright blue, for one thing, and our experience is that birds don't eat them. I've read that it would take a lot of pellets to harm a single bird. (I've researched this, believe me!) I used to flush the dead slugs but the birds don't seem to eat those either, so now I've stopped. Having said all that, I think there IS reason to be careful with the pellets, and that's why we use them vary sparingly. The consensus is that many gardeners use way too many of them.

  10. You're not insane, unless I am, and I don't think so. I too feel bad if I kill an insect, even the horrible woodticks that can carry the debilitating lyme disease and are plaguing us and our dogs this spring. There is a consciousness in them and they are only trying to survive, as are we all. I do what has to be done but, when at all possible, that's not killing.