86. Pest Controller (Empathy, Lent 27)

86 from pixabay

I lost a lot of sleep over the fact that we had to have a wasps’ nest exterminated a few years ago. The nest was inside our wall right by the back door, and my husband is allergic to wasp stings, so it felt like there was no choice, but the guy who did it insisted they had to be poisoned. It felt so wrong. I don’t know if I have an inner Buddhist, but I definitely lean towards Franciscanism on this one. I hate killing things. So how on earth does someone who has to do this for a living feel justified and at peace?

It’s just one of those dirty jobs that someone has to do. No-one else wants to, so it pays well. I don’t feel bad about it, because nature has to be controlled to a certain extent in an urban area. People have to come first. If you or your loved ones are in danger from stings, or at risk from vermin, that needs to be dealt with. My firm do everything as quickly and humanely as we can, but there will always be some suffering. I like to think we minimalise it. And after all, how much can a rat or an insect suffer? It doesn’t last long, and if I wasn’t doing it, someone else would be, and probably with less compassion. My sympathies are with the people who feel worried or unsafe, and I change their environments for the better. The wildlife can stay out in the wild where it belongs.

Photo from Pixabay, text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

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