July 26, 2009

I Didn't Mow The Bee

I have a big backyard. It is fricken huge actually. Back when I lived in Toronto I had a semi-detached house, the lot was something like 17' by 80.' The backyard was so shady, we (me and my wife) decided to replace the grass with stone. We landscaped the front, which was pretty much a grass hill, with tiered terraces. No mowing, after we did that.

So we move to the Niagara region 8 years ago. For half of what my house in Toronto cost, I wound up buying a house on a 120' by 120' lot. Lots of trees on the perimeter, and lots and lots of grass that needs cutting. One good thing is the land is completely flat.

My wife does all the gardening. This used to include doing the lawn mowing. But as the years have gone by, I've actually started feeling sorry for her when she mows the lawn.

It got to the point that I couldn't watch her mow the lawn anymore. So I decided to shut the drapes.

This still didn't work, and those evolved innate feelings of guilt and empathy started to take over, so I wound up sharing the moving duties with her over the last few years.

I'm now up to doing pretty much two thirds of it now.

And I don't feel shamed having to do it either. In fact, in the Niagara region, apparently men do most of the lawn mowing. Believe it or not.

So now that I established that I do in fact mow the lawn, I need to add one more thing. In Ontario we have a brand new idiotic law that doesn't allow us to use pesticides and herbicides on our lawns anymore.

The Creeping Charlie's are loving the new rule. So while most of my property is grass, there are many (mostly shaded) areas full of weeds. And you just can't keep up with them. My wife hates weeds, but even she knows it is futile to fight them. I hope it doesn't get this way with Islam in the West:)

Doncha love the analogy?

OK, so a couple of days ago, I'm mowing over a patch of weeds, and there is a bumble bee hanging around one that flowered, just an inch off the ground. My mower is around six inches away from this self absorbed bee. Surely the motor and the vibrations will get the bee to take a hike. But no. So I move the mower two inches from the bee, and still no. Should I just keep on mowing? Absolutely not. Even though, this bee is obviously not evolved in a way to deal with the dangers of lawn mowers and is probably suffering from Rachel Corrie disease as well, I still couldn't do it.

You see, I have a problem killing animals in general. Spiders, ants, moles, you name it. I just know that it is there only crack at life. I'm very confident there isn't a human heaven, let alone a bee heaven.

I know I'm a walking contradiction when it comes to my eating habits. I try not to think about it, and the cognitive dissonance of eating meat has made me rationalize that it is OK to eat food that was bred to be food. I didn't feel guilty at all while enjoying the chicken parmigiana I had last night. I don't feel guilty eating bacon or cheeseburgers or steaks.

When I see a live pig though, I have a sense of guilt. But they taste so damn good. And besides, if Darwin didn't want us to eat meat, he wouldn't have given us with teeth:)

Another thing is that I'm hearing that we have had a bee shortage in North America, and apparently bees have a lot of responsibility when it comes to a lot of the food we grow and eat. Maybe I saved the earth by not mowing the bee, but probably not.

But then again, if this bee's genes are passed along, it is no wonder there are fewer of them. They have to know that they need to get the hell out of the way of lawn mowers. Did I help stupid bees by not offing this one? No, this one wasn't a breeding bee. Should I go after his mother, the Queen, so that she can't produce such stupid bees anymore?

This leads into another thing. I do make exceptions to my "I can't kill any animal" rule. That one has to do with stinking cockroaches. When I lived in an old apartment in Toronto in my single days, there were cockroaches. They deserved to die. Why? Because they carry disease that could be harmful to me. With flies, I usually give them a chance to leave the house, by opening the door, and if it doesn't leave and my wife swats one, I feel no remorse.

What about humans? Could I kill a human? If someone is a physical danger to me, yes. If someone murdered a loved one, I could see myself revenging it, though it isn't likely, I would desire that person to be dead.

For humanity? I wonder how many people would answer this question truthfully: If you could go back in time and kill Adolph Hitler in the 1920's, would you, if it means that you would not be born today (and if you have kids, your kids wouldn't be born today)?

When you think of all the suffering Hitler caused, the answer should be yes. But I selfishly admit that I wouldn't, unless my life was almost over. I value and appreciate this one crack at life I have. And I've also rationalize not killing Hitler in sort of the same way I rationalized the Hiroshima bombing: Had the US not dropped the bomb, killing many innocent people in doing so, it would have been inevitable that the bomb would have been dropped shortly thereafter by Russia or the US or both. The main reason the Cold War didn't lead to Nuclear annihilation is because both sides knew the real consequences thanks to what happened to Japan. The human suffering would have been even greater.

Had Hitler not shown us once and for all that the idea of mass geographical conquest will never work again, some other leader in Europe probably would have done something similar by now. Again, with WMD technology much lower back when WW2 started, humans may be extinct by now if conquest was coupled with nuclear capabilities.

As for the Jews and the Holocaust, it is a tough one not offing Hitler when it comes to all the suffering he created. But Jews have been scapegoats for 2000 years, and another leader in anti-semitic Europe may have popped up and did something similar. Now at least Israel exists, and Jews have a place to go if anti-semitism rears its ugly head anywhere on this planet, anytime. And Israel was fast tracked because of the Holocaust, because of Hitler's game plan.

However, if I was in my 80's and could go back in time, I would definitely take an axe and chop him into pieces.

Also, when it comes to humanity, I'm no fan of Islam. It is completely at odds with Western civilization and freedom. Do I believe that anyone who supported the Fall of Capitalism & Rise of Islam conference in Chicago recently deserves to die? Tough one. Would it be better for humanity if these people didn't exist? 100% for sure. Could I kill any of them? No. But if I had a gun to my head and had to decide who should die, the pig that my next rack of ribs came from or one of these hypocritical morons who hate the West but come and live here anyway, I would definitely say, kill the ass waver.