I spent some time fretting about the animals which were sacrificed to make parchment/vellum. I am a softy when it comes to animals. I won’t even squash bugs in my house—I toss ’em back outside. I care very much about animals’ suffering. The problem is, we live in a fallen world. Suffering and death are an unavoidable part of it. If I choose to eat a chicken salad sandwich, it means one of G-d’s creatures had to die violently. Even if I switch to a vegetarian diet, animals will still suffer and die.
The Heavenly Father put us in charge of the animals. The Bible tells us it’s right and proper that animals are a resource for us to use (Genesis 1:25/26). BUT, we have a responsibility to animals. All life should be respected. If we take good care of animals while they’re alive and then make their deaths as easy as can be managed, we’ll be serving G-d. If an animal must be slaughtered, we ought to use every last bit of it. This is not a frivolous thing to think about. Our humanity, our soul, demands that we think about this stuff and act on it.
How do you get bugs out of the house alive? I have a fool-proof method. You’ll need a tall drinking glass or a goblet (the kind of glass with a stem) and a postcard that’s big enough to cover the whole rim of the glass. When the bug is on a flat surface, put the glass upside-down over him. Try to catch him by surprise. Take your postcard and slowly, slowly slip it under the glass and the bug. When the postcard completely covers the rim of the glass, pick everything up as one unit. Hold the postcard tight to the rim of the glass with the bug trapped inside. Take it outdoors and put it on the ground. Take the postcard. Run back into the house and lock the door.
I once trapped and released a bat this way. I took him outdoors and coaxed him onto a tree branch. The little jerk peed in my glass.
Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.