I am happy being vegan. I have been vegan for decades and it keeps getting easier to do it and stay healthy. There are a few places of stress however. One is navigating the various sentiments of family and intimate partners but I will leave that for another blog post. Another is what to do about animal pests.My teacher once said we love all animals including Tigers but some of them we avoid. I haven't had much trouble avoiding tigers or even bears or rattlesnakes which when I have met them in the woods seem happy to go their own way if I am willing to go mine. Unfortunately, I can't just decide to avoid mice, or mosquitoes or bees or woodchucks.
Self love requires that I don't just let mosquitoes bite me as much as they like. I mostly shoo them away but I sometimes smash them, especially if they are already feeding on me. Practicing discrimination means drawing lines. For awhile I did go through a period where I killed nothing, but then I had boring bees that were destroying my house and eventually I broke and went after them with the clear intention of wiping them out. Mice are a whole other story.
Elsewhere in this blog I have detailed the mouse infestation I once had and how I dealt with it. I literally relocated hundreds of mice, one by one, but I have learned something since then which has given me pause. You see, mice are social animals that work in family units and can tell outsiders apart by scent. One mouse alone is not likely to survive long. Knowing this, live trapping the mice that show up in my pantry, seems at best pointless and at worst sort of craven. Rather than killing them quickly in a snap trap, I have them in a little metal box, give them fruit slices to ensure their comfort and then take them to a far off location where they have no nest and no friends and are likely to be hawk or cat food in the next few days. So now I ask, "Who am I doing this for?"I am still live trapping mice, since I do not really want to kill them. And I take them far away and wish them well when I release them. I know their chances are not good but if I was them I would want that chance. I hope they enjoy whatever extra time they have and the stress of the new environment does not make the extra days of life I have given them a bit of hell on earth.