I had a melancholy moment yesterday as I was walking back from lunch along 29th Street. As I approached some scaffolding hanging over a grate, I noticed a tiny little mouse walking around the sidewalk. It seemed the rest of the passersby were oblivious to him. Luckily, the scaffolding funneled the pedestrians away from where he was.
I stood there for a couple of minutes watching him and wondering about his life and his death. I literally have trouble killing plants. I pulled up some weeds in my pots on the lanai the other day and felt terrible about it. I have long felt the need to help the innocent, and helpless, and that translates for me past humanity. The plans and animals that surround us, that make our life more rich, are more in need of my help and protection than most humans.
I watched that little mouse and thought what would happen if the wrong person saw him. All it would take was one thoughtless beast to lift up his Timberlands and end that innocent little mouse's life needlessly and purposelessly.
We watched, as far as I know, all of Discovery Channel's Planet Earth series. It included a lot of death. I had never really thought about it before, but the only way to sustain life through food is death. To eat, you either kill a plant or an animal. Some things, like milk and honey, are ways around that. But eating anything else - salad, eggs, grains, meat - is destroying life or the potential for life. I can certainly rationalize that in my head: It is purposeful death - either it dies or I die. And I, like every other living thing in this world, will choose myself.
But that doesn't account for the future of that little mouse and the hundreds, thousands, millions of living things we as humans will needlessly kill in the next 24 hours. I guess I can just do my part in trying to bring more life into this world rather than end it, and encourage others to do the same.