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Author Topic: Where to draw the line on compassion? AKA what are you okay with killing?  (Read 3608 times)

missgraceless

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As a follower of Quan Yin, I try (keyword there) to live my life with as much compassion toward all other living things as much as possible. I try to be nice to people (although they make it difficult sometimes), I'm always kind to pets and respectful to wild animals, and I usually avoid killing insects if I can help it (bringing bugs back outside if I find them in my house, etc).

I had read a story of Quan Yin coming across a line of ants trapped on a rock in a flooded stream. Of course being the embodiment of compassion that She is, She laid a branch from the rock to dry land to save all the ants.

But anyone who's lived in the southern US knows about those wretched fire ants. Those gods-forsaken little red shits that take away your birthright to walk barefooted in your own backyard. I really don't like killing creepy crawlies if there's another way around it. Fire ants have become the exception. I keep numerous bags of fire ant poison on hand because our backyard is riddled with colonies.

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.
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Soletaken

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683
As a follower of Quan Yin, I try (keyword there) to live my life with as much compassion toward all other living things as much as possible. I try to be nice to people (although they make it difficult sometimes), I'm always kind to pets and respectful to wild animals, and I usually avoid killing insects if I can help it (bringing bugs back outside if I find them in my house, etc).

I had read a story of Quan Yin coming across a line of ants trapped on a rock in a flooded stream. Of course being the embodiment of compassion that She is, She laid a branch from the rock to dry land to save all the ants.

But anyone who's lived in the southern US knows about those wretched fire ants. Those gods-forsaken little red shits that take away your birthright to walk barefooted in your own backyard. I really don't like killing creepy crawlies if there's another way around it. Fire ants have become the exception. I keep numerous bags of fire ant poison on hand because our backyard is riddled with colonies.

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.


Fire ants? Kill em all. Period.
Compassion is a great thing. My husband and I generally catch and release bugs, lizards, and non-venomous spiders that get into our house. Venomous spiders? Smashed on sight. We don't really enjoy it, but a brown recluse bit one of our dogs, and made him extremely sick. Since then we have zero sympathy on anything that can hurt a member of the household. Basically, I'm cool with killing anything that can hurt my family.
Exercise compassion within reason. You have every right to exterminate fire ants or any harmful thing in your space. Don't endanger yourself or family by letting dangerous things hang around. And fire ants are dangerous, make no mistake. They swarm and can easily kill small animals. Fire ants killed my pet bunny when I was little, and she was in the house. Not something a kid should find when she gets in from school.

HarpingHawke

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Quote from: Soletaken;193694
Basically, I'm cool with killing anything that can hurt my family.

 
Same here. I'm cool with letting animals that shouldn't be in the house outside the house, and I try to eat meat I know was ethically raised.

But! But! If there's something potentially harmful in the house, it's getting its little venomous self squashed. Or, in the case of the roaches that sometimes come in from the storm drain outside, (they can fly! and they're like, three inches long! it's terrifying!), sprayed with bug spray until they surrender and die.

I don't *like* doing it--it's very sad to me when something dies. But if it's me or them, I'm picking me. :whis:

This goes for anything/anyone that tries (actively--or not, in the case of, say, a spider, as they're generally not *trying* to make people sick when they bite them; they just want us to go away) to hurt my family. Like, if someone comes into my home with the intent to hurt/kill me and/or the people I care about, I'm going to go ahead and do what's necessary to get them out and keep the threat away from my loved ones. I hope I'd never have to do that, but I don't see a high level of compassion as necessary for that scenario. (low level, perhaps).
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Dynes Hysbys

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683


My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.

 
My ethics are simple. I don't deliberately kill without reason. I will put bugs out of the house and do my best to prevent them coming in if I can. Luckily we don't have any serious nasties around here.

I don't use antibacterial soaps, not because they kill bacteria, ordinary soap and water does that too, but because exposure to bacteria is important in developing and maintaining a good immune system.

xGypsy13x

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683
As a follower of Quan Yin, I try (keyword there) to live my life with as much compassion toward all other living things as much as possible. I try to be nice to people (although they make it difficult sometimes), I'm always kind to pets and respectful to wild animals, and I usually avoid killing insects if I can help it (bringing bugs back outside if I find them in my house, etc).

I had read a story of Quan Yin coming across a line of ants trapped on a rock in a flooded stream. Of course being the embodiment of compassion that She is, She laid a branch from the rock to dry land to save all the ants.

But anyone who's lived in the southern US knows about those wretched fire ants. Those gods-forsaken little red shits that take away your birthright to walk barefooted in your own backyard. I really don't like killing creepy crawlies if there's another way around it. Fire ants have become the exception. I keep numerous bags of fire ant poison on hand because our backyard is riddled with colonies.

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.

 
The line is defined pretty clearly in my religion, do not take the life of any living creature unless it is to protect you or your families well being.
now "well being" is very loosely used by many people for me its drawn at physical harm, for example i have a baby and a wasp is trying to sting him, i would kill the wasp.

Jainarayan

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.

 
Compassion and ahimsā (non-injury) extend to yourself and your family (including pets) as well as other creatures. To let a venomous spider or snake, or other dangerous creature pose a threat to you is causing harm or injury (himsā) to yourself.

As far as bacteria and other microorganisms, there's not a whole lot we can do. Small animals die in harvesting crops, but we have to eat. Deliberately going out hunting rattlesnakes that pose no threat to you is wrong imo, but if there is one in my backyard, and my kids or animals are playing, you best believe that snake is going to be in some spicy tomato sauce tonight.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Oskar

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683
My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.


Although I have yet to say my first prayer on my Gaelic path I have always had a compassion for other living creatures. Like everyone above I try not to harm living creatures unless they pose a threat to myself, my family or my cat etc. Although I shoot target Archery I do not hunt even feral animals. I try not to step on ants and have lost count of the number of beetles, wasps, moths and non venomous spiders I have caught and released out of my house and into my backyard.

We have three dangerous spiders in Australia, Funnel Web, Red back and White Tail. Happily I live far from where the Funnel Webs hang out as they are the worst and can be aggressive. Red backs generally keep to themselves and I've only found one in my house which was dispatched as my cat was playing with it. White tails however are numerous and are roaming hunters who love houses so they don't live long in mine. I was bitten by one while working in my garden and had several days on IV antibiotics to heal the bite site.

Ideally I would not harm any living thing but its just not practical or safe. I think we have to draw the line somewhere and just go with our heartfelt feelings on harming other living things. After all, we are only human and not beings capable of absolute perfection.

Skumring

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683
My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

 
Alternatively, you could look at non-lethal alternatives.

In this situation simply apply powdered Cinnamon, yes, Cinnamon, all over your yard where you see them. Be sure to break the mound open and just sprinkle liberally.

The Cinnamon gives off volatile organic compounds which, while pleasant to us humans, feel like acid on their antennae. This is true of all ants too, even Brazil Ants. I've personally seen entire nests of fire ants move several acres away to get away from the powdered Cinnamon.

You can buy it in bulk very cheap at BJ's, Costco, and even Sam's Club. One or two big bottles should be enough for a large yard. Just apply when the yard is dry and no rain is expected for at least a few days.

Voila, non-lethal compassion.
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Riothamus12

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Quote from: missgraceless;193683
As a follower of Quan Yin, I try (keyword there) to live my life with as much compassion toward all other living things as much as possible. I try to be nice to people (although they make it difficult sometimes), I'm always kind to pets and respectful to wild animals, and I usually avoid killing insects if I can help it (bringing bugs back outside if I find them in my house, etc).

I had read a story of Quan Yin coming across a line of ants trapped on a rock in a flooded stream. Of course being the embodiment of compassion that She is, She laid a branch from the rock to dry land to save all the ants.

But anyone who's lived in the southern US knows about those wretched fire ants. Those gods-forsaken little red shits that take away your birthright to walk barefooted in your own backyard. I really don't like killing creepy crawlies if there's another way around it. Fire ants have become the exception. I keep numerous bags of fire ant poison on hand because our backyard is riddled with colonies.

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.

 
As part of my beliefs I seek to avoid killing anything at all if I can help it. As for microscopic beings, I'm afraid I cannot do anything about that. The things my body kills as part of its immune functions (such as fighting certain bacteria), I do not feel particularly sad about. Not because I do not understand their significance, but rather because that's simply part of the way of things. Death flows through all existence and I hold no fear or disdain of death itself. Now homicide, war, and environmental destruction, that I mourn. Even those organisms I find outwardly disgusting I try to spare because I know they serve a function and i find beauty in that.

Hunting or slaughtering animals for food I have strongly mixed feelings about. Trophy hunting is a practice I find disgusting. However, even other creatures hunt for food and I do not think them evil for it. Yet, these are also living beings and deserve compassion and respect. I suppose it is better to hunt for food rather than simply for thrill. My feelings about eating meat are similarly complicated. Vegetarianism is recommended by many great spiritual teachers and given that humans despite being omnivorous, do better when they consume more plant matter than flesh, there is likely some merit to what they say. However, we did evolve to also consume the stuff.

To put it simply life should never be taken lightly if it is ever necessary. It is a heavy act and imposing your will on the cycle of life and death is not to be treated as an amusement or done casually.
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Freesia

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Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;193709

I don't use antibacterial soaps, not because they kill bacteria, ordinary soap and water does that too, but because exposure to bacteria is important in developing and maintaining a good immune system.

 
Yep. My husband was raised by a nurse and had every scrubbed with bleach his entire life. I use soap and water for most surfaces, only use bleach on occasion. It drove him crazy, but our sons have never gotten sick or food poisoning.

Ryu

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Re: Where to draw the line on compassion? AKA what are you okay with killing?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2016, 07:38:13 pm »
Quote from: missgraceless;193683
As a follower of Quan Yin, I try (keyword there) to live my life with as much compassion toward all other living things as much as possible. I try to be nice to people (although they make it difficult sometimes), I'm always kind to pets and respectful to wild animals, and I usually avoid killing insects if I can help it (bringing bugs back outside if I find them in my house, etc).

I had read a story of Quan Yin coming across a line of ants trapped on a rock in a flooded stream. Of course being the embodiment of compassion that She is, She laid a branch from the rock to dry land to save all the ants.

But anyone who's lived in the southern US knows about those wretched fire ants. Those gods-forsaken little red shits that take away your birthright to walk barefooted in your own backyard. I really don't like killing creepy crawlies if there's another way around it. Fire ants have become the exception. I keep numerous bags of fire ant poison on hand because our backyard is riddled with colonies.

My question/discussion point is this: for those who follow Quan Yin, some other similar deity or just a general attempt at a compassionate lifestyle, where do you draw the line? Do you kill every creepy crawly you see but leave bigger animals alone?

And what about the microscopic creatures? I personally don't really like antibacterial soaps just because they ruin my immune system, but by definition bacteria are still living things.


Anything and everything we do causes harm to something. Every time we take a breath we are inhaling some microscopic critter. Every step we take disturbs and/or squishes something, I really cannot be concerned about what microbe I might be harming by washing my hands or cooking food else I would be paralyzed with the fear that my very existence is causing "harm".

That said, I do not go out of my way to deliberately cause harm and injury to anything, within reason that is.
Of course if I have, say, a wasp crashing around then I shall smite it with my trusty electrified bug swatter. :ninja:

I think the objective is to simply be mindful and not react with hostility to something just because one might find said thingee to be "undesirable.
I have even caught beetles and put them outside because there was no reason to kill them and I live trap chipmunks and squirrels and give them a ride across the river to a new home in a industrial lot or near a cemetery. (Hey, at least the neighbors will be quiet)
 
At any rate I try, within reason not to harm things but am not worried about microbes. (I like clean hands especially before I prepare foods)

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