Rat catcher

The ethical dilemmas presented by my yoga practice never end. Recently it’s been the expected stuff about material choices and diet, with a bit of concern about cultural appropriation thrown in. It is the latest western yoga craze after all. 😉

And then a phone call today took me by surprise. It was one of my oldest friends calling to ask if I’d be referee for his application for a shotgun licence. He wants it so that he can shoot the rats that are overrunning his rural property as well as threatening the business of the pub next door. Apparently the restrictions for selling poisons have suddenly got a lot stricter and he can no longer deal with them that way. He’s not a good enough shot with his air gun, but a shotgun requires less accuracy, he said.

I wasn’t that happy about being put on the spot, plus I have this terrible fear that one day in extremis he’ll turn it on himself. But that’s a difference concern… He detected my hesitancy and the rest of the conversation turned into a litany of recent animal-related good deeds — wasps trapped under glasses and released from the house, a buzzard rescued after suffering lead poisoning from a gunshot wound (oh, the irony!), an impressive tally of the number of small deer and hares rescued this summer from his rather fierce dog…

So I said yes, because he is an old friend, and because it’s not senseless violence, and I can’t really cast judgment on the deeds of another. We all do bad things every day that harm many creatures and fellow humans and we’re oblivious to most of them. This is a carefully considered act and if he thinks is the only solution, then I guess I’ll have to  trust that.

One thought on “Rat catcher

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  1. Oh dear… I’ve had similar dilemmas when trying to decide how to resolve a problem with mice in the kitchen ceiling… and then there was the skunk family which had taken up residence under our backyard shed a few summers ago …
    I haven’t had to deal with shotguns yet!
    It all makes me think of Arjuna on the field of Kurukshetra… (At least he had Krishna to set him on the right path!)


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