3:46 p.m. - Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2003
Yesterday in my other diary I wrote about finding myself unable to kill a spider in my basement because it was too marvelous and beautiful a creature — even though I HATE spiders. Odd combination of revulsion and admiration, and the admiration won out. Something similar this weekend, but without the ambivalence, because I have nothing at all against trees. Cutting one down with my chainsaw, I experienced a feeling of shame, thinking to myself, "This is NOT FAIR! Here I have a chainsaw and the poor tree can't even run!" I hate cutting down trees, but I can't have giant elms shading my garden and stopping everything from growing. I try to tell myself that trees don't have brains. No brain = no consciousness. I HOPE. Spiders haven't got much of a brain, either.
I have wondered, on occasion, whether there's any relationship between possibility and morality: for example, I have heard it argued that since you can't POSSIBLY go your entire life without stepping on a bug and killing it, therefore it CAN'T be immoral to kill a bug ... therefore it can't be immoral to kill an animal, is what the person making the argument was trying to prove, employing the Slippery Slope fallacy.
Me, I can't even make myself stop eating chicken.