People often ask where this hatred for wolves, coyotes, bears, and other predators emanates from among our populace. To me it is irrational fear based on human ignorance, superstition, and a need to express our superiority on unsuspecting creatures. Yesterday, I got a perfect example of this during a training session at my workplace.
During our training session one of my co-wokers noticed a small spider crawling on the wall at the front of the room. After he mentioned it to the instructor other people in the room started shouting “kill it, kill it” and some even started squirming in their seats. Before I had a chance to react and take the spider outside, the instructor took a book and killed it. I was furious, but I kept my cool and just said “why did you do that?” The instructor and other people in the room said “I hate spiders.” When I asked why, I never got a clear response other than, “it was scary.”
The spider, much like the wolf, provides and invaluable benefit to our species. Just like how the wolf helps to prevent the spread of disease and keep the number of deer under control, the spider does the same thing with insects who pose a disease threat to humans. Of course none of this logic makes sense to much of humanity because all they see is a “creepy, crawly” creature that must die because it scares them. For such the evolved and advanced species that we claimed to be, why is it so difficult to live with other animals in nature doing nothing more than trying to survive in the little bit of space that we have not taken from them? Will we ever get past these ignorant and idiotic superstitions and hatred toward what we don’t understand?
None of the people who demanded that the spider be killed were bad people. In fact just a few minutes before they were appalled when a supervisor talked about how people eat dogs in Asia. Yet they had no reservations about killing this harmless spider because it “scared” them.
In the bigger picture it is this mindset that will lead to the downfall of humanity. If we continue to kill and destroy everything that “scares” us or is an “inconvenience” what will be left? Spiders, like the rest of nature, benefit us in ways that most people will never understand. Of course how can I expect a society that condones using packs of dogs as weapons against other species to take pity on a small harmless creature like a spider? This story is about far more than the killing of a spider, it is about how much power we have as a species to destroy anything that annoys or scares us. It’s a shame that we can’t seem to take that same power to show some compassion and save our world for the benefit of everything rather than our own selfish wants and needs.