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Ant Killer

As someone who has leaned towards Buddhist teachings over the past few years, I've done a decent job of adhering to the precept that forbids killing any living being. I haven't killed a single person (alright, Rob!,) and have made a very good effort to avoid killing nuisance insects.

Over the past two weeks, though, I've sprayed insecticide on three separate ant colonies, and watched as they suffered through what I can only imagine was a horrible, painful, death. This may seem trivial, or even silly to most people, but I'm actually quite disturbed by the fact that I committed what amounts to a genocide. I don't know what effect Raid™ actually has on an ant, but I suspect it involves the central nervous system, asphyxiation, or a combination of the two. Whatever the case, I don't take much delight in having eliminated these creatures from my home. The problem hasn't really gone away, either. Karma dictates that because I caused suffering, I in turn will suffer. Perhaps the suffering manifests itself as the anguish I feel for having killed these ants, or maybe I'm doomed to be plagued by ant infestations as long as I remain a homeowner.

On another, perhaps lighter, note, here's how I've done with the other precepts:

2) Do not steal: A+
3) Do not engage in sexual misconduct: A+
4) Refrain from incorrect speech (lies, truth-stretching, etc...): B
5) Do not take intoxicants or drugs: F (I don't use illegal drugs, but I do like me some good beer :-)


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