If I were to take rat poison…

If I were to take rat poison, the walls of my blood vessels would break down. Blood would leak into my brain, into my organs. I would bleed to death internally, possibly over a day or three. I might carry on for a while, struggling to get around, feeling worse and worse. Eventually, I would find a place to lie, and I would die. In pain, in fear, alone.

And there would be articles in the newspaper. People would make tributes and talk about how it was Such a Shame, and she was such a Nice Girl (not a Popular Girl – never that) and other such ridiculous platitudes.

For I am an oxygen stealer. I steal your resources, I steal the Earth’s resources. I carry and spread disease. During the course of my life, I’ve been personally responsible for infecting many people and upsetting many more. I am but one of billions. I am vermin.

So why don’t you poison me? Or, to use that word that makes it sound as though you’re doing something pedestrian and harmless; why don’t you cull me? Why would people pretend it was a tragedy if I slowly bled to death; ensuring I had no further potential to cause harm, or to eat the food and use the resources you believe you are more entitled to than I?

This Earth is not ours. We evolved here alongside all other wondrous life. Everything has as much right to life as everything else. It is not here to be our slave, to be made into frivolous adornments or fancy furniture, to be killed at our whim for being in our way or for daring to share the space we believe to be ours. Human life is not worth more than the lives of other living things. It may be worth far less; considering the harm it does and the destruction it wreaks – on such vast scale.

I serve no purpose. I have no value. I consume. I pollute. I infect. I destroy. I am pestilence. I am death.

I am small and helpless. I am powerless against you. I mean nothing to you. I insult you by being alive.

 If you must poison those that are in your way, start with me.


5 comments on “If I were to take rat poison…

  1. Nice post 🙂

    We’ve had a mouse problem in the house for some time, and every spring I get the humane mouse traps out to see if I can help “transport” the little buggers elsewhere. It’s a hell of a lot of effort, but I couldn’t bring myself to kill a creature that is simply doing all it can to survive… and I know several vegetarians who have no problem putting down poison for “vermin.”

    We seem to have been raised from an early age to see rats and mice as vile, wicked, thieving creatures, when they in fact have a social structure and diversity of character that is no less complex than ours.

    All this said, I did have a nasty incident with a humane trap recently. Tipped out the little thing in my local park, only to discover that I’d captured a pregnant one that had unfortunately given birth in my trap when out tumbled several dead newborns. Haven’t used one since… though I might have to soon. Compassion is all very good, but you really can’t have mice running about your kitchen surfaces.

    And there is a fate a mouse can fall foul of that is far nastier than any poison. It’s called a cat. Found a cruel feline playing with a half-dead rodent in my garden last summer. Shooed the bastard away, but the poor lil’ creature’s innards were spread across the lawn. Had to do the kind thing. I don’t wish cats any harm, but I struggle to understand how anyone who values local wildlife can justify having one as a pet.

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your story Carl; and for doing your best! I’m happy to say I do have some “mouse rescue” stories, so compassionate people do exist. (My mum rang me at work once to impart the Important and Pressing news that she’d rescued a mouse from drowning in the drainpipe outlet in the garden.)

      I take your point about cats – a destructive force that we don’t just tolerate, but propogate. Ships’ cats introduced to remote islands around the world have helped harry along the death of local fauna ill equipped to cope with such predators. My justification – for what it’s worth – for my current three; one adopted me when his owner moved away and left him behind to fend for himself. I’m hopeful his living with me, with access to tasty, convenient food, meant he hunted less than he would have if left feral. The other two are indoor cats rendered homeless following a housing eviction. Every one I’ve had has happened upon me via fateful circumstance; elderly, deaf and abandoned in a car park, left for dead with liver cancer, partially blind and suffering dermatitis (ie too expensive to bother with) and, my personal favourite, the emotional blackmail job; “either you take him, or I’m having him put down”. And so on. Even “companions” can be cruelly dealt with once they’re deemed of no value.

  2. You’re a kind soul. A similar attitude has left me with an elderly greyhound in the past, and presently 4 mad male rats rather than the far more tolerable 2 I was planning on getting. But I regret nothing.

    I’m not a cat hater, I probably should add (also the idea of pissing off cat lovers terrifies me”). They are beautiful creatures in their own highly efficient way, and have suffered as much cruelty from man as they inflict on their afternoon playthings. The difference is that we should have the brains to… not necessarily know better, but perhaps strive for better.

    • “Strive for better” – that is a brilliant tenet. Yes we should. And many do. This piece was inspired by hearing a vegetarian talk recently about the animals she happily poisons, and also from her views about which animals do and don’t deserve to live. I’m so saddened by the superiority demonstrated by some. It’s also about our greater impact on our planet – how we consume and waste at a spectacular rate. We’ll even use up our oxygen if we continue as we are – it’s not sustainable. I hope I hope I hope humanity continues to wake up and look to its habits. We must change our ways if any of us are to survive.

  3. Very powerful piece. Never thought about this, although I have never killed anything myself as I reflect. No one should play God with death, there are always other options.

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