I have no interest in the incident particularly but it started me thinking, am I discriminatory in the way I view others, namely in making a vertebrate/non-vertebrate distinction? On Saturday Merry and I were at a BBQ to celebrate Pioneer Day (I should note that we were not celebrating the Donners at this BBQ) and I tripped over a cinder block, which caused me to lose the hot dog I was so eager to eat. As I picked up the hot dog off the ground and started to eat it I noticed that I had unwittingly exposed an entire city of snails to examination by the kids (it made me think of Godzilla poking around in a trailer park).
It kind of makes me wonder why they would have a "Godzilla v. Mothra" but not "Godzilla v. Snailtron", yet another one of life's persistent questions
After looking at the snails for a while and talking about how gross they were, the kids did what naturally follows and picked up the snails and started playing with them; much as Godzilla would play with a Japanese businessman before eating him. Needless to say this was distressing to Merry and several of the other women who repeatedly enjoined the children to leave the poor snails alone.
At the time I thought all the angst over the snails was a bit overblown, I mean, if the French children can eat them for lunch, shouldn't the American children be able to play with them after dinner? Of course this line of reasoning has its problems which returns me to my initial point about not celebrating the Donners as a part of our BBQ. After a great deal of thinking about snails and my own prejudices I realized that I harbor a very strongly held prejudice against things without back bones.
When it comes to the invertebrates I am kind of a jerk, I let children terrorize snails with impunity, I eat lobster and crab without a thought of remorse, and I kill house flies and mosquitos with a gusto; in fact I seek out opportunities to smash them. All of this pondering leads me to realize that although my prejudices will probably never raise the ire of our president, they will probably raise the ire of Merry when I let our children enjoy ravaging colonies of snails and rolly pollys.