An Ethical Dilemma

I was making my way through the raspberry patch last week when I came upon two praying mantises clearly engaged in reproductive activity. I know that the female praying mantis frequently follows this interlude by eating the male. In fact, the female often begins the reproductive relationship by biting off the male’s head. Mantises are not the only species known to lose their heads over specimens of the other gender. In Henry VIII’s case, it was sometimes the female who lost her head. But more often among humans the head-losing is metaphorical only.

Be that as it may, here was a male mantis having what was probably going to be a once in a lifetime experience. What to do?

Being a male myself, I found myself alarmed for the male mantis. Was it my duty to rescue him from his fate?

But if I did, where would next year’s mantises come from? Should I rescue one male and eliminate all his potential offspring?

Where would a Right to Life advocate do in my situation? What would the Supreme Court say?

Reluctantly, I decided I couldn’t watch the potential manticide and walked on trying to concentrate on raspberries. I haven’t been back to see what insect blood and body parts may be there but from time to time I find myself thinking about it again and wondering whether I will be held accountable at the last judgment.

Ethics isn’t easy!

Leave a comment

Your comment