Yes, human beings are, by far, the world’s worst pests! Far more heinous because we know what we’re doing and continue! We react in horror when we hear of aquatic animals choking on plastic as we put pounds of it into our shopping carts. I read a report that said that an estimated 3% of the 52 billion masks made for COVID this year will end up polluting the ocean.
For me, a householder with a home, vegetable gardens and landscaping, I have animals that I must live with but try and figure out how to not harm them while not allowing them to harm me. We keep a clean house and still, over the years, rats get into the attic somehow. They chew into the wiring insulation and I lost one electrical system, so I don’t want it to become a bad situation. I have two traps that I have caught over a dozen rats and I release them far enough away from the house so that they can’t return. I wonder if, by depriving them of their territory, I’m harming them. What does a snake handler do with the snake after it’s caught? I know it’s the way nature works, but wouldn’t using a cat as a rat killer be the same as using a mechanical trap as a killer?
I have a gopher problem. They tunnel underground extensively, eating the roots of the plants.W hen I plant new ones, I use wire mesh underneath them to protect the roots. Last summer I shoveled out all of the dirt from each one of the raised beds for vegetables and installed wire mesh. This year I didn’t lose any vegetables to gophers.
I know that by constructing a building, we’re the intruders, displacing the animals and insects. It just got me wondering how Buddhist monasteries and temples deal with these things when prevention doesn’t work.