Most pagans will profess how much they love nature. This, however, doesn’t extend to our little friends the ticks, leeches, snakes, spiders, mosquitoes, and other critters that make our skin crawl.
Some might ask what is their purpose? How do they serve the Grand Scheme of Things? As much as we hear about ‘food chains’, Life weaves a fascinating web of checks and balances to keep predator and prey in reasonable numbers. Any imbalance ripples through an eco-system that touches many other species.
Some people didn’t understand why its important to protect the Spotted Owl, for instance, but if you remove a predator, that feeds on things like rodents, the rodent population can expand to enormous levels. Its difficult to say what will be affected in the long term.
Another example is how the re-introduction of wolves to areas of the US is realized as having an impact on deer populations which in turn allows the growth of many trees and plants.
Ticks provide a means to transmit disease, and weakens an animal. They serve the darker aspect of Life that balances with death and disease. You might label this as ‘bad’, but without death, you can’t appreciate health and Life. It’s a great cycle.
Stink Bugs, also known as Shield bugs are amazing creatures, being one of the ‘true bugs’ (having a sucking mouth part) that feed on plant sap. The stink, as horrible as it smells, provides a method to protect it from predators. They are considered a delicacy in Laos.
Just watch this snippet from a David Attenborough film about the wonders of nature…
I think by learning about nature, and all of its wonders- both good and the bad- you realize that there’s not really any good or bad, they are ‘are’.