Condon was cruel

I'm responding to "The Buzz on Bees" [Gimme Shelter column, August 18] and Marlene Condon's letter to the editor [August 25: "Bowls banish bees"].

While I strongly agree with the admonition to pollute less, I am deeply concerned about defining others with whom we share this planet as "problems." I was horrified by Condon's image of yellow jackets trapped, confused, struggling, and finally becoming dehydrated and dying– all because they live where we don't want them.

This perspective profoundly disturbs me because I see its devastating consequences in the world: I define you as a problem. Therefore, I will kill you.

 We humans would do well to remember that we are a part of the precious Web of Life. Yellow jackets, wasps, and bees do wonderful things for us: they play a vital role in limiting other species of plants and insects, they are eaten by many other species as food, and they are important pollinators. Without pollination, we would have no food.

Unlike us, these animals attack only in defense. I don't deny that there are many "pests." But from mosquitoes to mice to the Middle East, we are clever enough to figure out ways to deal with them without destroying the environment or ourselves in the process. A paradigm shift away from the "kill" response to a recognition of mutuality is needed if we are to survive.

Where does our "culture of death" ultimately take us? I submit, to our own annihilation. Perhaps the better question is how do we embrace a peaceful, cooperative philosophy of Life? How do we practice sustainability and respect for all?

If you are thinking, "Come on! It's just a bunch of yellow jackets!" then I ask you to consider the next guy who says, "It's just a dog. It's just a forest. It's just the ocean. It's just an Iraqi baby."

R.S. Faris