Yesterday I Became A Killer…


I’m not sure why I’m sharing this story…but I guess it affected me more than I had expected. Yesterday, I became a killer…a cold-blooded killer. Now in this life I have, as most people, been in some way connected to the termination of life on this planet. If you are a meat eater, I need say no more. If you have ever worn leather, squished a bug, or euthanized a pet, I need say no more. But yesterday was different. Yesterday, I beat a rat to death with a shovel. That’s right…a rat.

You may now be breathing a sigh of relief, or even laughing at the perceived silliness of this statement. However, try as I might to rationalize my action with facts about how much disease these creatures can carry, or what a destructive nuisance rats can become, if allowed to breed and eventually enter my home…or even the fact that this particular rat was obviously suffering a previous injury, spilling the blood of this helpless creature with a couple of swift blows of a shovel blade has left me shaken.

I have always considered myself a peaceful individual, and a lover of all creation. But faced with the alternatives in that moment yesterday, I chose to strike the life from another living being with vicious and precise force.

What, if any, is the lesson in this? Perhaps in a somewhat “positive” light, this proves that when push comes to shove, I will do whatever I deem necessary to protect my home and family. Now this may seem like a bit of a stretch. But having (albeit reluctantly) killed a relatively helpless living thing, I truly believe that in some way it might have been easier to attack a human being threatening violence against my family or me. At least he or she could have fought back.

Or maybe, on the darker side, I have discovered a frightening truth about myself. Maybe the truth is that yesterday it did not actually become a killer, but rather I unleashed the killer that has always been in me…the killer that, given the right circumstances, would likely rear its ugly head in any of us.

I hope I never really know.

26 / May / 2008  English   

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