Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan politics]

Monsoons, Mosquitoes & Moral dilemmas

It's officially summer monsoon season! Last week there was a crazy beautiful thunderstorm that got me all excited. Maybe it's because I have such great childhood memories of doing 'rain dances,' or playing mud soccer at my Ivory Coast boarding school, but I simply love the sound of rain on a tin roof, and thunder in the air.. Especially when I'm curled up in bed. There's something about the way it makes everything smell fresher, the way it cleanses the earth, cools everything down, and makes people take notice of nature's power and presence. It's. Just. Awesome.

Now, what's not awesome are the mosquitoes that have decided to come out and feast on my vegan blood! Those little vampires. I think there are a lot of varying opinions among vegans when it comes to killing mosquitoes and other insects. Some believe that no matter what, even mosquitoes have the right to live, whereas others believe that they probably can't feel pain, and that killing them would be an act of self-defense, since they can spread malaria or even the West Nile virus. I'm not afraid of insects in general, and do not kill insects like flies or beetles. However, I will admit, I do kill mosquitoes from time to time. Their buzzing just freaks me out! And they seriously devour me all over. I swear, in the summer, it looks like I have the pox or massive pimples on my face. I don't know how they even get into my apartment since all the windows are covered with netting, and I don't have pools of stagnant water where they can breed. But it's summer in Korea, so you just can't get away from them.

If I were still living in West Africa, I would feel less guilt about smashing a mosquito since I have gotten malaria several times there and wouldn't risk my health or my life in that case. However, I'm not living in Ghana anymore, and malaria is non-existent in Korea, so I do feel some remorse about it. I know I could use repellent, but I don't like smelling like chemicals. I'm going to try to find more repelling methods to hopefully solve this problem.

But I'm also curious as to what other vegans think about this issue. Would you kill a mosquito if it was biting you to itchy bits in the middle of the night, or would you just shoo it away and hope that it shows some compassion in return?