Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The bold cricket goes first...

There are times when owning a lizard seems cruel. At first, I tried converting him into a vegetarian. Then when I caved and bought crickets, I found myself apologizing profusly to them. Some people encourage dusting the crickets with protein and "gut loading" them... something I find even more cruel. Just the term "gut-loading" sounds nothing short of gross, a term I think of after over-eating and indulging on something I know I'll regret later. However, I have now had Sizzle (the star fo the video) for over a year and in that time span, my view towards the crickets has changed. The more I learn about them, the more I am calloused to the fact that they are bred for food. For starters, they are packaged with egg crate. Why? Because it keeps them busy. The one time I opted not to get the egg crate, they turned on each other and became canabalistic. Half of the crickets didn't survive. The other day, I carried them from my car to my classroom only to find them ALL belly up and sliding around the plastic bag. I placed the bag under a heating lamp and they all came back to life. It reminded me of the scene from Finding Nemo when he pretends to be dead so he'll get flushed down the "porcelin express"- but these guys would end up suffocating. Personally, I'd rather be eaten and have it done with rather than die a slow, drawn out death, having to fight off my own species... eat or be eaten. Reminds me of the movie about the plane crash in Argentina; eventually, after days in the Andes, they end up having to eat human flesh to survive. Tough call. Tastes like chicken? At least if it could be breaded and deep fried (doesn't that make everything taste better?), but that wasn't really an option for them. Somehow this blog has turned out to be a rather morbid one. I will say that I do try to make their lives as comfy as possible until their doom. Lots of foliage (albeit fake, I don't think they know the difference), places to hide (if they are smart enough to know that this will prolong their life), food, water, etc. I even rescue them when I see them flailing in the water dish, though to be honest, this sometimes does more harm than good. I found out the hard way that their limbs are extremely fragile, and that they sometimes continue to twitch after disconnected from the body. Adult crickets eat their babies if they are not removed from the container after they hatch. This in my mind makes them heartless and worthy of being consumed. Any species that goes through the trouble of reproducing only to eat their offspring (I know they are several others that do this) should be low on the food chain. And for now, they are. Unlike roaches. I read somewhere once that in the event of a nuclear disaster, roaches would survive. Could you imagine emmerging from a nuclear shelter only to find everything gone but roaches? I'd have to crawl back and live my existance underground. Hopefully, someone has a can opener!

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