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Why Love a Leech?

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on July 1, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/07/01/love-leech/

leech

Image courtesy of Ryan Wick/Flickr.

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent essay I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “Why Love a Leech?”:

Few people love, let alone appreciate, invertebrates. And there are good reasons not to love those creatures who sting us (wasps and bees), bite us (black flies), suck our blood (leeches), transmit diseases (mosquitoes, deer ticks), eat our food (miller moths, agricultural “pests”) and/ or destroy our homes (carpenter ants, termites).

But legitimate concerns about certain invertebrates often cause us to dislike them all (with the exception of the pretty or cute ones, like butterflies and ladybugs). This not only leads to all sorts of environmental problems as we attempt to eradicate them with poisons, but also prevents us from experiencing the reverence that virtually all creatures can inspire if we examine them closely, appreciate them cautiously, and protect ourselves only appropriately and wisely.

Read the complete essay.