February 19, 2016

Comparative Pestitude

A columnist in Toronto's Metro accuses mosquitoes worldwide of exceeding even humans in their 'jerkitude' toward human populations, citing infections in the hundreds of millions (over what period unspecified) and 725,000 deaths  on average every year.

I don't think the judgment's well thought-out here. You know what they'd call a year in which only 725,000 humans were killed by other humans? A year of near-miraculous global harmony, possibly the harmony of true world concord at last. A year of unexampled prosperity across every sector of the population as well, considering the huge death toll each year from malnutrition and poverty-borne illnesses of every description: wipe those out as completely as possible if you want human-sponsored human death tolls to sink anywhere near those attributable to mosquitoes.

Bear in mind that mosquitoes have  no special reason for valuing human life, perhaps no awareness that they threaten it. People do have a special interest, as members of the same species, but that concern seems rarely to slow down very much our prolific murder of each other. When our rate of collective suicide comes down to manageable proportions, we can start presenting bills of indictment against other noxious species perhaps; not before.