He’s got the right idea.
If you can’t ‘prove’ that the cat is standing - why presume that the man is?
Or even the trolley car? All dead, flattened and arranged. Aargh!
No wonder the man’s face is appalled.
I steered a weevil away from an inhabited spiderweb the other day, in view of the spider. I felt instantly bad about it but know that the spider chose a very good spot for its web, where many other insects live. I assume the spider has my name on some kind of list now. Hopefully the majority of good deeds I do for spider-kind makes up for this small infraction.
(I might have a soft spot for weevils.)
Agree with @sedgequeen that this is an amoral issue. However, I’ve also rescued a baby Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) partially stuck in a Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)'s web. I’m not sure if it’s because it was much larger than the spider or that I found the lizard to be closer to the “cute” end of an icky vs cute scale than the spider or that I have more empathy/bitterness after being bit by one.
Edit: Not saying either of these is cuter/more deserving. I think both are worthy of appreciation, just looking at split-second, in-the-moment thinking, something akin to implicit bias for natural world?
I think that was a good thing to do, I would feel bad for the lizard as well and also that spider wouldn’t even be able to eat it (I believe only tarantulas and other large tropical spiders eat vertebrates). So the lizard would probably just die there without being eaten.
My moms answers:
- She’s allergic to shellfish, so the lobsters were her first choice.
2: If the cat isn’t stuck, you could always have the trolly go towards the cat as it would most likely jump of the track. The lobsters are out of water, which limits their mobility.
Thought I’d share :)
if you saw the same moth fly into the spiderweb, but not because it was fleeing from your finger, would you still have tried to rescue it?
If this is even drawn roughly to scale, I’d feel much more threatened by a cat as large (or larger) as myself than 5 giant (but presumably less speedy) lobsters.
But the cat’s speed and agility would also almost guarantee it would not likely get hit. Can’t say the same from the titanic crustaceans.
But first I’d stop and take some pics, of course.
On a related note, black widows (and other spiders) definitely can kill and eat lizards that get stuck in their webs. If the spiders get one, it may be the only prey item they need to reproduce.
Examples from Sceloporus and Anoles.
Didn’t know that, guess I underestimated the size of the black widow in comparison to the baby lizard. I thought they would be unable to digest the lizard. I still think I would’ve felt bad for the lizard in that case because its sounds like a very slow and painful death, but at the same time a lizard is an useful prey item for the spider. It’s something to think about.
This seems very smart. I do the same thing. I feel like if no spider will benefit from catching an animal in its web then no bug should be killed. If a spider is present however, I feel like it is wrong to the spider to free the bug. Great idea!
Gee, I have steered flies INTO spiderwebs, but never rescued them.
I think I wrote about this elsewhere, but basically, I encountered a great jumping spider vs big blue bottle fly battle in my house on a windows pane. After that, no more fly swatting – I’d just steer (or capture release) the flies into that window. I learned a lot about spider behaviour watching these encounters.
And these days, if I see a big web, I’ll always peruse with my camera in hopes of catching something I’ve not seen, trapped in the threads.
I guess I would make a lousy Jain.
I generally try not to interfer and remind myself I’m fortunate enough to observe death and life.
I’m an omnivore myself even if it’s been 4-5 years (maybe more?) since I killed my own meat. Why should I prohibit another animal from doing so? I’ve killed badly injured animals–road injuries–time or two if it was safe for me to do so but that’s about it. I’m not a god, I’m not judging between a spider and a fly. Or a coyote and a rabbit.
14 years vegetarian now – but I still don’t prohibit another animal from killing for meat. I do wonder, though, about having a carnivore under my care. If I buy cat food, the animals killed to make the cat food were, in some sense, killed at my behest. And when I had a black widow, and would catch an insect to feed her, I would say that I am at least as responsible for that insect’s death as she was. I’ll leave it at that, because further thoughts would bring up questions of dharma, which is not a concept that I understand all that well.
There’s also an observation on iNat of a spider (orbweaver?) eating a Mediterranean House Gecko.
I’m trying to find it.
Plus, if a cat or spider died of starvation because of your own actions, wouldn’t that make you morally responsible for their deaths too?
I pretty much never do this. If a spider doesn’t eat, it’s going to die of starvation. I’m not sure I get to decide that the spider is less “worthy” or to decide to rescue a certain bug but not another. I’m a vegetarian but that’s my choice as a human, not something I can just impose on a spider.
(I’ve never seen lizards get caught in webs so that’s not a scenario I’ve had to consider before)