What would you say to a kid, age 7 or 8, who was swatting butterflies with a tennis racket? There isn’t a plausible defense other than he was a kid. For me, I was that boy at one time, lucky enough to grow up in the country by a nearby field loaded with butterflies, mostly Monarchs, every summer. But I had no sense of the “environment,” in fact, I’m certain I didn’t know the term. My narrow minded goal was to stun the insect and put it in a mason jar with holes punched in the lid. Eventually, our neighbor gave me a butterfly net with the provision that I wouldn’t swat anymore and that I’d learn something about the life of a butterfly. I followed orders.
As I look back at my posts of the past year, I note that many have photos of various butterflies. I have flowers that attract them. This coming of age is not guilt, although I am sure there is a therapist out there willing to produce such an analysis.