AR-FAQ - #40

#40 Do I have to be careful not to walk on ants?

The Jains of India would say yes! Some of their more devout members wear gauze masks to avoid inhaling and killing small insects and microbes. Regardless of how careful we are, we will cause some suffering as a side-effect of living. The goal is to avoid unnecessary suffering and to minimize the suffering we cause. This is a far cry from wanton, intentional infliction of cruelty. I refer here to the habit of some of pulling off insects' wings for fun, or of torching a congregation of ants for pleasure. This question is an issue for the individual conscience to decide. Perhaps one need not walk around looking out for ants on the ground, but should one be seen and it is easy to alter one's stride to avoid it, where is the harm in doing so? DG

SEE ALSO: #39, #41