The Booty of Bugs?

Nov 18, 2013



Comments Off on The Booty of Bugs?

Identifying and categorizing existing dangers has been a very useful tool for our survival. This hierarchical prioritization of threats gives us the confidence to swat a fly (fight) or the fear to run from a hornet (flight). Varying levels of threat posed by living organisms, or the linear displacement of one organism as predator or prey, has resulted in a phenomenon we refer to as the food chain.

We have since used this descriptive as an analogy to imply varying levels of value we each may have in society. “I’m just a receptionist, I am at the bottom of the food chain.” We also use it to intellectually weigh the value of other living creatures. “It’s just an ant,” or “mind that hornet’s nest, they sting!” But does placement on the food chain impact the value of an organism? Anything categorized hierarchically tends to imply degrees of importance.

We are commonly taught to “respect” the creatures that can threaten us and tend to be less mindful to those that don’t. Does the food chain imply that insects are less important than mammals or does this mean that one species is more valuable to us, weighed by threat, than another? Bugs, above all, seem to get misinterpreted quite a bit.

The food chain really exists. An ecosystem is a collection of interactions that result in life. Existing requires energy so each participant in that ecosystem must serve as an energy source. Simply put, regardless of the position on the food chain, one organism equally serves as a life source for another. Ecosystems are relentlessly efficient. That means nothing exists within it that does not help sustain it. From this angle, each unit is as significant as the other.

Regardless of how we intellectualize the ecosystem, the facts are that we could not live without insects. They help pollinate our trees so that they can bear fruit, they assist in the transformation of dead things into useful things, they provide us with food (honey) and clothing (silk) and they sustain ecological balances so we can grow crops. They have maintained such a long and obvious presence in our lives. As long as we have existed, their orchestral buzz has woven our air with the composition of life.

Insects can serve as great teachers when used to metaphorically represent large human concepts such as luck, patience, endurance and reincarnation. For instance, businesses look to the bees for techniques in cooperation and productivity, science and religion look to the dragonflies and butterflies for physical and existential metamorphosis. When carefully examined, insects offer lessons in operation; how to successfully function. Some may rank high on our “Eek!” scale but others, like the ladybug, are wonderful tutors for tolerance. Fireflies can illustrate the beauty of our inner light, ants are miniature architects, spiders are visionary weavers, and praying mantises are perfect symbols of contemplation and patience. There is much, indeed, to learn from the smallest of creatures, even those at the “bottom” of the food chain.

We all know what it’s like to get a bad rap, be underestimated and devalued. Insects can serve as profound champions to many of our emotional challenges so that’s why Shaboo Prints chooses to feature insects in its designs as authorities in being underrated. In their plight for existence, they have become living examples of reflective philosophy. Shaboo Prints proudly uses insects to illustrate many human concepts and characteristics and hopes to help sustain the perception that they are important and deserve respect, same as you!

May you float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!