Snail (2012-04-21)

I was walking home and I saw some snails, it was still raining softly and I was under my umbrella. I heard a soft crunch under my shoe and I realised I had stepped on one, and I felt bad, I would have avoided it if I’d seen it. Sometimes I move them off the footpath if I feel like they’re in a dangerous location. I felt like I shouldn’t feel bad if I didn’t even know it was there and didn’t step on it on purpose. I wondered why when it was the same thing, and thought that if I really thought they should be allowed to live and not be stepped on then I should do something to stop them being needlessly slaughtered, like removing them all from all of the footpaths. Actually there is a children’s story kind of like that which I remember now, about the kid who tried to throw all of the beached starfish into the ocean one by one before they all dried out. And then again if I was going to decide it was impossible to do that then I should do something else, like lobby the council to create a safe place for snails where they could all live happily away from the threat of boots and shoes, or insist that we as a society should go barefoot to reduce the chance that we would crush them before the sensitive soles of our feet sensed them and avoided them.

But then after a few minutes I also remembered something else, that I had been eating snails just a couple of days before. I don’t know how this part didn’t immediately come to mind, but I’d had a bit of a debate with myself about whether I could eat them or not, since I eat “seafood but no meat”. And then I’d concluded that snails fall into the same category as seafood because they are sort of like clams and shellfish and I would eat sea snails.

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