People are so anthropocentric. Yes, some of you have begun granting the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to whales and cows and elephants, to cats and dogs and field mice, even to butterflies and bees. You are proud of being vegetarians, of not using pesticides, of not stomping spiders.
But what of cockroaches? The cold virus? Do you suffer the E. Coli bacterium to live? The mold that burst into life on the old fruit salad in the back of the refrigerator -- do you let it finish its natural cycle of existence, or do you flush its aborted remains down the toilet with a shudder?
And what of dust bunnies?
See? You laugh! You do not even recognize "dust bunnies" as living creatures!
They grow. They move. They obviously reproduce. How are dust bunnies not alive? How do they not deserve the same rights and respect as all other living creatures?
Yet when my friends catch sight of the Dust Bunny Refuge I have created under my couch they recoil. As most bigots do, they will not admit directly to their prejudice against non-traditional forms of life. Instead they accuse me of the sin of Bad Housekeeping. They imply that my claims to be an activist for Dust Bunny Rights are just a cover for bone-deep laziness.
They dramatize sneezes. One even had an asthma attack on my floor, in full sight of the embarrassed Bunnies.
But I have lain long hours on that couch conversing with the Dust Bunnies underneath. In their world, all our dreams and glories are invisible, while microbes are scintillating points of light. They do not have single, scattered meals, but a long slow dreamy process of attracting and ingesting dust and dander and lint and hair. All these particles seem one gray category to us, but to them each precious piece is unique in color and shape and size and scent and flavor. They murmur continuous poetry over each nibble.
I would rather have the songs of my Dust Bunnies than your great noisy vacuum cleaner any day. Keep away! Keep away!
© Anitra L. Freeman, text and Graphics