What do you mean "is it ok"?cherrytigerbarb wrote:Is it ok to kill ticks and fleas if it's to save the life of an infested animal?
OK with whom or what?
One might ask, "Is it in line with the Buddha's teachings to kill ticks and fleas if it's to save the life of an infested animal?"
Or one might ask, "Is killing always an unwholesome act which leads to suffering? Or is it sometimes a wholesome act which leads to pleasure? Is it ever a wholesome act which leads to peace?"
I have read a lot of scriptures and I have never come across one which says "killing is sometimes a wholesome act". So as far as I can tell, no it is not in line with the Buddha's teachings.
I think if I owned a dog I would feel compelled to keep it safe from ticks and fleas. My choice would be to use a repellant. If there was no such choice, if my only choice was some sort of poison, then I think I would just not own a dog.
If I were to walk in high grass, I would wear long clothes and use repellant.
My point is, I do not think we find ourselves in an unavoidable situation where killing fleas and wasps is the only course of action. If you choose to keep a dog then you also choose everything that comes with it.
I find wasp nests around my home regularly. The thoughts which arise are not ones of compassion for my family. The thoughts which arise are fear for my families well being. Fear, last I checked, is not a wholesome thought. Killing wasps because I fear the pain they might cause my family would not be a wholesome act.
I'm trying to use fake wasp nests to discourage them from building their nests near my house. We'll see how that goes.
Some posts in this thread have suggested killing with a thought of compassion. I don't see how that would work. There might be, in that series of thoughts, a thought of compassion for the animal infested with the ticks, but it is impossible that would be the only thought which arises. There are, in such situations, many different thoughts. At some point there will be the weighing of one life against another, which I'm pretty sure is not a wholesome thought. And there will inevitably have to be the thoughts concerned with the killing itself. The thought "I will end the life of this being" must arise. That I understand to be an unwholesome thought, regardless of what other thoughts preceded it. There seems to be some suggestions in this thread that the killing thought somehow becomes wholesome if it's preceded by other wholesome thoughts. I do not recall reading anything like that in the Buddha's teachings.