In learning more about the tsetse fly I see the great controversy involved with it. I don’t have the answers to what is right and wrong with accord to the situation so I hope that this blog can be become sort of a discussion among the class where we can all share our different opinions. To gain a little background on this small and seemingly insignificant creature I will give a little wikipedia briefing.The tsetse fly is abundant in Africa and is very similar in appearance to a house fly. It feeds by sucking the blood of vertabrate animals including humans. They carry strains of the disease trypanosomiases, which is a single celled organism that causes sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle. Primary symptoms include fever, headache and joint pains and then progresses once it diffuses past the blood brain barrier. Once It does it becomes neurological and creates confusion, reduced coordination etc. and if untreated is invariably fatal. This is the outcome for most Africans due to cost and inaccessibility to proper medication. Before death the lymph system is attacked and anemia sets in causing swelling of the lymph nodes. People live in pain and with horrible swelling until their mind is slowly taken from them. Typically the fly will only produce four offspring in one year and carries larvae internally until it is placed in the sand to emerge shortly later. The fly can produce up to 31 generations in its lifetime. It would most certainly be unacceptable to allow these people to live in pain and die prematurely without doing anything to stop the epidemic. Many drastic measures have been done in order to do so as we talked about in class but were not successful. In doing so many other species were harmed. Beyond that the attempt to exterminate an entire species seems morally wrong. As stewards of this world it we must be very careful in deciding that a species which God has placed here should be removed. At the same time he has given us the ability to take care of ourselves and manipulate nature in order to prolong our lives and live without unnecessary pain. There also arises the question of what long term affects would be had by taking part of an ecosystem away. What other things are suppressed by it or what else is dependant upon it. These are things that we will find out once actions have taken place and in the past we have found that the problems caused are greater than the problems had. It’s like the commercials on TV. Take this pill to alleviate sweaty palms, side affects include, diarrhea, heart disease, insomnia, back pain, front pain, side pain, osteoporosis, pregnancy, baldness, hair in odd places and a runny nose. Thanks but I’ll take the sweaty palms. Not to degrade by any means the suffering endured by these people but who knows what could be unleashed. I feel that if I had the opportunity to act and make a better life for my fellow brothers and sisters and didn’t do so. I would be quite ashamed upon meeting them in the next life. Please share your feelings on this dilemma. I feel something must be done but should we take caution in obliterating one of God’s species.
I guess maybe an alternative question might be what causes the fly to carry the trypanosomiases disease strand and what are the possibilities or eliminating the disease from the fly creating a "pure" species. This way the disease is eliminated and the tsetse fly can live on.
I think the above post is the best solution, but who knows if it's feasible or not. My personal belief is that though we must recognize the value of all life, we must also put a price on suffering and pain. If the tsetse fly could be eliminated without greatly changing the ecosystem, I would recommend it. But I might also change my mind if I studied the animal more.
Thank you for this blog. I think this situation occurs more often then no in our world. We are so quite to eleminate something that is bothersome. I think sometimes pests and pestilences happen or are created to balance the earth. If we as humans always try to eleminate the problem i think greater problems will arise when there is no more room for everything and everyone on the earth.