Maybe your Uncle Lester, a determined foe of garden pests, likes to tease about starting a “save the earwigs” campaign. Or a winking colleague proposes a new pressure group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects—the acronym is pronounced “petty.” Invertebrate conservation biology is a subject made to order for gibes. Homo sapiens is for the most part a vertebrocentric species, prejudging the spineless classes as near invisible and boring at best, and as ugly, small, mean, indestructible, overfecund disease vectors at worst.
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