I thought I was safe. I thought I got away from all the killings if I stick to what I am conducting research on… Which is wastewater. How can you kill anything if you are dealing with poop day in and day out?
I was wrong.
The first time I realize this dilemma was when I was comparing what protein standard to use to quantify the proteins colometrically. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, cow blood) was what they used in the literature. Then I found casein, a milk protein, and I had to resist the urge to buy much more expensive plant proteins.
So okay, that was that. Then, when I went sampling today, from the trickling filter effluent of wastewater treatment process… Normally the effluent should be nice and clean, maybe a little colored, but this one had several bugs in there: a swimming anthropod-like creature, 3+ worm-like creature, and some looked like mosquito larvae.
So I made the decision to kidnap them from the lab and “liberated” them in a santuary. And I thought about what I have done. I have just poured some treated wastewater into a natural water body. What did I do?!
On a side note, it is also a dilemma when I want to conserve resources. What do you do when you go to Target to print pictures, and you start printing with the printer, then you find out that you can save 50% if you print with 1-hr photo, and the Target employee actually encourages you to do that and tells you that he will shred all the pictures from the printer and print all those pictures with 1-hr photo without extra charge?
I bet most people would let the Target employ to shred the pictures and then print with 1-hr photo to save money. So what about the ink and the paper that will go to waste? Do you choose money or resources?