I’m an expert at coaxing insects into overturned cups. I slide a piece of paper under them, careful not to pinch any one of their numerous legs in the process and I deposit them outside to enjoy their freedom as nature intended.

But the other day I killed a spider.

I tried to get it into a cup, but IT DIDN’T FIT. That’s how big this sucker was. My dog was chasing it, trying to eat it and I was wondering if it would kill her. I was trying to figure out if I had time to Google poisonous spider photos, when it scurried under a reusable shopping bag. As Gracie was whining and scratching at the bag trying to get at her (potentially deadly) prey, I took the opportunity of not having to watch my terrible deed…and I squished it.

It all happened so fast.

I still feel shitty about it. Immediately after my murderous spree, I burst into remorseful tears and when J got home from work, I relayed the story, cried again, and then informed him of his husbandly duty to clean up my carnage. The body was where I had left it, under the “I Love My Mother Earth” Whole Foods bag.

The hypocrisy was not lost on me.

But it got me thinking about this whole vegetarian lifestyle I’ve been living for the past 29 years. While this slaughter was a rare and unwelcomed experience, and some might think that I was being overly dramatic (like that ever happens) it really is important to me to not kill. Anything. A life is a life – and it makes even less sense to kill something you are not going to eat, like a spider, than it does to kill something and eat it.

So, let me publicly express my regret to the too-big-to-fit-in-a-cup spider in my living room. I’m sorry I squished you. Thank you for reminding me that my vegetarianism is not because I like yoga or I want to be skinny or that I like the hippy-dippy sound of it. It’s because I value life. All life.

Even the life of a big, hairy, scary spider about to crawl on my couch.

And with that, have a very fun, scary and safe Halloween!!!