by Phillip Vanwinkle
JANUARY 26, 2019

Of Sea Monkeys and Men

When I was a child I used to read comic books, actually, I still do.  I recall that, in the back of those comics were advertisements for different types of toys and children’s paraphernalia. You could send off certain amounts of money and get some really awesome X-ray glasses, a Daisy Red Ryder Rifle, Hand buzzers, full size monster cut-outs, all sorts of really cool things. But the only thing I ever ordered was “Sea Monkeys.” They were free, with 10 proofs of purchase. So I saved and saved my proofs of purchases and I sent off for those Sea Monkeys.

It seemed like an eternity waiting for the mail to arrive with my monkeys. And when it finally happened I was ecstatic. I poured those little sea monkeys into their new home. A large glass jar that my mom had stored under the kitchen sink. I had put small rocks in it, and a plastic leaf from my mother’s fake plant in the laundry room.

Then, I poured those little dry specks into the water, and watched as they sprang to life before my eyes. They were real, they were tiny, and they were alive. And for a while, I really loved them.

As I continued to grow, my interests grew too. I became fascinated with turtles. All types of turtles. In my neighborhood, any time someone found a turtle, they would bring it to me, and I would care for it. At one time I had amassed a total of 54 turtles. Most lived out in an old abandoned ‘chicken coup’ out in the back field, while the water turtles spent their time in the blue plastic swimming pool that was filled with sand, dirt, rocks and worms.

I did have two very special turtles at this time. One was a baby red-eared slider, the other was a tiny musk turtle. I kept the two of them in a 10 gallon aquarium in my bedroom.

One day I went to the pet store, and I told the man behind the counter that I wanted some water turtle food. He took me over to a large aquarium, scooped a large scoop of water, filled with what he called “brine shrimp” and told me “these are feeder fish for turtles.”

The more I watched, the more I began to realize, these were not brine shrimp… they were Sea Monkeys. My heart skipped a beat… I felt sad, and I was horrified at the idea of feeding Sea Monkeys to my turtles. But, soon enough I allowed the “authority” on all things ‘pets’ to persuade me, so I dropped the Sea Monkeys into the turtle’s tank.  I saw how active and happy that those Sea Monkeys made my turtles. The turtles almost seemed to be smiling at me. Saying “Thank you Phillip for such a great treat, we love to have this food, it is much better than the tiny sticks of algae that you feed us.” Soon, in my mind, those little boogers were not “Sea Monkeys” at all, they were just food for my turtles.

I soothed my young conscience, by simply thinking ‘differently’ about those little, tiny living beings. I called them ‘brine shrimp’ or ‘turtle feeders’ because it broke my heart a little to refer to them as “Sea Monkeys.”

What is the point? Sometimes, we do things that we know are wrong but we convince ourselves that they are ‘okay’ by simply calling them something else, or viewing them in a different way.

Back in our “younger years”, Americans understood that when a male and a female came together in a sexual way, once the girl was pregnant, a baby child was the natural conclusion.

The male of the relationship understood his responsibility. The female understood that soon, she would have a child, and soon enough that child would either be loved and cared for by the mother and father or would be placed for adoption, and adopted by some loving couple who could care for the child.

But, now… sadly… things have changed.

When a couple decides to sleep together today what happens? A baby right? Same actions, same results, right?

Well… Is it possible that we could, somehow think differently about that child, perhaps call it by a different name?

I mean, what if that couple did not have to bear that responsibility? Is there a way that they could both be “off the hook” and not have to put up with the inconvenience of having a child? Indeed there is. Simply kill the child. Then, there is no need to worry about that terrible inconvenience. After all, killing children is fine, right? Of course it isn’t.

But here is the rub. Just like my juvenile mind thought, I could easily soothe my conscience just by changing the name. Just by creating a ‘less than’ idea about those tiny living creatures, it was easy to send them to be slaughtered by those eager turtles.

In order for my turtles to maintain their lifestyle, in order for my turtles to remain happy, those little boogers had to die. After all, they weren’t “Sea Monkeys” no, no… they were just ‘turtle food.’

And what have we done with the child growing in the womb of countless thousands of ladies? I mean, in order for the ladies to maintain their lifestyles, in order for them to remain happy, those ‘little boogers’ have to die too. And so we conveniently change the name from a baby, or a child, to something “less than” human. Something like, “Fetus” or “Embryo” or a “Growth” or a hundred other names that are more suitable. Because it is easier to kill a growth, than it is a child. It doesn’t harm our conscience to get rid of an embryo, but we’d never want to kill our own baby. So, we do what I did as a little boy, we change the name, think of it as ‘less than’ and soothe our consciences about the matter.

Somewhere, even in my tiny juvenile brain. I knew down deep in my gut, that I was murdering hundreds of ‘innocent’ little Sea Monkeys every time I dumped them into that turtle tank.

And I truly believe, when we are honest with ourselves, we know that the little ‘growth’ inside of a female is a child.

But be that as it may, whether a person ‘believes’ that the ‘growth’ inside the lady is a child or a fetus, or a blob of goo. God calls that growth a baby.

 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (Luke 1:44)

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; (Jeremiah 1:5)

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. (Psa. 139:13)

Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15)

 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (John 16:21)

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. (Ruth 4:13)


May God help us to be a people who are responsible, a people who will not run from the choices that we have made. Good or bad, we must accept the consequence of the choices that we make. Calling a Sea Monkey “Turtle Food” in order to escape the guilt of killing all those creatures that I at one time loved, doesn’t change the fact, that I had killed hundreds of Sea Monkeys. And calling a child something other than a child, does not change the fact, that ladies are killing thousands of innocent children. 

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