I twittered about this news stories first thing this morning. But I am sufficiently disgusted by it to want to let blog readers know too. A woman bought a LIVE jewel and gold encrusted beetle brooch complete with attached chain in Mexico. She declared it at a Texas customs station upon entry into the US. Officials confiscated the poor thing. The woman was not charged because she had properly declared it as all moving insects (and potential pests) have to be. This screen capture is from the Guardian video.

According to the Daily Mail (which has more pictures), Jackie O might have been given one too when she was First Lady.  The practice is apparently not uncommon in some places. Beetles have been jewelry inspirations for centuries. There's nothing wrong with having a gold or silver beetle pin but a living creature doesn't deserve to be treated like this.  Did the woman even think about feeding the beetle to keep it alive?

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