What Is Poison?
Poison in the context of biology is a substance that causes a chemical or molecular reaction which is considered "harmful" or "irritating" and effects which could lead to death. Poisons are generally divided between toxins and venoms. Venoms are poisons that are injected via a bite or sting where toxins are usually the potions created from natural sources to serve a purpose such as control weeds. Many creatures don't want to necessarily use their poisons at all. Many animals, particularly frogs/toads and insects will display bright colors that indicate they are poisonous. If a bird eats enough poison red bugs that are easy to spot they overall as a species seem to have the ability to learn this is a bad thing. That process probably takes or took a long time and created quite a few sick or dead birds in the process. It's possible that the birds drawn to red bugs just died or didn't thrive as well as the birds that had brains enough to avoid the poison red bugs in the first place. Hard to blame the bugs if they are displaying "Hey stupid, I'm poison!!! Stay the hell away!!!"
Uses of Poison
Poison isn't just for killing things or making them sick. There are actually several good uses for poison and many helpful things aren't even poisonous at all as long as you don't ingest too much or expose yourself for too long. Many medicines that cure and are needed for good health become "poisonous" when you don't follow the recommended doses.
Alcohol for example, is a substance many people ingest and enjoy when done in moderation but there is a line that can be crossed where you could suffer from alcohol poisoning and many people each year die from doing just that. What's odd is that even after a person has a close call with certain poisons like alcohol, they are still drawn to it. They think they can handle the good effects and avoid the bad but sadly millions of people can not and never realize they just need to avoid that poison all together.
A poison that doesn't kill you but yet you continuously expose yourself to can actually change your biochemistry and make you turn into something you are not and can't escape from the rest of your life. Sometimes the worst effects of poison isn't death at all, but is the aftermath and destruction of people's lives from its continued use.
A different kind of poison is the poison that can be a bad relationship. As Alice Cooper wails about in his song "Poison", he has relationships that are poisonous. He's drawn to women that are no good for him. He just can't seem to help himself. This kind of poison might be the most insidious of all. I think at times we have relationships that don't work and it isn't as if the person is rat poison, it's possible they are even more like a beneficial medicine we take too much of. Sometimes the toxicity is just inherent.
Relationships can be like alcohol. Not so bad in moderation but toxic when overdone. Unlike weed killer though, people can increase their poisonous level or reduce it and that causes hope and it also causes frustration. There is a hope sometimes that maybe the poison can be diluted and when it can't there can be heartbreak. There maybe comes a time when a person needs to avoid the toxic person and thus the poison. To not ingest poison will help you heal and maybe the poisonous person will have that toxin fade with time. It's a fine line. It's a lot easier to avoid ingesting arsenic than to realize you have to stop dosing yourself with a person or situation.
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin
Rasputin was a Russian mystic who tasted both sides of poison. As an advisor he garnered wealth, power and fame but that in of itself became his undoing. He started finding himself surrounded by enemies who were jealous or frightened or intimidated by the status and position he had in the Romanov dynasty. He became the poison and as a result people tried to kill him, usually with poison.
Much of what is known about Rasputin is legend but it is said that in attempt to keep himself alive and healthy he started to ingest small amounts of popular poisons to get a resistance to their effects. He thought he could make himself immune to their toxins and still maintain his position in the Russian aristocracy as sort of a creature that was "untouchable". This didn't work so well because in the end Rasputin, it is said - was murdered. It is believed that he died from being poisoned, beaten, shot and then sunk in a river to drown. Rasputin perhaps taught us all a valuable lesson. Sometimes the best way to avoid a toxic situation is to "walk away".
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