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KatawaGrey's avatar

Vegans and vegetarians: Where do you stand on bug cruelty?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21335 points ) February 17th, 2012

I’ve recently realized that I’m a bit of an oddity when it comes to how I feel bugs should be treated in terms of products and food I buy. I try very hard to only buy cruelty-free products and products where no animal was killed in order to make it. I extend this to include bugs. For example, I avoid silk and any products with silk proteins in them because silk is obtained by cooking cocooned silk worms alive. I also try to avoid products with the coloring carmine in them because these are usually made with crushed beetle shells.

So, my fellow vegans and vegetarians, do you keep bugs in mind when you are doing your cruelty-free shopping?

Note, this is not meant to sound like a judgmental question. It is honest curiosity. I don’t think it’s wrong or right to avoid these kinds of products, I just want to know how many people do.

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14 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I have the same policy. No silk.

tom_g's avatar

Was a vegetarian for 9 years and didn’t even consider whether or not to avoid silk and coloring derived from crushed beetle shells – out of pure ignorance probably. Plus, I don’t think I have ever owned anything that was silk.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Never been a vegan or vegetarian, but there’s a cup in my bathroom labeled LB. It’s the one I use to carry ladybugs outside when they get stuck in the house in the Spring or Fall. I’m really tough.

saint's avatar

Depends on the bug.
Cockroaches, dead.
Houseflys, dead.
Ants in the house, dead.
Lady Bugs, catch and release.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not a vegetarian and I only eat organic chicken, but my bug and spider rules I consider the law of the jungle. If a bug or spider are on my turf (in my house) and my cats can’t or won’t eat it, it has to die because I’m too big of a chicken to allow it to just roam freely.

GrayTax's avatar

I do the same, too: I’ll check to make sure there aren’t any animal/insect derived ingredients in a product if I’m unsure.

jazmina88's avatar

carmine is nasty, but in much.
I hate spiders, they get crushed.
You go Girl!

ucme's avatar

The thorax mostly, sometimes the head though.

Harold's avatar

I am mostly vegetarian for health reasons, not for cruelty reasons, so squashing a bug does not bother me at all.

RubyGirl's avatar

I am not vegetarian, but I do feel that if I am not going to eat it, it should live. I’ll save anything from spiders to ants from impending doom. Example, I always let the spiders in my shower live and take the trouble to move them out of the way if they are going to drown.

As for buying products, I am somewhat ignorant on what I should and should not buy. But, if I know its harmful I would refrain from purchasing it.

LezboPirate's avatar

I never crush bugs, even the ones that I feel should be killed, because I’m way to scared of those ones. Hence why I think they should be killed.. But alas, I hate to go near them or to hear/feel the crunch when they’re squished.

dabbler's avatar

I don’t buy or wear silk or leather. Shopping-wise I’ll avoid a product that requires death to make it.
if there’s a bug on floor in my home it will get stomped or vaccuumed up pronto. If I’m outside I will avoid harming a bug as long as it doesn’t mean driving the car off the road or something like that.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not a vegetarian but unless we are talking flies (that land in my wine!) and cockroaches, I don’t kill bugs and I am very cautious about my use of pesticides/poisons etc. I don’t go around spraying fly spray. We have fly screens and that solves most issues with flies. I absolutely love bees. I put spiders outside (or if I am too squeamish, I get my husband to put them outside), beetles too. We all share this planet. No need to kill things unless they are going to cause disease or harm and you can’t avoid them.

Kardamom's avatar

I haven’t yet read anyone else’s answers. Everybody probably already knows that I am a vegetarian. I try very hard not to kill or injure insects or bugs. I’m not thrilled with creepy, crawly bugs in general, but I do believe that they have the right to exist if they are not causing me or my fellow beings (animal or human, which we pretty much are anyway, animal/human) any direct harm, then I feel like I have an obligation to ensure that they are not killed willy-nilly or out of fear, or thrill or out of simple convenience or minor irritation.

I have gone out of my way in my home and at work to retrieve bugs in distress and remove them from the interiors of buildings and put them back into the garden. I do not purchase food items that contain cochineal or carmine.

I do realize that bugs and insects are not exactly on the same level as humans or other “animals”, but I do try my best not to cause any harm to any other beings including bugs and insects, they are still animals, IMO. They might not be the “cutest” animals on the planet, but I believe that they are due a modicum of respect and care, just like the cute animals like marmosets and koalas.

I have recently overcome my fear of certain spiders and have physically picked up “Daddy Long Legs” and carried them to safe outdoor quarters. I would hope that some other higher life forms would do the same for us when and if they deem us humans as “icky”

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