qschoolcandidate asked you: So I was wondering, I’ve seen a lot of y’all that practice veganism say folks shouldn’t collect honey from bees because that’s exploiting their labor, etc. Does that logic extend to other insects/bugs? Like are you against extermination services for things like cockroaches, termites, fire ants? What about insecticide-treated mosquito nets to cut down on malaria?
Well first of all, I don’t really consider most bugs to be pests! I don’t kill them, I put them under cups and move them outside where they will 1) be able to find more food and 2) be less likely to be stepped on. If it’s winter, I leave them alone. If it’s a dangerous stinging bug, I will put them in the basement where it is still warm/has some left over summer snacks of dead gnats. In the case of an ant infestation in the home you can put a piece of fruit in a tub or on a plate, wait for them to crowd on it and then just move them outside by hand. It might be tedious to get all of them, but personally I would rather do that then crush them or poison them (why would I want to douse my home in poison anyways?;;;; It sounds like a horrible nod to Silent Spring. No thank you!) I could make another post entirely simply about how pesticides are completely harmful to your health and the environment, inhumane, and unnecessary.
I think it’s a little strange that most omnis I know think that the only way to get rid of bugs is to souse everything in poison: souse your food plants in poison, souse your home in poison, get some poison and spray a fine mist of it on your body, etc. Most bugs, like cockroaches, are almost completely harmless and are around because you’re unknowingly inviting them in with snacks. Compassionate pest control starts with taking care of yourself. Clean up all food, crumbs, vacuum regularly, and properly store your fruit. Remove standing water from around your home, keep your doors and windows properly sealed and maintained. This will not only save on heat, but discourages buggies from coming in. In the case of gardens, this is a fantastic vegan gardening guide to compassionate pest control outdoors. http://www.theveganwoman.com/non-violent-pest-control-in-your-organic-garden/
Some of it is trial and error, but you have to remember that bugs are a sign of a healthy and lush ecosystem and not something to wage war against.
For things like termites, it’s a bit trickier, but even termite experts will tell you the best and most effective method is prevention, not finding out too late about the problem and then sloshing around tons of harsh chemicals which is bad for you, your kids, your pets, and your yard.
Just as a footnote about the honey thing, honey is a very special meal with important nutrients that are essential for honey bees and non-essential for humans. It takes one honey bee her entire life to make only 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. In honey farms, this is stolen and replaced with sugar water. Like with the production of dairy, this deprives the rightful owner of important nutrients with a really shoddy replacement (in the case of calves, they’re given an inferior powder supplement). YOU eat the sugar water, save the real thing for the rightful maker, and try (equally yummy) replacements like agave nectar, maple syrup, or molasses which is very high in both calcium and iron and a lot more nutritionally valuable for you than honey.
My philosophy is actually pretty straight forward; I believe in the sanctity of life and bodily autonomy for every sentient being, but I also believe in self defense.
If a human, lion, dog, deer, parasite, or poisonous/disease spreading bug attacked me, I would do whatever I had to do to keep myself or my loved ones from harm. In the case of parasites like flees, lice, or tapeworms, I would concede that killing them may be necessary. I don’t think it’s great, and I will try to exhaust humane methods before hand whenever they are available, but veganism is about causing the least amount of harm as you possibly can. Don’t kill unless something threatens your livelihood and when all other options are exhausted.