A(nother) vegan-stance-on-insects thread - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-13-2009, 01:47 PM
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I've been vegan since December (mostly meatless before with a turkey sandwich like once a month, but I ate a ton of dairy ).



I've done pretty well so far. I drank one non-vegan soy mocha because the barista told me he checked the ingredients. That's all that I know of.



Anyway, I HATE bugs. I cry when I see one, won't sleep in a house I know one has been in until it's been checked all over, etc. So obviously, I would like all bugs to be dead. If I wasn't so afraid of getting near them, I'd kill them myself. I mean, I don't go around stepping on ants if I can avoid it, but if I see a spider inside or somewhere I'm going to be (not just passing through), I want that ******* dead.



I realize this poses a problem: most vegans at least try not to kill bugs. Not me. It's not something I'm proud of, but I certainly do not see any alternative considering my "problem."



Can anyone tell me why they don't kill bugs (or if you do kill them, why you think it's okay)? I mean, they don't suffer, right?
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#2 Old 02-13-2009, 02:00 PM
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so... erm... why do you hate all the bugs and want them dead? honestly. i'm curious. and why can't you see an alternative to your 'problem'? maybe you can see it, you just don't like it much?



i'm not a huge fan of spiders by any means, but i can generally deal with them being far far away and out of my vision instead of ceasing to exist. i try and make my heroic bf take them to the end of the hall so they can go hang out with someone else, for the mainpart. then i try not to think about it.



bugs do have a decent purpose in the world (like, spiders eat flies, ants tidy things up, etc) but even if they didn't... i don't serve much if any purpose myself, and i wouldn't really want some big hand coming out of the sky and mashing me flat cos it really really hated me, even if it didn't hurt me or i didn't know a thing about it. it just wouldn't be particularly fair, expecially as i'm minding my own business for the most part.



have you thought about getting any help for your phobia?
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#3 Old 02-13-2009, 02:30 PM
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Can anyone tell me why they don't kill bugs (or if you do kill them, why you think it's okay)? I mean, they don't suffer, right?

I know very little about the cognition of bugs, and have read points made for both sides of the question of whether they're sentient. Given this uncertainty, I want to give them the benefit of a doubt: I avoid harming them, when that avoidance is relatively easy for me. Of course, it may be somewhat difficult to avoid killing bugs when hiking outdoors etc., but that doesn't mean I can't carry them outside from my apartment.



It's also a matter of cultivating a general consideration for animals, I think: learning by doing. Those habits of thinking of ways to avoid causing harm are something that I think are useful in general.

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#4 Old 02-13-2009, 02:48 PM
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I used to be that scared of crustaceans Maybe try just being scared of bugs instead of hating them. They didn't do anything to you, no reason to kill them at all. They probably want to live as much as a cow does
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#5 Old 02-13-2009, 02:49 PM
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I used to be exactly like this. I wouldn't sleep in my room if I saw a spider in there. Eventually I just got over it. They're not out to get you, they just got lost. I take a cup and trap them in it then slide a piece of paper (like a post card) under the cup and take them outside.
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#6 Old 02-13-2009, 05:02 PM
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Well my hubby is terrified of mice (rats & most rodents) and would find great pleasure in "torturing the little *******s". I don't understand it, but he hates them and is so scared of them. I'm scared of grasshoppers, but I don't feel the need to kill them. Everyone's different.

That being said, I usually try and leave insects alone, I'll let spiders out of the house (and we have huuuuuge spiders where I live) and generally just kinda let them live. I will admit to squishing fruit flies, they drive me nuts and I have found no way to get rid of them humanely. Despite trying my hardest to avoid getting them, they still show up from time to time.

I don't know what you can do to help you not hate them and be less afraid of them, except maybe learn a little more about what they do and their purpose. You may never get over your fear of them, but perhaps one day you can just learn to respect them enough to not with death upon them. I hope hubby comes around one day too, but i'm doubtful.
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#7 Old 02-13-2009, 05:32 PM
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Actually, depending on the climate you live in of course, putting most inside spiders outside is the same as killing them. As is (probably) just moving them to somewhere else other people come.



I move small ones to the cellar but big ones are killed, they scare me. I have to say that since I am vegan they scare me less though, let's hope that cntinues.
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#8 Old 02-13-2009, 05:44 PM
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Actually, depending on the climate you live in of course, putting most inside spiders outside is the same as killing them.



What defines an inside spider? Spiders that grew up inside, or are certain species evolved to live in buildings?



As to the OP; you seem to have a lot of anger and I'm sorry for you. I hope you get a handle on it.
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#9 Old 02-13-2009, 05:46 PM
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im on the same boat (almost) as the OP. im ok with most bugs as long as they dont touch me. i have different reasons for not liking certain bugs like; flys are dirty (among other fly type bugs) and then june bugs feel friggin creepy when they walk on you. but spiders are what really get me. if i see one my heart skips beats, ill squeel and start freaking out. they are terrifying. i kill (or have sum1 else kill) any spider i see



i feel bad about it but i am paranoid and think they are all going to get me.
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#10 Old 02-13-2009, 06:40 PM
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What defines an inside spider? Spiders that grew up inside, or are certain species evolved to live in buildings?

Many invertebrates have adapted quite well to living in man made structures. House spiders live in houses because houses are similar to the niches they are accustomed to occupying, and putting them outside is harmful to them, unless they can find a way back in.



They don't bother me in the least, and I've never been harmed by one. Most of the "spider" bites people claim to get aren't from spiders at all, but from bed bugs.

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#11 Old 02-13-2009, 06:42 PM
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Yeah, I think it's the way a lot of us were raised. We are raised to think bugs are gross. When, I was young, they freaked me out. As I got older I got more comfortable with them. I don't think I would want to play with cockroaches, but I have no reason to kill them. I usually just direct it into a cup and let it go outside. I guess my advice is to distance yourself from past beliefs about bugs and see them like other animals. I hope that helps.
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#12 Old 02-13-2009, 09:52 PM
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Haha, I don't "have a lot of anger." I was just trying to make the point that I'm terrified of insects. Thinking about the fact that they aren't hurting me doesn't help. I see that a few of you know how I feel, but for those who don't have a debilitating insect fear probably don't get it. I just don't know what I'll say when I have that unavoidable "you say you're a vegan but you kill bugs! Murderer!" conversation.



I guess what I really wanted to know is what are the real reasons for not killing them? I mean, it's pretty common knowledge that bugs don't feel pain or suffer, as they have no real cognizance.



Also, I realize that if everyone in the world were as afraid as I am and killed bugs, it would cause an ecological problem. But fortunately, that's not the case. And as far as I know, bug killing is not on rampant rise, so what would be the reason for people who kill a spider every month or so to stop doing so?
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#13 Old 02-13-2009, 11:08 PM
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I guess what I really wanted to know is what are the real reasons for not killing them? I mean, it's pretty common knowledge that bugs don't feel pain or suffer, as they have no real cognizance.

So if it were possible to anesthetize a human before you killed him, so that he wouldn't feel any pain, you couldn't think of a reason not to kill him?



The "real" reason not to kill an insect is the same reason not to kill anyone.

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#14 Old 02-14-2009, 05:56 AM
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I'll admit to still killing bugs. Mostly because they freak the crap out of me (thankfully, not literally! ). I try not to, but when I suddenly see a cockroach running across my floor that dude's not long for this world. But spiders and things I try to take outside, but they do scare the heck out of me so often my first instinct is to kill them.



It sounds like your problem is worse than mine, though. You might want to look into getting a little help with it. The idea of that feels weird, though, I know. I mean, I'm scared of bugs, open heights and high speeds (well, when I can feel them - not like in an airplane kind of thing). Why would I want to not be scared of them? They're awful! But it might make life easier, you know?
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#15 Old 02-14-2009, 05:58 AM
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I mean, it's pretty common knowledge that bugs don't feel pain or suffer, as they have no real cognizance.

I guess I have never been graced by this common knowledge.

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upon a mountain

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#16 Old 02-14-2009, 06:39 AM
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I guess I have never been graced by this common knowledge.

Maybe you're a bug
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#17 Old 02-14-2009, 06:55 AM
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I'm not sure I've ever seen any proof that insects aren't sentient. Links?

But even if they aren't that changes nothing in my eyes.





I have the same fear of spiders you have of bugs. If I see one I literally freak out and begin to hyper ventilate. I will scream and have many times left my house because I just can't handle it.

However, there are two options. Number one is seeking help. Phobias are rather Easy to overcome if you go see a psychiatrist about them. I did this and it worked wonders.



The second option is well...not killing them. Despite my reaction to spiders I haven't killed one in ages...since way before I was even vegan. I think of it the way someone else mentioned...would I like someone to just randomly out their hand over me and kill me (or their shoe, whatever) just because I freaked them out?



Let's say that insects ARE sentient (as I've never seen *conclusive* proof otherwise). Would that mean it would also be ok for us to kill people and animals that freak us out? Snakes freak me out, to the same point as spiders, but I wouldn't kill them for that reason. Certain groups of people freak me out, but i'd never want them all to die.



To me, veganism is a life of compassion. Compassion not just for those things that I like, but things that I don't. Not just for sentient beings, but for all beings. Before I eat I thank God for providing me with plants which do not feel pain so that I may eat without causing pain and discourse. I pray that the plants I eat continue to thrive not only so my eating habits can continue but because they deserve to. I feel this is my compassion towards plants as well, despite them not being able to feel pain.



The environment, water...the ozone...etc, don't feel physical pain but does that mean we should throw our hands up and say that we don't care about them enough we'd hope they weren't around (and basically 'die')...of course not.
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#18 Old 02-14-2009, 08:11 PM
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I am scared to death of spiders, though I have, on numerous occasions, thought about seeking a way to overcome this fear.



In any case, if a bug is in my house, I will generally let it be, but if I see one in my room, I will either move it or kill it. Hopefully, in the near future, I will overcome my fear of spiders and, in the process, calm any uneasiness I have about bugs being in my room.
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#19 Old 02-14-2009, 08:20 PM
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I keep empty peanut butter jars to capture and release insects. Don't see them much in winter but in spring and summer they get sent to the pond area in my yard.
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#20 Old 02-14-2009, 08:55 PM
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i've been told that i used to be totally fine with spiders when i was very small, cos i hadn't learned to be afraid of them. i'd apparently scoop big hairy monsterous ones up and enthusiastically present them to my petrified father, who had to 'rescue' them from my clumsy little hands and take them outside (while trying to show no fear, but secretly coming out in a cold sweat).



but somehow or other, i got really frightened of them, just as my dad learned to get over his fear. it all turned around so that i'd be the one panicking, and he'd be the one calmly saving me from the vicious many-eyed 8 legged-ones who liked to stagger excitedly around the bathtub and dangle menacingly from my bedroom ceiling of an evening.



then, one day when i was 16, i was at home from school revising for my exams, and i reached for a text book from a pile that were haphazardly stacked just out of my line of sight, and feeling a tickle, turned to see the biggest hairiest terror of a creature that ever gnashed and marauded its way across the british isles, standing fearlessly on my hand (probably best working out how he could best bite it off one one big chunk).



and i screamed and screamed like the biggest blouse-wearing big girl wearing a big blouse that you ever did see. and jumped about 4 foot in the air (i'm short, so i didn't quite hit the ceiling, but it was close). and flailed about a lot. and wept and cried and maybe even peed just a teeny tiny bit. and needless to say the spider thought better of mauling me, and retreated swifto-pronto from my dulcit tones and zealoused thrashing. and eventually i ran out of adrenaline, and calmed down a bit.



and after i'd got what was left of my emotional **** together, i decided that i kinda really actually needed to revise, and would prefer not to fail my GCSE's if i could avoid it. especially not over a boody spider. and that 'help' was rather unhappily ensconced in his 12 step rehab program, and was so not likely to be forthcoming in the next 8 hours or so. and that if i didn't act soon, the spider could go anywhere and i wouldn't know where he'd gone, so he could theoretically just jump out on me again whenever, wherever he fancied.



so i stealthily i worked out where the spider-dude was, procured a pair of rubber gloves a broom handle, the biggest bucket of a drinking glass and thickest sheet of cardboard that i could find, and somehow managed to trap myself a wee beastie. and then i looked at it a bit. and swore at it a bit. and tried to keep my heart from getting out through my throat for a bit. and we gave each other the evils and sized each other up a bit.



and then i unlocked the front door, took a deep breath, grabbed the glass and card, ran across the house at the speed of a puma, dropped the whole lot in the middle of the garden with a shreik, commando rolled over the bewildered looking cat who was leasurely licking his bum on the lawn (ok, maybe not the commando bit) ran back inside, slammed the door, took about 5000 deep breaths, watched a theraputic episode of neighbours, and then got on with my revising.



basically, i coped. cos i sort of had not much else by way of choice. and since then, spiders... i dunno... not quite such a big deal. still not ideal, i wouldn't snog one or anything, but after i survived the king of all spiders trying to eat me, singlehandedly, and bested him, i realised it really wasn't half as bad as it could have been. like.... there weren't two of them- and they didn't have machetes or dress me in pink and make me watch spongebob squarepants or nuffink.



ok, i don't know exactly why i'm rambling this. but anyway, yes. true story.
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#21 Old 02-14-2009, 08:58 PM
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i pictured every bit of that story in my head, you are a great writer! even the commando bit!
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#22 Old 02-14-2009, 09:02 PM
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i pictured every bit of that story in my head, you are a great writer! even the commando bit!



thanks.
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#23 Old 02-14-2009, 09:27 PM
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Haha, great story. I actually read the whole thing even though my mind went "long post oh no"





at my mothers house I usually leave bugs alone, only spiders I will kill is big wolf spiders & brown recluse.

and children of the earth, those gross me out so bad its like a lobster thing ew ew and they have giant pinchers and icky icky.



AND CENTIPEDES!

honestly if a bug can literally harm me and I know it I have no problem killing it. call it self defense.



one night I came home from work & my friend jeff was living with me at the time and was in our room with the door closed, I opened the door and walked in leaving the door open while I was telling him about my day at work, looked at the door and saw something unusal, then realized it was like the biggest centipede i've ever seen and I had just touched the door knob right before that so I was ridiculously freaked out, I called my mom because I refused to walk by the door and made her come in and kill it. ughghg.







photographic proof my story is real, YUCK.



anyway that is my stand on it, I don't harm bugs unless they can seriously harm me or if they freak me out and i accidently kill them (beetle flying into your hair or what have you). I leave most spiders alone unless I think they're harmful.



I haven't had any bugs in my new apartment yet though, I hope it stays that way.
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#24 Old 02-15-2009, 01:04 AM
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OMG, i'm going to have bugmares. Centipedes freak the hell out of me. Even though it was my favorite classic arcade game.



They are scary things.
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#25 Old 02-15-2009, 08:06 AM
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I didn't know ths before I looked it up but apparently there are two different kinds, indoor & outdoor centipedes, and indoor ones are supposed to be covered in fur like those caterpillars, and unable to bite/sting whatever it is they do.



so why are the outdoor ones the only ones ever in my house!! a girl at my work got bit by one all over once when she was sleeping, her face/feet swelled up and her skin turned gray where she was bit & "cracked" her skin looked like it was falling off. then she had a high fever for like 3 days straight that no asprin could break. I am terrified of them.
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#26 Old 02-15-2009, 08:33 AM
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yeah, where i'm from there aren't really so much by way of giant evil looking bugs that tend to seriously maim you. its just not really hot enough, i think. being an island helps a bit too. i was bitten by a spider when i was little, but it was about level with a wasp sting.



so its not like i have a decent reason to be that afraid of them- unlike my dad, who alledges that he was once unexpectedly confronted by a rather irked-off spider roughly the size of a dinner plate, having climbed a coconut tree (he expected to be confronted by a coconut, not a spider), and who promptly fell out of it, and was then kindly treated to the curative measures of the ocean (chucked in it) by the other stupid drunken sailors who were with him and who it seems found the whole thing rather entertaining.



being accosted by giant spiders bigger than your own head jumping out on you while up a tree and slightly inebriated in a foreign land, falling a good 20 feet, and then being chucked in the sea and having a couple bajillion gallons of salt poured into your wounds, would kinda do it, i spose. pulling back the shower curtain of a morning to be confronted by something the size of a jam-jar lid at best, thats frantically trying to avoid being dripped on by the tap, perhaps wouldn't have quite the same effect.
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#27 Old 02-15-2009, 09:48 AM
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The other day in class, under my chair, I had accidentally crushed a box elder.



My professor brought up the irony in class that the vegan did it, and continues to bring it up in our private conversations.



Yeah, all the hundreds of box elders I've carried outside, the dozens of bees I've caught and released outside, the dozens of spiders, the countless caterpillars I've carried across busy walkways. No one sees me do any of those and makes a note - no, the one I accidentally crush - that one gets noticed.
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#28 Old 02-15-2009, 10:03 AM
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If I find a spider in the main part of the house, I take it outside. If I find it in the basement (unfinished) I leave it alone.

Other than that, the only thing we get is the occasional wasp in the summer and I'll usually catch it and let it go outside. It's really quite freaky though as I don't like wasps at all. Never been stung and in no hurry to experience that.
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#29 Old 02-15-2009, 10:41 AM
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I didn't read the whole thread, just the OP, as I'm about to sign off.



Why does YOUR being afaird of them take way THEIR right to live? You see no alternative? So if I'm afaird of people taller than me I can kill them?
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#30 Old 02-15-2009, 12:42 PM
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Haha, I don't "have a lot of anger." I was just trying to make the point that I'm terrified of insects.



Go and see a psychologist. A fear of bugs like that is abnormal.
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