Killing insects

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Re: Killing insects

#81  Postby The_Piper » Mar 22, 2010 2:35 pm

I don't kill any insect that doesn't put itself in harms way. If it enters my house and stings, bites, or poops, it is fair game. I always prefer safe live removal first. The exceptions are itchy biting insects, ants, (mice), and houseflies. Their trespass was not an accident. I have hazards set up in preparation for their attempted invasions. :lol:
Outdoors, I generally don't kill any insect unless it's biting me or trying to.
Of course, when walking across a lawn I'm almost sure to squash somebody by accident. :waah: What can you do?
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Re: Killing insects

#82  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 22, 2010 10:01 pm

crank wrote:
Thanks Mr Samsa, great response, thanks.

Question though please:
If I am remembering the Baldwin effect correctly, it is like in order to learn something you have to match some kind of pattern, then physically the brain is prewired with a pattern that is close to what is needed for learning X, so that through evolution, a given organism doesn't need to change as much to get to X than another that isn't prewired as closely. Did I mangle that badly? So, how is all learning a subset? So much of what at least humans learn is abstract, say, or even remembering images, how do you fit the prewiring to this? Because we are prewired with areas that are designed for that kind of learning, is it as general as that?


I thought that basically Baldwin was suggesting that selection for a general learning ability can occur over generations, so evolution favours those that learn such skills quicker. I think his idea is not highly respected these days, but if we take this concept all the way back to the first organisms on earth then there would be a huge selection pressure for those that could respond to the environment in meaningful and intelligent ways. So there was an evolution of 'learning' essentially, and this would explain why all living things respond to the environment and learn through the same processes - because it would have evolved in our earliest common ancestor and been passed on to every subsequent species. Humans do have an ability to learn abstract things but the laws that govern how we learn them are determined by our basic neural networks.
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Re: Killing insects

#83  Postby SPMaximus » Mar 23, 2010 12:19 am

I only kill mosquitos that fly around my face and stick their fangs into me, never kill spiders, the little ones are kinda cute, and we dont have spiders that are bigger then a finger nail here :P

Other insects i dont bother with

Last year i did massacre a bunch of wasps though, they had a huuuuuuge nest built on the other side of the wall to my room, and they came into my room through a small hole a couple of cables are pulled through, before i eradicated the nest i had collected about 50-60 wasps that died in my room, one stung me on the thigh when i laid down in bed, and another on the top of the foot when sitting in front of the computer (happened to be barefoot) :whine:

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Re: Killing insects

#84  Postby The_Piper » Mar 23, 2010 12:27 am

SPMaximus wrote:I only kill mosquitos that fly around my face and stick their fangs into me, never kill spiders, the little ones are kinda cute, and we dont have spiders that are bigger then a finger nail here :P

Other insects i dont bother with

Last year i did massacre a bunch of wasps though, they had a huuuuuuge nest built on the other side of the wall to my room, and they came into my room through a small hole a couple of cables are pulled through, before i eradicated the nest i had collected about 50-60 wasps that died in my room, one stung me on the thigh when i laid down in bed, and another on the top of the foot when sitting in front of the computer (happened to be barefoot) :whine:

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Yeah, destroying THAT if it's in or near your house is totally within moral bounds. :drunk:
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Re: Killing insects

#85  Postby CdeLosada » Mar 23, 2010 1:51 am

NineBerry wrote:"Suffering pain" is not connected to having a nervous system. The "suffering" part requires actually consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no conscious perception of pain. The nervous cells that identify and transmit damage/heat/etc are then only part of a non-conscious algorithmic system just as NPCs are. Elaborate NPCs in computer systems also have receptors that identify damage and danger and set a status within the NPCs systems, causing the NPC to be "alerted" or "fearful" or "angry".

I was following your line of reasoning OK up to this point. Are you sure about this? The way I see it is that pain is simply a very effective mechanism for animals to preserve their health and life. Consciousness may have indeed arisen as a consequence of the likely advantage gained by our being able to accurately read and anticipate the intentions, moods, etc. of the fellow members of our highly social species (what better way to be precise in our reading than being able ourselves to experience everything we want to read in others—thus we become fully aware of our own intentions, fears, motivations, desires, etc.; hence consciousness. Or some such thing..., if I remember the theory correctly—I think that's what you were referring to before, anyway), so why would it be at all necessary for the pain mechanism to work? I don't quite see the connection you make. There is no reason to believe that we alone avoid danger by experiencing pain. Let's consider a newborn baby, for instance: It can hardly be thought to be conscious, but it most assuredly feels pain, doesn't it?

By the way, while consciousness may have developed in us from the evolutionary process mentioned above (which means that it is not a necessary consequence of intelligence—one could easily imagine an extremely intelligent species that goes about its business very effectively and completely unconsciously. In fact I think we are barely conscious ourselves), I suppose it's not inconceivable that it could also arise as an evolutionary spandrel if a certain level of super intelligence were reached; like the natural outcome of a tipping point—a stage from which it becomes a necessary consequence. But I'm just thinking aloud here...
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Re: Killing insects

#86  Postby MoonLit » Mar 23, 2010 2:12 am

LIFE wrote:I know so many people who kill spiders, flies, bugs, mosquitoes etc.
And when I ask them why they basically all say the same thing:

"They're annoying, disturbing, disgusting, dangerous...."

Whenever I see them first I try to rescue them but I often get ridiculed for my actions.
Sometimes I try to explain why I don't think killing is an option but in most cases I don't bother because it's of no use to try and convince them anyways.

I even know of some people who claim that insects aren't animals :shock:

Now why is that? Once animals get bigger, furrier or the likes they usually don't get killed and are just being brought outside.

Why all this disgust and unfeeling cold-heartedness towards those (often quite useful!) insects?

Mind you, I'm not a treehugger nor do I go around preaching that they should survive but I simply do not get it.


Ugh, that drives me batty. I always try to move the insect outside before some retard steps on the damn thing. And when I pick it up (normally with a paper towel) people go "ewwwwwwwww! Wash your hands ya freak!" :roll:
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Re: Killing insects

#87  Postby Tyrannical » Mar 23, 2010 3:52 am

kiore wrote:Where I live mosquitoes threaten my health and life and are in fact the most dangerous animals in Africa..
For that same reason spiders are welcome (I know they're not insects, humour me here).


Yes, I vote for their extinction.
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Re: Killing insects

#88  Postby Gallstones » Mar 23, 2010 6:25 am

SPMaximus wrote:I only kill mosquitos that fly around my face and stick their fangs into me, never kill spiders, the little ones are kinda cute, and we dont have spiders that are bigger then a finger nail here :P

Other insects i dont bother with

Last year i did massacre a bunch of wasps though, they had a huuuuuuge nest built on the other side of the wall to my room, and they came into my room through a small hole a couple of cables are pulled through, before i eradicated the nest i had collected about 50-60 wasps that died in my room, one stung me on the thigh when i laid down in bed, and another on the top of the foot when sitting in front of the computer (happened to be barefoot) :whine:

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Kind of pretty though isn't it? Evidence of design. :grin: Kidding again.
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Re: Killing insects

#89  Postby Gallstones » Mar 23, 2010 6:28 am

NineBerry wrote:Tree huggers....

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Re: Killing insects

#90  Postby NineBerry » Mar 23, 2010 9:51 am

CdeLosada wrote:
I was following your line of reasoning OK up to this point. Are you sure about this? The way I see it is that pain is simply a very effective mechanism for animals to preserve their health and life. Consciousness may have indeed arisen as a consequence of the likely advantage gained by our being able to accurately read and anticipate the intentions, moods, etc. of the fellow members of our highly social species (what better way to be precise in our reading than being able ourselves to experience everything we want to read in others—thus we become fully aware of our own intentions, fears, motivations, desires, etc.; hence consciousness. Or some such thing..., if I remember the theory correctly—I think that's what you were referring to before, anyway), so why would it be at all necessary for the pain mechanism to work? I don't quite see the connection you make. There is no reason to believe that we alone avoid danger by experiencing pain. Let's consider a newborn baby, for instance: It can hardly be thought to be conscious, but it most assuredly feels pain, doesn't it?


There's a difference between "feeling pain" and "suffering pain".
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Re: Killing insects

#91  Postby DoctorE » Mar 23, 2010 9:53 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFUDEmMjC-c[/youtube]
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Re: Killing insects

#92  Postby NineBerry » Mar 23, 2010 9:56 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZhr0hJVnmM[/youtube]
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Re: Killing insects

#93  Postby LIFE » Mar 23, 2010 11:31 am

What does the vegan video have to do with anything?
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Re: Killing insects

#94  Postby SPMaximus » Mar 23, 2010 11:36 am

LIFE wrote:What does the vegan video have to do with anything?


Maybe the old man looks a bit like some form of insect? :ask:
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Re: Killing insects

#95  Postby LIFE » Mar 23, 2010 12:05 pm

NineBerry wrote:"Suffering pain" is not connected to having a nervous system. The "suffering" part requires actually consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no conscious perception of pain. The nervous cells that identify and transmit damage/heat/etc are then only part of a non-conscious algorithmic system just as NPCs are. Elaborate NPCs in computer systems also have receptors that identify damage and danger and set a status within the NPCs systems, causing the NPC to be "alerted" or "fearful" or "angry".


Here's what I have found so far (and we're both right on some points it seems):

#39 What about insects? Do they have rights too?
Before considering the issue of rights, let us first address the question "What about insects?". Strictly speaking, insects are small invertebrate animals of the class Insecta, having an adult stage characterized by three pairs of legs, a segmented body with three major divisions, and usually two pairs of wings. We'll adopt the looser definition, which includes similar invertebrate animals such as spiders, centipedes, and ticks.

Insects have a ganglionic nervous system, in contrast to the central nervous system of vertebrates. Such a system is characterized by local aggregates of neurons, called ganglia, that are associated with, and specialized for, the body segment with which they are co-located. There are interconnections between ganglia but these connections function not so much as a global integrating pathway, but rather for local segmental coordination. For example, the waves of leg motion that propagate along the body of a centipede are mediated by the intersegmental connections.

In some species the cephalic ganglia are large and complex enough to support very complex behavior (e.g., the lobster and octopus). The cuttlefish (not an insect but another invertebrate with a ganglionic nervous system) is claimed by some to be about as intelligent as a dog.

Insects are capable of primitive learning and do exhibit what many would characterize as intelligence. Spiders are known for their skills and craftiness; whether this can all be dismissed as instinct is arguable. Certainly, bees can learn in a limited way. When offered a reward from a perch of a certain color, they return first to perches of that color. They also learn the location of food and transmit that information to their colleagues. The learning, however, tends to be highly specialized and applicable to only limited domains.

In addition to a primitive mental life as described above, there is some evidence that insects can experience pain and suffering. The earthworm nervous system, for example, secretes an opiate substance when the earthworm is injured. Similar responses are seen in vertebrates and are generally accepted to be a mechanism for the attenuation of pain. On the other hand, the opiates are also implicated in functions not associated with analgesia, such as thermoregulation and appetite control. Nevertheless, the association of secretion with tissue injury is highly suggestive. Earthworms also wriggle quite vigorously when impaled on a hook. In possible opposition to this are other observations. For example, the abdomen of a feeding wasp can be clipped off and the head may go on sucking (presumably in no distress?).

Singer quotes three criteria for deciding if an organism has the capacity to suffer from pain:
1) there are behavioral indications,
2) there is an appropriate nervous system, and
3) there is an evolutionary usefulness for the experience of pain.
These criteria seem to satisfied for insects, if only in a primitive way.

Now we are equipped to tackle the issue of insect rights. First, one might argue that the issue is not so compelling as for other animals because industries are not built around the exploitation of insects. But this is untrue; large industries are built around honey production, silk production, and cochineal/carmine production, and, of course, mass insect death results from our use of insecticides. Even if the argument were true, it should not prevent us from attempting to be consistent in the application of our principles to all animals. Insects are a part of the Animal Kingdom and some special arguments would be required to exclude them from the general AR argument.

Some would draw a line at some level of complexity of the nervous system, e.g., only animals capable of operant conditioning need be enfranchised. Others may quarrel with this line and place it elsewhere. Some may postulate a scale of life with an ascending capacity to feel pain and suffer. They might also mark a cut-off on the scale, below which rights are not actively asserted. Is the cut-off above insects and the lower invertebrates? Or should there be no cut-off? This is one of the issues still being actively debated in the AR community.

People who strive to live without cruelty will attempt to push the line back as far as possible, giving the benefit of the doubt where there is doubt. Certainly, one can avoid unnecessary cruelty to insects.


#41 There is some evidence of consciousness in insects; aren't you descending to absurdity to tell people not to kill insects?

Enfranchising insects does not mean it is never justifiable to kill them. As with all threats to a being, the rule of self-defense applies. If insects are threatening one's well-being in a nontrivial way, AR philosophy would not assert that it is wrong to eliminate them.

Pesticides and herbicides are often used for mass destruction of insect populations. While this might be defended on the self-defense principle, one should be aware of the significant adverse impact on the environment, on other non-threatening animals, and indeed on our own health. (Refer to question #59 for more on the use of insecticides.)
It is not absurd to attempt to minimize the amount of suffering that we inflict or cause. --DG


SOURCE: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Morality/Biology/InsectAR.htm#faq39


And here's also a very large and insightful essay, addressing conscious awareness, sensing/feeling and pain/suffering:
(too long to quote)

SOURCE: http://www.veganoutreach.org/insectcog.html
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Re: Killing insects

#96  Postby paceetrate » Mar 23, 2010 4:26 pm

NineBerry wrote:
There's a difference between "feeling pain" and "suffering pain".

Really? I don't see a difference. Pain is pain. Just because you can't think about it afterwards doesn't stop you from feeling it now. Does an infant "feel" pain or "suffer" pain, by your definition? How do you know? How about a person with severe brain damage? Would you be ok with killing a human in any cruel fashion you can imagine, because they were mentally incapable of what you call consciousness and suffering, even if they showed all signs of still feeling the pain you were inflicting?



Anyway, I don't usually like killing bugs if I don't have to. Unless it's a mosquito or a tick. I don't need disease-carriers around my home. :yuk: Bees, wasps, large spiders, horseflies and other stingy, bitey, pain-inducing things I'm usually too scared of to get close enough to kill. Flies usually just get shooed out the door/window, or they land on a lightbulb and fry themselves. More or less harmless and/or beneficial insects like crickets, lady bugs, praying mantises, and fire flies get extra special treatment. Slugs and worms I usually just leave alone. If I find a little slug on a leaf when I'm raking leaves, I'll put it back on the ground somewhere safe.

Ants are ok as long as they're outside. When they try to take over my kitchen, however, they gon' die. You don't go swarming into and ruining a whole fresh box of my favorite mini donuts and expect to live, ya know. :tongue2: Little black carpet beetles get squished too, just because if you see one, there's 50 you don't see and it's impossible to be nice to them and still get them out of the house. I don't like to kill Japanese beetles, mostly because I think they're kinda pretty, but I also know they're an invasive species that wrecks havoc on the local flora, so they usually get killed too. In any case, I know I'm usually capable of killing most insects so fast they can't possibly feel it, so I don't usually feel TOO bad about it when I have to.
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Re: Killing insects

#97  Postby HughMcB » Mar 23, 2010 4:43 pm

I never kill insects, they're always relocated to a more suitable environment i.e. fucked out the door or window.
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Re: Killing insects

#98  Postby CdeLosada » Mar 23, 2010 4:50 pm

NineBerry wrote:
CdeLosada wrote:
I was following your line of reasoning OK up to this point. Are you sure about this? The way I see it is that pain is simply a very effective mechanism for animals to preserve their health and life. Consciousness may have indeed arisen as a consequence of the likely advantage gained by our being able to accurately read and anticipate the intentions, moods, etc. of the fellow members of our highly social species (what better way to be precise in our reading than being able ourselves to experience everything we want to read in others—thus we become fully aware of our own intentions, fears, motivations, desires, etc.; hence consciousness. Or some such thing..., if I remember the theory correctly—I think that's what you were referring to before, anyway), so why would it be at all necessary for the pain mechanism to work? I don't quite see the connection you make. There is no reason to believe that we alone avoid danger by experiencing pain. Let's consider a newborn baby, for instance: It can hardly be thought to be conscious, but it most assuredly feels pain, doesn't it?


There's a difference between "feeling pain" and "suffering pain".

OK, I understand now the difference you have in mind with respect to how conscious beings experience pain versus non-conscious beings. However, such distinction seems to me too subtle to be of consequence within the context of this discussion.
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Re: Killing insects

#99  Postby NineBerry » Mar 23, 2010 5:17 pm

LIFE wrote:What does the vegan video have to do with anything?


It's funny :mrgreen:
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Re: Killing insects

#100  Postby Mazille » Mar 23, 2010 5:25 pm

NineBerry wrote:
LIFE wrote:What does the vegan video have to do with anything?


It's funny :mrgreen:

If you speak German. :mrgreen:
Nah, actuall, if you speak German it quickly descends into the dark realms of cringeworthyness.
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