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First, I think insects do have a right to live. In fact, insects are creatures that we can show abundant love and compassion without expecting anything in return. When we show love towards a human or a pet, we do get something in return. But in the case of insects, it gives us an opportunity to increase our selflessness because we won't get anything in return from them.
I think humans are smart and should do what they can to be respectful of the Earth and all God's creatures (whom however small, have a meaningful purpose in the ecosystem). That said, as humans our survival instincts are there to protect us and keep us safe. As a mother, if my children come home from school with lice, I have an instinct , not to mention a legal responsibility to use whatever means possible to rid them of lice. Same goes for bedbugs. If bees make a hive in the rafters of my home, same goes.
The unfortunate thing is that sometimes there is no solution that protects all aspects involved and in these and many other cases, it's survival of the fittest.
I'm really up in the air about it because some insect deaths are inevitable (ie. the front of you cars kills loads) and others are unnecessary or necessary. I also don't really like insects at all but that doesn't mean I would wish a whole type to extinction because they all play a part in the life cycle of other creatures (ie. mosquito are food for dragon flies and dragonflies for sparrows etc.).
So yeah *shrugs* I believe it all depends on the situation.
I don't kill them for fun and I do think they have right to live, but my line goes on my home and family. I don't tolerate any of them in my home, I think its a health risk, tho if the insect is just lost (a bee or wasp or such) I try to capture them and return outside. But ants, termites, cockroaches, ticks, fleas or such, are not welcome.
But one thing I have to admit, I'm crazy scared of spiders, always have been and doesnt seem like the fear is decreasing over time. I fear them so much that when i see one I cant go close to it, if the spider suprices me my normal reaction is run screaming as far as i can.. I know they cant hurt me or that they don't even care bout me, but something about them just makes me go nuts, normally my bf carries them out of the house and if he isnt home I just dont go to the same room where the spider is. I just cant help myself, I'm so afraid of them. But even if I'm so scared of them I know it isnt theyr fault, and for that fear I should not kill them.
I think when discussing issues such as insect life and their rights, one should be honest about how much insects can suffer, be made happy, or even be deprived of happiness. The potential range of experience insects are capable of having is not even comparable to humans, and thus humans are certainly more valuable in terms of life. Humans certainly should protect themselves from say, mosquitos, who are carriers of disease, are unable to feel pain, happiness, unhappiness, etc. So while we can agree one going out of their way to kill as many insects as possible is not right, in certain situations it is fine to dispose of them if there is no way to let them out of the house nicely. Concerning ourselves with the lives of insects is, in my opinion, energy that should be spent on discussing the well-being of conscious creatures, a.k.a. creatures that are able to feel ranges of emotion very similar to that of humans.
Humans. The last 2 lines of this superb poem from Alexander Pope (1688-1744) say a lot.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study for mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic’s side
And too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast,
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and in reasoning to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such
Whether he thinks too little or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused, or disabused;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of this world!
Insects are not the same as animals in my opinion. Thats' why they're called insects. All the same, I STILL feel compassion for them anyway. So much so I let a massive huntsman spider live in my house (and I'm scared of spiders) because I didn't want to hurt it. My vegetable patch completely died because I didn't want to use snail pellets and if I find spiders/insects in the house I just leave them there. The exception is mosquitoes because they bite and wasps. I HATE wasps. Did you know that they implant their eggs into little slugs etc, and when the eggs hatch, the baby wasps simply eat their way out of their host? Isn't that horrible?
Of course insects have a right to live. Unfortunately, sometimes just by walking on the pavement, we can step on ants etc.
I don't kill bugs. If they are in my house I catch them and put them outside. Most spiders I leave in the house. When walking around outside I try to watch my steps so that I don't step on any, and if I do accidentally kill one I feel horrible about it. One reason I'm vegetarian is because I don't believe we have a right to kill, that extends to every living thing as far as I'm concerned. Some bugs creep me out a little bit but I do find the majority of them beautiful.
Wasps, the black & yellow ones in UK are the gardeners friend. Natural control of pests. They eat sap sucking aphids eg. Nature may seem cruel compared to human standards of kindness & ideologies but that's how it works. If you want an organic garden carnivorous critters are your pals.
It's about necessity, really. Are you threatened by the insect? Is it possible to remove it from your house without harming it? Insects can be elusive, but it's usually not much harder to remove the insect alive and place it outside than to kill it. Plus, you get to study the insect (they're fascinating, really) when you release it.
What saddens me is when people kill as a first reaction. We need to remove the killing instinct.
Not disagreeing with Arend above but would like to say that instincts are ok but should be ruled by thought & reasoning.