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elateridae
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:38 AM
I'm a graduate student in entomology, and naturally we use insects in our work. Many of us are also avid collectors.

So, basically, I'm curious as to whether vegans consider what we do cruel or immoral or whatever. Do vegans eat insects? What are vegan views on things like Bt corn?

Artichoke47
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:52 AM
Vegans don't eat animal products, so no, vegans don't eat insects; vegans also do not use items, such as clothing and personal care products, that exploit and/or harm animals, such as silk and beeswax-containing lip balms.

As to your "wrong" question, I don't know how to answer that, except to say that I am against use of animals, including slavery (i.e., battery cages, cow's milk machines, et cetera), murder, experimentation, and all other forms of torture that I might be neglecting to mention.

In your view, or to ask a converse question, is it somehow "right" to subject other beings to being taken out of their natural environment and possibly eaten?

elateridae
Apr 28th, 2005, 04:15 AM
You don't even use insect products? Interesting. What aspects of rearing insects for things like silk and honey do you find objectionable? Were you aware that bees are raised not only for the things they make but also for their superior ability to pollinate crops?

EcoTribalVegan
Apr 28th, 2005, 05:09 AM
They could do that naturally...they don't have to be confined to do that.

elateridae
Apr 28th, 2005, 05:28 AM
No. People ship honeybees around the country so they may be in the places where they are most needed. Also, natural populations of honeybees are declining due to mite infestations. We just had a bee specialist give a seminar on this on Tuesday.

Seaside
Apr 28th, 2005, 05:49 AM
I love insects. I love biology. I would have loved to have been a biologist, except for the dissection. I'm not squeamish, and I could have done it, I just thought it was wrong, and it made me sad, too. I chose physics and chemistry in high school, and geology in college, with my thesis done on micropalaeontology. Fossils were the closest I was willing to get to studying something biological.

I understand that much of the knowledge we have today comes from animal research, and it is a dilemma because the knowledge is valuable; vegans as well as non-vegans benefit from it. However, so much can be learned today from computer models that I think it is time to stop using live creatures for research. I have a very strong sense of what is right and wrong for me, which I do not usually apply to others because it serves no practical purpose; for example, if I told you you were wrong to be doing what you are doing, would it stop you or just make you angry? I do very much wish that you would find another way to learn what you are learning. Evolution is an ongoing process for humans as well as other creatures. :o

elateridae
Apr 28th, 2005, 06:20 AM
I'm interested in these other ways of conducting research that you suggest. It doesn't make me angry that others may think my work is wrong. I'm just a very curious person, and I always want to know the reasoning behind opinions different from my own.

snivelingchild
Apr 28th, 2005, 07:32 AM
My personal view, which I think is very common, is that it is exploitation and using an insect for our own means instead of letting them live out their natural lives. Silk worms are boiled alive in their cocoons (once I read in a magazine that silk was gotton by gently 'unwinding' the cocoons! I was oing to write them a letter, but never got around to it. There are also plenty of things most people don't immediately recongize in the keeping of bees for honey/wax, etc. First, almost all their honey (which I'm sure you are aware is their food source) is taken away and replaced with cheap sugars. Since they are kept in artificial boxes, many bees are crushed when a beekeeper opens and closes parts of the hive. It is also much cheaper to kill the bugs and buy new ones each year instead of keeping them during the winter, so this is a widely done practice. These are just a few points, and there is a very nice site about honey here:
http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm
I find that site most useful for explaining to non-vegans.

eve
Apr 28th, 2005, 08:38 AM
Nowadays bees are just like other factory-farmed animals, and whilst they can fly, they are also subject to many cruelties. Drones often have their wings clipped to prevent escape so their sperm can be extracted and artificially inseminated into the queen bees. After a couple of years as the queen's egg-laying abilities decline, they are often killed as it is cheaper to buy new bee stock.

Animals used in experiments, come from sources such as shelters, and after the experiements, cats and dogs finally get crammed into gas chambers. Dissection is just plain offensive to humans and nonhumans.

spo
Apr 28th, 2005, 10:28 AM
Dear elateridae:
Why do say "we"? You are not a vegan, yet. If and when you do start to practice veganism, you will see why it is inconsistent with the vegan lifestyle to endorse or participate in animal experimentation.

Before you delve into these vegan matters, I suggest that you do some reading. Peter Singer's Animal Liberation is a good place to start. Check out PETA and Anti-Vivisection societies' literature. These will explain why you cannot be a vegan, and still perform animal research, including research on insects.

Additionally, I would like to refer you to the comments that I posted in the thread: "How many of you who are opposed to animal research are actually scientists? Of this number, how many have conducted research on animals?
This thread, here, is repetitive and again, indicates that you really have no good grasp on what is it to be "a vegan"
First, research the definition of veganism, and then come back with questions. This way you will not upset or needlessly waste the time of vegans who understand and live by their ethics.

I am sorry if I appear harsh, but to me, these do seem to be relevant comments. This section, in the forum, is designed for people who are seriously contemplating a vegan lifestyle; and that implies, to me, that one has, at least, a basic understanding of what you are contemplating.
spo

Artichoke47
Apr 28th, 2005, 04:04 PM
I see my question hasn't been answered; there's a reason for that one.

spo
Apr 28th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Hi, Artichoke-
Please help me out, here: What do you think these two threads, posted by elateridae, are really about? I fell into the trap of answering her question seriously, in the other thread. I did not see this thread, and was confused by her obvious "cluelessness". So, what are your thoughts on this?
Thanks
spo

Artichoke47
Apr 28th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Someone trying to act as if they know more than we; trying to find a flaw with veganism (as most people who know it's the ethical thing to do will try to justify in some way); wasting time; interested in what these hippies have to say. ;) I don't know and I don't care, really. My ethics are in place and no animal testers, tortures, experimenters, "scientists" (if they can call themselves that) will change my mind.

Mozbee
Apr 28th, 2005, 06:38 PM
Another good source of information is The Vegan Society website.
Put yourself into their legs would you want to be taken from your home by complete strangers (aliens), taken to a alien enviroment and then used for experiments (proceedures) with no consultation or forewarning. Perhaps have limbs removed, be tortured, be artificially inseminated...who knows what, but if it sounds cruel, it is cruel whether the target is insect, reptile, mammal or human.

spo
Apr 28th, 2005, 06:41 PM
Someone trying to act as if they know more than we; trying to find a flaw with veganism (as most people who know it's the ethical thing to do will try to justify in some way); wasting time; interested in what these hippies have to say. ;) I don't know and I don't care, really. My ethics are in place and no animal testers, tortures, experimenters, "scientists" (if they can call themselves that) will change my mind.

Thanks so very much, Artichoke!! :D
That was my take on this business, too.
spo

EcoTribalVegan
Apr 28th, 2005, 07:24 PM
No. People ship honeybees around the country so they may be in the places where they are most needed. Also, natural populations of honeybees are declining due to mite infestations. We just had a bee specialist give a seminar on this on Tuesday.

Exactly...we're trans-migrating them! Why do we need to do that? We're just screwing up natural ecosystems.

elateridae
Apr 29th, 2005, 01:28 AM
I'm not entirely sure what I expected here, but it certainly wasn't this. I asked some very simple questions and was answered with insults. You know nothing about me, other than that I am a graduate student in entomology. Because I use insects in my work you assume that I must be torturing them.

The scientists I have met are people who are in the field because of an innate curiosity about the world and a desire to improve it. They aren't monsters, they're people who work towards making your life better. You benefit from the agricultural research labs like mine conduct, yet you do not hesitate to condemn us. :(

I'm still wondering what the general position on Bt corn and other transgenics is.

Of course, I'm fully expecting this post to be blocked.

EcoTribalVegan
Apr 30th, 2005, 06:57 AM
Do you catch the insects when they're dead when you collect them? When you transmigrate bees to produce more fertile fields that's exploiting them. Because when I think collect I think of either dead behind glass, or exploiting them. But I tried not to insult you. If I did I apologize, as you did nothing to insult me.

DianeVegan
Apr 30th, 2005, 01:15 PM
I'm not entirely sure what I expected here, but it certainly wasn't this. I asked some very simple questions and was answered with insults. You know nothing about me, other than that I am a graduate student in entomology. Because I use insects in my work you assume that I must be torturing them.

The scientists I have met are people who are in the field because of an innate curiosity about the world and a desire to improve it. They aren't monsters, they're people who work towards making your life better. You benefit from the agricultural research labs like mine conduct, yet you do not hesitate to condemn us. :(

I'm still wondering what the general position on Bt corn and other transgenics is.

Of course, I'm fully expecting this post to be blocked.


I don't think that this forum is where you could get the best answers to your questions, but I'll try.

Most vegans are also environmentalists and therefore against Bt corn and transgenics. I don't believe we have a "vegan policy" on this. As you surely know, much has been written about the pros and cons of this topic.

I applaud your studies (I started out with a degree in biology myself), but would caution you to look at all sides of an issue. The scientists you speak of may believe that they are helping us and trying to make our lives better. You may think that we will all benefit from your research. Here is why I don't believe that:

The medical profession, drug companies, food companies, and agribusiness all use research from universities. They then take this information and figure out a way to "help" the rest of us while making a profit. Humans have survived for thousands of years without this type of help. Why do we need it now?

If we returned to local, organic, renewable agriculture and started eating unprocessed foods then we wouldn't need much of these businesses.

I work in an operating room and I anesthetize people so that the surgeon may "help" them with a problem they would not have had if they had stayed away from - convenient helpful processed foods, produce with helpful pesticides, helpful low-tar cigarettes, helpful household cleaning chemicals, convenient e. coli laden burgers, helpful cars that require no physical exertion - and the list goes on.

I am not trying to insult you. I merely want you to REALLY THINK about the fact that throughout history, whenever we try to help people, many times we hurt them (and the environment) in some other way.

Mozbee
Apr 30th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Now that last message is what I call HELPFUL! :)

Seaside
May 1st, 2005, 04:52 AM
Posted by Dianecrna:

I work in an operating room and I anesthetize people so that the surgeon may "help" them with a problem they would not have had if they had stayed away from - convenient helpful processed foods, produce with helpful pesticides, helpful low-tar cigarettes, helpful household cleaning chemicals, convenient e. coli laden burgers, helpful cars that require no physical exertion - and the list goes on.

You took the words right out of my mouth! :D

TinyGirl
May 2nd, 2005, 02:46 PM
I'm not entirely sure what I expected here, but it certainly wasn't this. I asked some very simple questions and was answered with insults. You know nothing about me, other than that I am a graduate student in entomology. Because I use insects in my work you assume that I must be torturing them.

The scientists I have met are people who are in the field because of an innate curiosity about the world and a desire to improve it. They aren't monsters, they're people who work towards making your life better. You benefit from the agricultural research labs like mine conduct, yet you do not hesitate to condemn us. :(

I'm still wondering what the general position on Bt corn and other transgenics is.

Of course, I'm fully expecting this post to be blocked.

You might want to explain what Bt corn is, pet. I'm a PhD student with an entomologist father, and I still had to look it up to clarify!

I like your name, though. Can you flip yourself up to standing, from on your back? ;)

http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/fldcrops/ef130.htm

veganblue
May 2nd, 2005, 02:57 PM
I applaud your studies (I started out with a degree in biology myself), but would caution you to look at all sides of an issue. The scientists you speak of may believe that they are helping us and trying to make our lives better. You may think that we will all benefit from your research. Here is why I don't believe that:

The medical profession, drug companies, food companies, and agribusiness all use research from universities. They then take this information and figure out a way to "help" the rest of us while making a profit. Humans have survived for thousands of years without this type of help. Why do we need it now?

If we returned to local, organic, renewable agriculture and started eating unprocessed foods then we wouldn't need much of these businesses.

I am not trying to insult you. I merely want you to REALLY THINK about the fact that throughout history, whenever we try to help people, many times we hurt them (and the environment) in some other way.

The post above, Dianecrna, is well written and gentle and hopefully helpful to Elateridae. Hopefully she is brave enough to stick around after the flaming from the v.p. she has received as a new member with questions. :(

I would ask of Dianecrna where you think we would be without penicillin (http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/florey/story.htm) , for example. It was some very dedicated people that noticed the antibiotic properties of some moulds which has saved so many lives and something that we take for granted. Less than a century ago a prick from a rose thorn was a potentially fatal injury. I doubt that you would suggest that the use of this antibiotic is a bad thing.

Can we cultivate knowledge as well as encouraging wisdom? They do not always travel together but knowledge without wisdom is how we get ourselves into such messes.

I suggest that we take a huge amount of things for granted that are the product of dedicated researchers. The study of ecology and the rise in public awareness about it came to the western world in the last century largely due to Rachael Carson's "Silent Spring" - and her careful documentation of the devestating changes that DDT was having upon the web-like living system. From her work arose the green activists movement. But some seem to forget that she is classed a scientist, and a brilliant and dedicated one.

There are no bogeymen; no sleepless omniscient evils that spawn destruction aka Sauron (for Lord of the Rings fans), just greedy people that have too much power and not enough wisdom.

The hominid species *has* survived for thousands of years, but we have never know it as good as some of us do now - I am amongst one of the small population of lucky ones by advent of birth in Australia. Generally our life spans are extending - how long before our mistakes reverse that trend I don't know, but to lay the blame at the doors of learning and not at the folly of human nature seems pointless.

Blame the population explosion on the discovery of antibiotics - it's part of what is currently artificially bolstering our survival rates - but I give you the alternative where children die young as a normal part of nature (just look at biological systems - to survive one must produce more offspring than there are resources for so that the fittest survives and createst a new better adapted generation).

The oil *will* run out and the world will be better for the fact so long as we don't take the nuclear fission path. No oil means reliance on a new source of energy and chemical resource. Smaller communities, less travel, less waste.

I personally visualise a beautiful place but I am optimistic about the future.

As you say, I think that we will be forced to return to organic renewable agriculture and make the decision to reduce our ridiculous population growth. Somehow, disasterously, I think that a combination of our own folly and natural processes will address that problem for us, catastrophically. We have already overstepped the carrying capacity of the planet many years ago.

veganblue
May 2nd, 2005, 03:13 PM
You might want to explain what Bt corn is, pet. I'm a PhD student with an entomologist father, and I still had to look it up to clarify!

I like your name, though. Can you flip yourself up to standing, from on your back? ;)

http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/fldcrops/ef130.htm


There is more about Bt corn in the GMO thread here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=370&page=5&pp=20) post 94.

DianeVegan
May 3rd, 2005, 02:17 PM
As always, Veganblue, you give a thoughtful reply. I agree with many of your statements. However, I do not believe that antibiotics (and perhaps immunizations) have been good for this planet. Yes, they have increased longevity for all humans, from the very young to the very old. But is this a good thing? (I of course think that it is PERSONALLY a good thing and I don't think any of us would want to live without them.)

Before the advent of antibiotic, say 1800, the world population was 1 billion.
By 1900 the population increased to 1.7 billion.
In 2000, the world population was 6.1 billion.

Why? Certainly, antibiotics play a role. So does clean water, better preservation of food, refrigeration, medicine, chemicals, plastics, automobiles.....the list goes on. But I was not criticizing research that brought us those things. My criticism is of the exploitation of research that brings us useless (and expensive, needless) things such as:

-Overly processed foods (which are heavily advertised)

-Copycat drugs which "cure" nothing (how about 4 drugs to lower your cholesterol, 5 drugs for gastric reflux, 3 drugs for low bone density, 3 drugs for erectile dysfuntion, and all the other "best sellers" now on the market?)

-Electric toothbrushes, games children must plug in, DVD players in SUVs, and powered gadgets for almost every human activity

-Gastric bypass surgery instead of diet and exercise; knee replacements due to obesity and lack of use; cadaver skin being used for plastic surgery (instead of the burn patients it was meant for); drugs for just about any symptom or emotion

-Disposable everything! (and believe me, here in the US, you never have to use anything twice)

Hey, I could keep typing all day. I agree that if we don't control ourselves (AND corporate/government/individual greed) then something will catastrophically do it for us in the future. And when that happens, it will be the very young, the very old and the very poor who will most likely suffer the very most. I hope your beautiful place is realised.