Do Vegans Kill Insects? The Complicated Truth & 4 Ways You Can Help Save The Ecosystem

Do vegans kill insects?

The short answer is no (at least not on purpose), but the long answer is a little more complicated. 

Let’s get into it…

Here’s the thing: when you adopt a vegan lifestyle, it’s not just about what you put into your body. It’s also about living compassionately and consciously. Vegans choose to treat the planet and its inhabitants with respect, insects included. 

However, while vegans would not kill insects without reason, they may have to in certain situations, such as in response to infestations or self-defence. Plus, also the mere fact that humans exist causes unintentional deaths of bugs every second.

So, vegans sometimes DO kill insects. But, not because they want to!

The truth is that there are certain foods that vegans simply can’t eat without killing at least one insect somewhere along the way. Even if you buy organic produce that doesn’t use pesticides (which means it doesn’t kill as many insects), there may still be some bugs hiding in your food anyway. And even though vegans don’t intentionally try to kill these insects (or any other living thing), they are technically still to blame.

What about insects that come into their home? Do vegans kill spiders, flies, and cockroaches?

Vegans do not condone cruelty to animals, including insects. So, the majority of vegans will not kill spiders, flies, or cockroaches, even if they happen to encroach on their personal space.

This doesn’t mean that vegans let them live rent-free in their space, though. Instead, they use non-toxic traps and techniques to get rid of insects without harming them. Such as;

Chemical-free insect repellant; these won’t harm insects, but they will help keep your home bug free. 

Friendly bug catchers instead of traps that kill them, or, simply a glass and a piece of cardboard to transport them to a safe spot out in nature.

– DIY bug sprays using essential oils proven to keep critters at bay. Such as; lemon, thyme, and peppermint.

Necessary VS Unnecessary 

The definition of veganism suggests the vegan way of life is followed “as far as is possible and practicable”. 

If an insect is simply causing a nuisance and disrupting your day-to-day activities, then killing them would be unnecessary. You could remove them humanely or move away.

However, there are clearly some circumstances in which it is not practicable to follow the vegan credentials to the letter.

When is it okay for vegans to kill insects?

One situation might be if there is an infestation of insects in your home or garden. If the infestation threatens someone’s health or safety, then it may be necessary for them to kill them in order to control their population and prevent further damage from occurring. 

Another reason would be If it is necessary to do so for your health (e.g. if you have allergies that are triggered by certain types of insects)

It’s important to always check if you can humanely resolve the problem before resorting to killing though; insects are crucial to the ecosystem, and deserve to live!

If you really want to go all-out for your insect friends, there are also companies like ‘Humane Wildlife Solutions’ that perform vegan non-lethal pest control.

It’s not just vegans that should be worried about killing insects.

Vegan or not, next time you find yourself itching to swat away a bug, rethink your decision. They are actually more important to our ecosystem than you might think. And, they’re dying out at a rate faster than any other animal on Earth.

Why are insects so important? 

Insects are more than just pests—they’re actually crucial to our survival. 

They play a massive part in keeping our ecosystem in check. If we wiped out all of the insects, then all of the plants will die as well. The food chain would be broken and we would have no way to survive on this planet.

Insects are also important in other ways: they have been shown to be key players in waste management and even climate change mitigation. 

Insects also help with soil health. Many insects burrow through the soil and aerate it, which allows oxygen to reach plant roots. They also eat decaying plant matter, which releases nutrients back into the soil. In fact, some experts believe that if we were to wipe out all insects from our ecosystem, we’d see a decrease in crop production by up to 40%.

How can vegans kill fewer insects? 

In order to save the ecosystem, we all need to try and minimise our contribution to the decline of the insect population.

Here are some vegan-friendly ideas that will help keep unnecessary insect death to a minimum and in turn save our planet:

4 ways you can help save the ecosystem 

  1. Go organic with your gardening. If you use pesticides on your garden or lawn, you’re killing off insects like bees and butterflies (not to mention birds). Instead of using chemicals, try planting flowers that attract bees instead of killing them off! You’ll be helping yourself AND helping nature at the same time!
  2. Buy organic food whenever possible! You’ll be doing yourself a favour by avoiding pesticides—and doing some good for all living things in the process!
  3. Use natural methods of insect control: You can use plants that naturally repel pests. For example, marigolds have a bad odour that bugs hate. You can also use cedar oil or mint oil on your plants and around the house. They smell good but bugs don’t like them!
  4. Be kind: Even if you find them scary, they are living creatures so treat them with respect! Unless an insect is putting your life at risk – let it live its life in peace.

Overall, when you look at the issue of vegans killing insects, the word “kill” isn’t really applicable to what they do—because it implies something unnecessary and cruel.

Yes, vegans kill insects, spiders, flies and cockroaches, and more–but not without good reason or on purpose. They do not want to kill anything they don’t have to, and they try hard not to.

Vegans treat insects with respect and you should too! They are important to our planet, and we shouldn’t forget that.

Thanks for reading!

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Vegan children's book writer- check out "Ollie The Vegan Dinosaur"!- and loves all things word-y. (Oh, and a sucker for reasonably-priced cruelty-free mascara!)

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