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Do Vegans Kill Bugs? | Gary Yourofsky Interview

Where does one draw the line when it comes to respecting the lives of other beings?  As a vegan, I'm often asked “how far” I take the tenants of not harming living creatures.  This often comes in the form of “Do you kill bugs?” or “What about when you're driving or walking and run over insects?”   While these questions can sometimes be delivered in an aggressive or provocative manner, I believe they are valid and important issues to address.  In this interview, vegan activist Gary Yourofsky shares his views on the rights of insects.

To hear his full answer, be sure to watch the video, but here is a nugget:

“Include insects in your circle of compassion–they're animals too, they're creatures…ants [are] some of the most amazing beings on this planet.  If there is a flood, ants will actually get together and lock arms and legs and form a raft.  And then a few of the higher up ants in the community will go get the queen ant and bring her on top of the ant raft.  And then the raft will float down until the flood has ended, all this to save the queen ant.  That's how altruistic ants and other insects and all animals can be if you just pay attention and start to notice what's going on.”

What is your relationship with insects?  Do you try to avoid harming them?  Or only certain kinds?  I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

And stay tuned for more installations of Gary's interview series. I'll be posting behind-the-scenes footage and questions that don't make it on the main channel to the VIV Area here: get the password free when you sign up for the Nugget Newsletter!  Just use the form at the bottom of this post :)

See ya next nugget!







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  1. LorriePaige on October 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I’m surprised regarding the insects mentioned. Those are insects most people like I think.

    I thought you would ask Gary does he kill, roaches, mosquitoes, maggots and flies, and other such insects.

    My thoughts are if they pose a threat to my health, or food (I once had a huge infestation of eggs and bugs in my grains; they even ate through plastic! I had to throw out a lot of food and I did throw all away in the garbage–along with the bugs. I supposed I could have pored all grains out in the grass, but as a threat to my food source, I placed all food that was infested in a garbage bag and threw it out).

    What would Gary have done? Or you Emily? :)

    Actually, in this way, I’m treating insects no different than how I treat humans. If a human threatened me in some way with my health (with bugs it could be disease, with humans could be to directly injure me), putting me in danger I would fight back and legally possibly kill them if they threaten to kill me; if a human broke into my home and tried to steal something, I wouldn’t kill them but I would attack them and deal with them in a way where they would not want to come back. Anyway, I digress, but I think the bugs I mentioned in how one deals with them is something to think about.

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on October 27, 2014 at 1:32 am

      i know that in the times i’ve spoken with gary about this issue, Lorrie, he comes form the stance that you always have the right to defend yourself with legitimately threatened and i have to agree. i would try all the humane and natural methods at my disposal. but there are points where you have to resort to less ethical options.

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