The Insects Among Us

By Published On: 11 September 2011Last Updated: 17 January 2017

If you tell someone that, as a vegan, you advocate the "trap and release" method to deal with common household bugs- they'll think you're nuts.

What's in this post

American House Spideris rarely bothers humans. They may opt to 'play dead' if threatened.

I feel bad for insects. Of all the animals on the planet, the insects have less people on their side so-to-speak. In fact, tell someone that, as a vegan, you advocate the “trap and release” method to deal with common household bugs- they’ll think you’re nuts. I wrote a piece in 2009 on spiders, mentioning that they are sentient and deserved respect, and I was bombarded with comments from people who thought I went mad.

An Annual Cicada is harmless to humans.

Insects are totally amazing.  Sure, some can be a bit creepy looking- but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Insects out number human populations by huge numbers.  At any given time there are ten quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) insects alive, whereas the current global population of humans is around six billion (6,000,000,000).  That’s a lot of bugs.

Certain types of grasshoppers and crickets have their ears on their front legs.

Did you know that:

  • Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.
  • Wasps feeding on fermenting juice have been known to get “drunk’ and pass out.
  • To survive the cold of winter months, many insects replace their body water with a chemical called glycerol, which acts as an “antifreeze” against the temperatures.
  • Ants can lift and carry more than fifty times their own weight
  • All insects are bugs but not all bugs are insects. An Insect has three body parts; a head, thorax, and abdomen. Insects have six legs and two antennae.
  • Scientists recently discovered that insects such as cockroaches and honeybees make collective decisions and use voting and quorums to help decide where to make their next home.

The word "mantis" comes from the Greek word meaning prophet.

There is no shortage of amazing facts on insects, I could never list them all.  Still, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I love bugs.  I do a ‘scream and duck’ when I see a bee- but that’s more “allergy” influencing me than real fear.  But as a whole, I respect the insects.  They are animals, after all.  I need them to help sustain life on this planet.  They’re integral to the inner workings and do things I would never do like- consume dung, help break down decaying matter, and so on.  Although, even if I didn’t benefit from them, I’d still treat them as individuals with their own interests.  I do my best to coexist with them.  I’m not saying I want to live with bugs, don’t misunderstand me- I’m just saying I don’t try to kill them when I find them.

A praying mantis is the only animal that turn it's head 360 degrees.

I take extra measures to ensure I don’t invite them in my home and my resident spiders help keep any invaders at bay.  For the most part, it works.  If I’m absolutely forced to, I’ll remove the insect via the catch-and-release method.

Photo Op: Peace with the Leafhopper

I have my veganism to thank for my views on insects.  I’m much more aware of the creatures I share the planet with, more aware of their plights.  Insects are more beautiful and fascinating than they get credit for.

Gratitude to Encyclopedia Smithsonian for the bug facts and to the bugs for visiting my home this past week for their photography sessions.


  1. Raymond Aguilera August 27, 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply

    If you are a true vegan you wouldn’t domesticate 7 cats and two dogs. Animals or humans shouldn’t be condemned. I recently went to Mexico in June, tepic nayarit to be exact and saw dogs with no collars living life on the streets like all of us should. No prejudice. I completely disagree with owning or domesticating any animal. Birds in cages,dogs in backyards, or the almighty horse cow or tiger. Mosy meat eaters justify by eating or selling them but for you to ” own ” animals and claim to be vegan makes me very upset. Animals should be treated with respect like humans. Human slavery still exists in manu parts of the word. The AP won a publizer prize on the story about Indonesia caging humans making them work 22 hours a day and kept in cages and kidnapped and forced to this labor to fish to provide Americans at the olive garden the fish they need.

    • KD Angle Traegner August 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Raymond Aguilera, Thanks for the comment but it’s a bit all over the place and I’m not really sure what your point is. I don’t know what a “true vegan” is but I didn’t single-handedly domesticate dogs and cats as I’m sure you know. I don’t “own” any animals either- I share a sanctuary with them, but they are their own beings. Caring for animals who are here in such great numbers because of humans is absolutely a vegan issue. Simply deciding not to care for these animals won’t make the problem go away- it will only exacerbate it.

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HELLO! I'm KD Angle-Traegner.

Writer, activist, and founder of Four Urban Paws Sanctuary. I’m on a mission to help people live a vegan life. Read more about KD…