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Humane killing

I was disturbed by the Flukers article - - which had good info, but then this... "EXPERIMENTS WITH LIVING CRICKETS" recommending pinning live crickets in 2 places then removing their wings to find the breathing rate and the heartbeat. This is cruel - now, if you pushed pins through my body and chopped off a finger or two, would you find my normal heart rate? Typical of old-world animal experimenters.


  • Hah, that's pretty awful. I forgot about that part of the guide.

    My personal philosophy around this is pretty contradictory.

    On the one hand, I firmly believe that it's bad to kill anything unless you have a seriously good reason - and causing pain is almost always inexcusable. Regardless of whether insects are conscious, I don't think it is healthy to behave with callous disregard for life (or for anything, really).

    On the other hand, if I consider my own behaviour, I clearly don't care that much - I eat meat purely because I enjoy the experience.

    I somehow hold these conflicting things in my head without too much trouble. That's just part of being human, I guess. I do try not to eat meat unless I'm actually enjoying it (I'd rather have a crappy veggie burger than a crappy beef burger) but I doubt that really makes much of a difference.

    I never squash bugs - except mosquitos.

  • SNAILS: I have read that it's a quick death for snails to put them straight in boiling water, but I prefer to freeze them as they are cold blooded and would surely just go to sleep.. any thoughts?

  • CRICKETS: I freeze crickets - it's quite fast. They just slow down and stop.

  • Cool. Literally, I have been looking for an answer to this question, how to humanely end the life of something your going to eat, freezing them did not come up in my thinking. Thanks.

  • freezing and CO2 anesthetization are pretty much the "industry standards" for euthanizing insects. There's a large amount of academic literature on the use of CO2 (widely used in labs to temporarily anesthetize insects so they can be weighed/measured etc.. during the course of an experiment and subsequently to euthanize at the end). Both methods result in the insects "falling asleep" before subsequently dying which is about as humane as we can hope for. That said, one must be careful when handling CO2 to prevent occluding oxygen in your own environment! It has a similar effect on humans if not contained and carefully vented.

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