You Might Want To Read This Before You Kill Another Bug!
You might think snails, ants, and flies are only nasty pests that don’t experience any feelings. Perhaps today you have already thoughtlessly swatted at a few small spiders or run over a stray snail.
Every second, a bug is murdered without justice; we simply assume insect life is unimportant and that bugs don’t know or care if they are dead or alive. Even with all of these negative bug ideologies in our popular culture, I still can’t kill even the oddest, smallest, or scariest bug, simply because one thought always crosses my mind: What if they have a family somewhere? I can just see the dirt hole, or tiny crevice in the wall, where their little bug family awaits. I don’t want to be the one to rip away a child’s mother, even if she may only measures 2 centimeters long. Size doesn’t make someone have more or less feelings; some of the shortest people I know are the most emotional!
But yes, I get that bugs are not people. It’s not their size we belittle, but instead the puny brains we assume they must have. Sure, maybe bugs don’t think at all, maybe to them the value of life is nonexistent, but what if we are wrong? Can you imagine if a larger species suddenly developed on earth? A species so big they couldn’t hear a word we said down here, and didn’t seem to care much either—in fact they thought we were too small to know anything. Even worse, in the process of walking around, these rude giants ‘accidentally’ stepped on us and ran us over with their even more giant cars. This scenario might seem far-fetched, but bugs remember a time before humans—millions of years in fact.
I don’t kill many bugs, and when I do it’s always on accident. Many of these murders occur just after it rains, when all of the snails crowd around at the barn. Walking around literally becomes a game of ‘don’t step on the cracks’ although the ‘cracks’/snails, are everywhere! Every time I hear a crunching sound beneath my boot, my stomach sinks. “I’m sorry!” I say, as if that snail’s family can hear me. For a while I tried to make myself feel better, figuring that since snails disappear after the rain, maybe they die then too, living for only a few days or weeks. Then I found out that snails live around 8-years, when the rain goes away they simply go into hibernation. Beware: one misstep and you can take away years from an innocent snail!!
The Science Of Bug Brains
Many insect species live and work together, collectively creating communities where each individual bug has their own duties to fulfill. Research continues to prove that there is so much more to bugs than we often assume. Researches have noted the same neurotransmitter that alerts humans to pain also exists in fruit flies. Plus, bugs react to pain, for instance when a spider is stung by a poisonous wasp his body reacts instantly, before the venom has a chance to have any impact at all. Sure maybe they can feel pain, but still doubting that creepy crawlers have feelings? Endorphins are released by our pituitary gland when we do a number of activities, creating a feel good sensation within our body. Interestingly, earthworms also release endorphins. Think about how basic an earth worm is in appearance, and yet if an earth worm knows that warm feeling that comes with a release of endorphins, after you finish a hard work out, or complete a daunting task, I’d say most living creatures experience more emotions than we could ever guess.