Should Sentient Insects Be Farmed for Food and Feed?
A Sentience Article from

FROM Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
November 2021

Our review highlights the numerous cognitive capacities found in insects, which shows that there is more to insects than we often realize.


The topics of insect cognition and sentience are highly controversial and hotly debated.1 I recently read an essay by insect sentience experts Helen Lambert, Angie Elwin, and Neil D’Cruze called “Wouldn’t hurt a fly? A review of insect cognition and sentience in relation to their use as food and feed,” in which these researchers conclude that there is evidence of impressive cognitive capacities and sentience in a range of insect species, and I’m pleased that Helen could take the time to answer a few questions about this most important piece.2 Here’s what she had to say.

Why did you write “Wouldn’t hurt a fly”?

Society is becoming ever more conscious of the negative impacts that industrial-scale farming is having on the welfare of animals and the environment. A lot of attention recently has focused on finding alternative, sustainable, and humane solutions to meet the huge global demand for protein to feed people and livestock. One proposed solution is to step up the production of edible insects, given that they offer such a rich source of protein and can be produced with relatively fewer environmental impacts. In fact, the edible insect industry has seen a huge spike in interest over the past decade, not only among NGO’s and scientists, but insects are also actively promoted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the “future prospect for food and feed security.”


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE (PDF) 

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