The Morality Behind Eating Crickets

Every product we make is made with the same belief: food should taste good, be good for you, and good for our planet. Eat good. Feel good. Do good.

Other than the fact you will be doing your own body and Mother Earth a service by incorporating crickets into your daily meals as a substitute for typical meat products, these high-in-nutrients, low in environmental damage crustaceans are also a morally sound food choice for vegans and vegetarians, as well as anyone wanting to make sure they support thoughtful farms and safe-to-eat foods.

While crickets are animals, they have been proven to distinguish themselves from sentient animals–those that feel pain and would therefore suffer to be eaten. Crickets don’t have a central nervous system (this goes for most other insects as well), meaning they don’t experience suffering of any kind. Most insects also don’t have nociceptors, the nerves that larger vertebrates use to transmit pain signals. It’s pretty difficult to feel any sort of discomfort when you don’t have any nerves to feel such unpleasantness.

In “Do insects feel pain? – A biological view” published by C. H. Eisemann, W. K. Jorgensen, D. J. Merritt, M. J. Rice, B. W. Cribb, P. D. Webb and M. P. Zalucki, Department of Entomology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067 (Australia), it states, “No example is known to us of an insect showing protective behavior towards injured parts, such as by limping after leg injury or declining to feed or mate because of general abdominal injuries. On the contrary, our experience has been that insects will continue with normal activities even after severe injury or removal of body parts.”

Insects are also far easier to morally care for and harvest than the meat of livestock. While some farms for cows, pigs, chickens and the like are notorious for not meeting all the standards to prevent hunger, thirst, distress and overcrowding of their animals, crickets naturally live in high concentrations and caring for crickets also uses far less resources and is kinder to our planet’s environment.

Let’s lay out the cricket harvesting process to give you a better idea.

Adult crickets reach their full size within two months, which is when they are prepped for “harvest,” consisting of transferring them to a freezer where they go painlessly into a state of hibernation and never wake up. Most cricket farmers cool the crickets to their hibernation state first–a natural process for them–and when they are “asleep” the temperature is gradually lowered to freeze them. As we’ve described, being they feel no pain, this is also a painless, human way to harvest protein.

If farmers have a chest freezer big enough, they place the entire tote inside and, a few hours later, come back to scrape off all the dead crickets into plastic bags.

Frozen crickets may be roasted, seasoned and eaten whole. You may also dehydrate them and grind them into flour, like our own cricket protein powder or cricket flour.

Crickets are also much safer than other animal meat products. Insect farming requires no use of antibiotics and it’s much safer than cattle or chicken farming in terms of potential diseases and risks caused by high concentrations of animals packed in one space together. This quote from the UN sums it up nicely: “Because insects are taxonomically much more distant from humans than conventional livestock, the risk of zoonotic infections is expected to be low.”

So do right by yourself, the planet and your moral compass by choosing pain-free and antibiotic-free crickets as your source of protein. Check out our online shop to view our cricket protein, powder and snacks for sale. Click the recipe link below to get ideas for how to cook with cricket powder and incorporate it into your favorite meals.

Be well,

Le Cricket Queen

Health benefits and facts found through Sens Foods, The Washington Post, ResearchGate, Modern Farmer, and professionally published education articles.

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