Not suffering from pain is as valuable to an insect as it is to an animal or a human

a fly. Large numbers of insects, especially black soldier flies, are fattened and ground up to feed the animals.ANP Image / Images Mauritius

Intensive livestock farming is fatal to animals, the environment and the climate, so it is true that we are gradually phasing out this industry. The government finally contributes to this by gradually facilitating protein transport. At the same time, the government also supports the development of a new sector, which in fact leads to the transformation of more animals into means of production for meat and dairy products: the industrial breeding of insects to feed animals. This new branch of factory farming is an extension of the already disastrous sector that is hard to get rid of.

It is not always clear from the contents of our shopping baskets, but most of us are against intensive livestock farming on principle. We realize that it is not morally acceptable to treat animals as objects, and more and more people are realizing that it is not necessary to eat animals at all.

Because of the climate crisis, it has become appropriate to replace animal proteins with plant foods as often as possible. Even the government, which is often behind, is now pursuing a policy on this protein transmission. Unfortunately, the government is also totally against the much-needed protein transition by investing heavily in insect farming.

new branch

The province of Gelderland is investing more than half a million euros in support to develop the most efficient system, and the province of Brabant has proudly invested several million in a large insect plant. With automated systems, in which huge quantities of insects are grown, a new branch of industrial farms is being created.

The European Union banned the use of animal protein as animal feed in 2001 due to mad cow disease. Now this is gradually allowed again. Large numbers of insects, especially black soldier flies, are fattened and ground up to feed the animals. This is then served to chickens, fish, and pigs, which eventually end up in plastic containers in supermarkets.

This development takes us even further into the unsustainable bio-industry. More than 600 million chickens and mammals are killed in the Netherlands every year. With the industrial cultivation of insects, there are so many killed animals that it is practically impossible to count them.

Fortunately, under the pressure of the nitrogen crisis, the downturn in intensive livestock farming has finally begun. But the necessary transition to a plant-based diet is being sabotaged by the expansion of the chain of animal farming with insect farming. Will insect factories be built next to the huge, hateful stables?


One of the founders of the Enlightenment, Rene Descartes, claimed that animals are glorified machines, and therefore cannot suffer from pain. Fortunately, the Age of Enlightenment is marked by a critical fundamental position and space for new insights. As a result, it is now generally accepted that animals, still chased into slaughterhouses at the rate of killing, are already in pain. Last year it was once again confirmed that crustaceans, such as crabs and crabs, suffer in boiling water. And so it has been scientifically proven that insects also have the ability to suffer pain, and they want to avoid pain.

Already in the eighteenth century, liberal philosopher Jeremy Bentham realized that legal protections for individuals are not about the ability to think or speak, but about the ability to suffer. People may not be able to imagine that a fly wanting to avoid pain and survive has nothing to do with the black soldier flies themselves. Not suffering from pain is as valuable to an insect as it is to a human being.


We are already stuck with an unethical industry in which hundreds of millions of chicks, pigs and calves are killed every year. Phasing out ranching is costing a lot of money, a lot of time, and breaking the door of one regional home. Prevention is better than cure, so the least we can do is prevent this sector from expanding further with the myriad of tormented animals. Let us realize in time that insect farming is also an undesirable branch of factory farming.

Former Minister Seiko Manshult warned of the disastrous effects in the 1970s, but as a mage apprentice he was no longer able to reverse the trend of cultivation intensification that he himself had initiated. In order not to repeat this mistake, we must avoid further including insect farming in the livestock industry.

Now that more and more people are starting to see that we cannot treat pigs and cows as objects, it is only a matter of time before we generally accept that insects are also “fair” animals, which do not deserve an unkind life in insect factories.

Bart Kuijer He is a follower of the Party for the Animals of Gelderland.

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