Sunday, November 27, 2011
I came across this informative and amusing blog post by "insect ecologist" Jeffery Lockwood, in which he answers the question, "do bugs feel pain?". He goes as far as to advocate the anesthetization of bug subjects in experiments, just in case they do.
"... there are relevant biochemical similarities between insect and human nervous systems. At least some invertebrates possess endorphins and enkephalins. These chemicals are opioids (think opium) produced by the body to alleviate pain and stress. So the presence of these in insects suggests that they might experience pleasure/pain. We also know that the mechanisms of neural transmission are similar in insects and humans.
This is one of the reasons that neurotoxic insecticides also poison you along with the cockroach in your kitchen. In fact, the organophosphate insecticides are based on the nerve gases developed during World War II. Kinda creepy, eh?"
Whatever your stance I think its a relevant question...is there enough evidence to suggest that insects feel pain, and if so, does it matter?