I remember a discussion on an entomology discussion board about whether or not insects feel pain. I think we have to assume insects or any arthropods feel pain unless and until we can prove they don’t. Just assuming they don’t feel pain to justify inflicting pain on them is totally morally wrong and puts the entomologist in the same category as those lowlifes who practice animal research in labs. This is why I quit practicing entomology, along with the fact that I found it appalling that we would collect and kill thousands of insects when looking for certain species. I was paid by the government to identify pitfall trap insects from national parks until I just told them that it is a waste of taxpayer money to do this sort of thing, as most of the specimens ended up in a jar of alcohol, never to be seen again. That is also why I never gave the location of the new species of salamander I found almost 20 years ago, and why I never will. The salamanders are much better off without humans trying to catch and pickle them. We need to deal with insects that have a direct impact on us, such as disease vectors, species that contaminate our food, destroy our gardens, eat our possessions and our homes. Insects in forests, mountains, deserts and other uninhabited areas should be left alone. We don’t need to know every species on the planet and we never will. Describing new species is more about ego and has no realistic value to anyone. I had four undescribed species of insects in my collection for a long time. One moth, one louse and two beetles. I never described them because I thought entomologists would just go out and set more traps and kill thousands of other arthropods while looking for some more specimens of the insects if they were described. Instead I put them in the trash and their species are better off as the salamanders are.
I think in this day and age, entomologists could develop ways to capture and kill species they are interested in, without all the collateral damage to other species. My sole interest in entomology now is in areas that affect humans only. I don’t hunt, I don’t fish, I never eat meat of any kind and would never eat insects. I am not religious, but I am spiritual and I believe my place on earth isn’t to kill people (or anything else) or to destroy the environment. It is to promote love, peace and practice safe and effective pest management without using pesticides. I promote earth friendly pest management in which we can control pest species without killing beneficial or other species. Many pesticide companies like to spray and pray (spray pesticides and pray you kill something).