Per by David Knes

Biting into Schnitzel and Co. is not only a pleasure for some animal welfare and environmentally conscious people, it is also a pang of conscience. Still, many don’t want to do without it “because it tastes so good.” That was my attitude until 2017. At that time, Australian philosopher Peter Singer raised the question at a conference in Graz what could be done as an individual to minimize suffering (not just humans) in the world. No one should have to ask themselves this question. But if you do, you will find powerful leverage in your diet.

You may be wondering why vegetarians advocate eating insects. My colleague asked me the same thing. He finds the idea of ​​eating insects disgusting. But whether it’s mealworms, mosquitoes or other creatures, we unwittingly do this more often than you think, as ecologist Johannes Gepp knows. You don’t even need to be a particularly friendly cyclist, he adds.
The fear of contact can be overcome with a bit of openness, good preparation not only helps but can open up new culinary worlds.

But insects are animals too! My colleague hit the target with this promise. With the aspect of disgust removed from the table, this is a central and highly controversial issue for “moral vegetarians”. But when compared to “normal” meat consumption, the issue is clear.

Whether insects are sensitive or not depends on the species, you can’t lump them all together (I wouldn’t be familiar with any recipe for that either). The question requires further and intensive research. But there are many indications that the suffering of dying pigs, chickens or cattle is incomparable to that of insects – they already lack a central nervous system.

While thousands of insect species naturally roam in a very small area (and can therefore also be kept for food production), fattening farms in the meat processing industry could not be more than breed-appropriate breeding (with a few exceptions).

The ecological aspect also speaks for the big creep on the plate (sorry if the disgust is back now). Compared to a cricket meal, you would need to eat three times as much steak to get the same amount of protein. But steak comes with lots of resource consumption and CO₂ emissions.