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Remote control for Roaches - Cruel ?


ArtBug
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This topic might stir up a firestorm of opposing opinions - but here goes. . .!

I'll start with MY opinion (Seems REALLY cruel to me) - but would love to hear other roach folk's reactions.

These guys have invented a remote control device that seems to work by pinning the roach's antennae to it's back underneath the "engine" that runs the roach. . .

See link:

https://backyardbrains.com/products/roboroach

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Seems fine to me. It's temporay and the roach lives. For many neuroscience experiments, including those at my own university, the roaches aren't so lucky.

I've seen an article and video of this already, though, and had the ethics of it discussed in class, so I guess it's not really a shock to me. I do agree that marketing it to the public the way they are makes it appear that they've made a toy and that this may be what bothers some.

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i have heard of living beetle jewelry but roach jewelry is new to me. both are cruel, wearing animals as jewelry is horrible. as a vegan i disapprove of all animal cruelty. windward yes it is temporary and yes the roach lives but it has to carry that thing on its back, and go through surgery. not to mention how stressful it all must be for the poor roach. please do not read this as a insult, just me ranting lol.

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"Surgery" in this case does not have the meaning you're attributing to it. There's only a tiny hole made in the exoskeleton and it's glued shut (I've had larger holes glued shut on me and survived it fine). The ice bath looks to be the worst of it.

I dislike cruelty, too, but maybe I'm less bothered by this due to 1) some of my roaches are feeder roaches and my geckos are a far worse fate for a roach. 2) I have to kill insects nearly daily to collect data.

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I feed roaches and mealworms to other animals every day. They die horribly gruesome deaths, and I don't feel bad about it. This thing doesn't even kill the roach. It might be a little barbaric and ignorant to use as a TOY but honestly I don't believe or see any reason to believe that roaches and other arthropods "suffer", nor do I see any point in empathizing with and anthropomorphizing insects.

If I saw some kid at school using this and forcing the roach to move around just for kicks, would I be irritated? Of course. But I don't think that makes it ethically wrong. I love these animals, but I realize that, to our knowledge, they probably aren't "sentient" as we are. Just my two cents.

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My thought why I disagree, first insects, then birds, then mice, then large mammals, then primates. If we allow one animal they will want to upgrade to more developed organisms ( they already have actually), so for that reason ban all animal brain control.

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From an ethical standpoint it's shaky at best and, like you inferred, a slippery moral slope at worst. I have nothing against this being done to insects, and I can definitely see the merits of understanding the way that the nervous system and brain work, but this just seems like such a novelty to me, and I really don't think it should be marketed to the public in this way, if at all.

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