[Posted by Julia.] A friend of ours pointed me toward this article, about the cohort of cicadas due out on the east coast this summer:
I'll quote a bit of it here, in case the link fails or something:
I have some personal issues about eating anything that isn't plant life. As an ethical (as opposed to health-oriented) vegetarian, I can no longer bring myself to eat sentient creatures. However, I don't know how sentient shrimp or cicadas are. Is it just human vanity that allows us to imagine that any other life forms that are not human are somehow less able than we are to feel or have an interest in life? I think it is. Human vanity comes from being conscious, from being self aware, and we figure those other creatures are not self aware, because they don't act like we do. Of course, I am not the first to think this! And in fact, it forms the basis for the plot of many a sci-fi film where aliens treat humans as lesser creatures, and show up the hypocrisy of our human vanity. Ecclesiastes 1 has a lot to say about that.