A Sentience Article from All-Creatures.org



The Thing About Wasps

From Vegan FTA For the Animals
June 2024

Wasps are earthlings who have lived their lives completely independent of humans, and yet, already mastered architecture, pottery, papermaking, fast food, trade, and civilizations well before our ancestors began jumping from tree to tree. They are very special.

Wasp face
Image from Shutterstock

I have a thing about wasps.

If I see a wasp in peril, I must drop whatever I am doing and try to help her. For decades, I felt this compulsion, which has led me to some awkward situations when I try to stop people from being violent against wasps — normally because of a completely over-the-top reaction to their presence.

You may think this is weird. After all, wasps sting, which can be quite painful and distressing. And when you look at them, especially flying around their nests, people feel genuine fear, even if they have never had a bad experience with them. How can I side with them when they see a human trying to hit them? How can I get upset when I see people destroying their nests? How can I get closer to them without feeling shivers down my spine? You may think that this is one of the effects of having been an ethical vegan for more than 20 years. That’s a good guess, as all ethical vegans should respect wasps as they respect any other sentient being. But that’s not it. In fact, I can say — and I said many times in the past — social wasps are my favourite non-human animals in the whole world (and I only know a vegan who may share the same feeling).

I love dogs and love spending time with them, but I find them half-humans now (after all the thousands of years of domestication from wild wolves). They should not count in the favourite non-human animal “competition” anymore, because we bred them to be super friendly and cute, and that is unfair to the other participants. Wasps, on the other hand, are wild animals, and they haven’t changed in the few thousand years that we have been making puppies, kittens, and lambs. They haven’t changed since the first anatomically modern humansevolve on Earth tenths of thousands of years ago. Or even since the first hominids evolved millions of years ago in Africa. Or even since the first primates started flourishing right after the big dinosaurs got extinct about 65 million years ago.

Wasps are earthlings who have lived their lives completely independent of humans, and yet, already mastered architecture, pottery, papermaking, fast food, trade, and civilizations well before our ancestors began jumping from tree to tree. They are very special. And they are very special to me, as I studied them for almost ten years from the moment I chose them as my main subject for my PhD studies of Ethology (a branch of Zoology specialised in comparatively studying animal behaviour by looking at animals in the wild).

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Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE including:

  • What Are Wasps?
  • The Social Life of Wasps
  • Polistes, the “Human-Like” Wasps
  • Matriarchal Traders
  • What to Do When Meeting a Social Wasp

Posted on All-Creatures.org: June 17, 2024
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