God of Small Things

Is your religion insect-friendly?



Buddhism teaches that all living things, including insects, are part of


the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Refraining from killing is the first of the

five Buddhist precepts

, and many interpretations take this to include animals and insects.

Textual Source:
Whoever destroys living beings,
speaks false words, who in the world
takes that which is not given to him,
or goes too with another's wife,
or takes distilled, fermented drinks--
whatever man indulges thus
extirpates the roots of himself
even here in this very world.


Additional Resources:
Five Buddhist Precepts


A good explanation of the first Buddhist precept, not to kill.

Buddhism Basics

This explanation of Buddhism explains that Buddhist monks are supposed to use filters to remove insects from their drinking water.

Animal Rights and the Dhammapada

An essay about the importance of animals and noninjury in the major Buddhist text.

Though the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is emphasized in Christianity, this is most often used in reference to other human beings. Christianity emphasizes the Judeo-Christian idea that God gave man dominion over the earth. However, Christianity also teaches respect for all of God's creatures.

Textual Source:
And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
--Genesis 1:28

Hinduism condemns violence to animals because, under the concept of reincarnation, humans souls are regarded to be the same as animal souls.

Textual Source:
Those who possess this wisdom have equal regard for all. They see the same Self in a spiritual aspirant and an outcaste, in an elephant, a cow, and a dog.
--Bhagavad Gita 5:18

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