killing an insect same as killing a bird or animal?

Do you view the killing of an insect as the moral equivalent of killing a bird or mammal?

Although I include insects in my animal rights philosophy, I recognize that there are important differences between insects and animals such as birds and mammals. One, for example, is the fact that many insects have extremely short life spans.

The importance of this can be illustrated through the following example. Suppose you were in a burning building, and could only save one of two individuals. One of these individuals is a terminally ill patient who only has several days to live, even if he is rescued. The other individual, however, is young and healthy. I believe that the choice in this case is fairly simple.

Given the fact that the entire life span of some insects is only a few days, this is the same principle I would apply if I had to choose between saving a mammal or saving an insect.

Quote from Animal Rights and Vegetarian Ethics by Eugene Khutoryansky

is killing a mosquito also the same? even if it brings dengue? or killing a louse or lice because you keep on scratching your head?

I view it as more of a mindset. Part of the reason for me to being vegan is the idea of non-violence. If you are a non-violent person you will not want to kill any living thing (except plants to sustain your life).

Killing an insect is different than killing a bird or other animal because it is typically done in “defense”- of yourself or your surroundings. You kill a mosquito when it trys to feed off of you. You kill an ant when it is an intruder in your home. You kill fleas or lice when they are inflicting physical distress to your body (extreme itchiness). If a mammal or bird were doing one of these things to you, you may feel differently about killing them.

I have to say, I agree with that sentiment entirely. I try my best not to kill flies and other insects, but if it’s a matter of protecting myself, then I believe it is necessary. I always go to extraordinary lengths not to kill insects, including carefully catching them in tissue and putting them outdoors.