We articulate a posthuman
politics of hope to unpack the richly embodied personal experiences and
web of relationalities formed through repeated encounters with insects.
Interrogating insect speciesism teaches us to extend our compassion and
live symbiotically with insects. We focus the narrative of insect
decline as impacted by colonialism and white supremacy, enabling insect
speciesism to flourish alongside exploitation of other human and
We pay particular attention the use of everyday language and framing of
insects to ‘other’ them, thereby trivialising and demonising their
existence, including ‘it's *just* a bug’ or ‘they are pests’. Insect
speciesism employs similar rhetoric reinforcing discrimination patterns
of other nonhuman animals and humans. We focus on the unexpected
encounters with insects in domestic spaces, such as an office desk, and
through the multispecies space of ‘the allotment’.
We reflect on two possible posthuman futures: one where insect
speciesism is entrenched and unrepentant; the second a decolonized
society where we aspire to live a more compassionate and non-violent
existence amidst these remarkable and brilliant creatures we owe our
very existence on Earth.
One of the most profound lessons of the crisis-driven epoch of the
Anthropocene is this: our existence on earth is intimately bound with
the flourishing of all forms of life. This includes complex multispecies
encounters between humans and insects, an area of enquiry widely
neglected across the social sciences. Faced with imminent catastrophic
decline and extinction of insect and invertebrate populations, human
relationships with these fellow Earthlings are deserving of further
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