It’s a cruel science-fiction nightmare: According to reports, researchers in Japan are attempting to create cyborg servants out of cockroaches in a misguided attempt to help locate future human victims of natural disasters. Gluing cumbersome electronics and solar cells to roaches’ bodies purportedly will allow humans to control their movement against their will, steering insects with cameras mounted on their backs into disaster areas they’d likely naturally avoid.
But cockroaches are fascinating and intelligent animals—they groom themselves constantly, have unique personalities, and try their best to avoid humans. They’re living, feeling beings—and it’s not OK to torment and mutilate them.
This video shows the horrible cyborg cockroach experiments in Japan:
All animals, no matter how tiny, deserve compassion.
Studies have found that cockroaches are social beings who “talk” to one another, can recognize individual members of their family, live together in closely bonded groups, and can feel pain. They make collective decisions—about where to seek shelter, for instance—that will benefit the entire cockroach clan.
Even if researchers were able to find a way to direct these cyborg cockroaches to a location where humans were trapped in the event of a disaster, there would likely be no way to guide them back out. Any insects left with this bulky equipment glued to their body would be unable to live normally and would almost certainly die painfully.
Previously, PETA worked to get a similar—yet even more gruesome and invasive—cyborg cockroach program called RoboRoach removed from both Apple’s and Google’s app stores. You can join PETA’s campaign to squash speciesism by calling on the company to show respect to all sentient beings: