Diatomaceous earth kills fleas by puncturing their exoskeletons and dehydrating them. Apologies to you vegan friends, but my loyalty is with my mutt, Petunia, who is very unhappy being itchy. Last month I wouldn’t have gone this route. My family and I have always used the chemical insecticides on our dogs at our vets’ recommendation, but this season the fleas have apparently acquired a resistance to all but the newest and most expensive product. And this development happened to coincide with my reading “Silent Spring.” In the book, Carson shows that no part of nature is isolated from any other, and so poisoning one thing ends up poisoning all things. Claims by insecticide manufacturers that there is a baseline acceptable toxicity, she shows, are false because cancer-causing cell damage is a cumulative process, and so small amounts can have big consequences — especially now, when exposure to man-made poisons is so widespread that we are all constantly threatened by contaminated food, water, consumer products and soil.
This book first entered my awareness at the recommendation of colleagues over 45 years old, but a lot of people my age (28) and younger have never heard of it. It’s filled with lots of great quotes that made me want to stand up and shout with a fist in the air and endure an annoyingly dust-filled living space for a week straight.“Man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival,” she writes. “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance,” she says. “The balance of nature…is fluid, ever shifting, in a constant state of adjustment. Man, too, is part of this balance.” Here, here!
What eco reads changed your life?