Thursday, May 19, 2011

Less poison, please

Posted on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Weeds are plants growing where they are not wanted. In most cases, humans brought them to America. They have the same nature as the more favored plants—that is, they want to live. They are a problem for us, but hateful speech—humorous or otherwise–does not help (see “War on weeds,” March 24, 2011). They pop up in and around pastures, orchards, lawns, farm fields, the sides of roads, and railways. In turn, great rivers of good drinking water are contaminated with herbicides and pesticides. Each spring these poisons are put all over our good earth, into water and air and into the pores of our skin. The connection to cancer is undeniable.

Once I almost became a crop duster. I liked flying low and the pay was good. Then the eagles began crushing their eggs by simply sitting on them in the nest. Extensive spraying of DDT made the eggs weak. Then I read Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson. Also, friends who fought in Vietnam were coming back home permanently damaged by Agent Orange. Other friends became extremely sensitive to chemicals.

I get nauseated when I smell poison in the fields or in the garden aisles of stores. I support organic farming. It is not commonly admitted, but pesticides can kill native plants and insects. Honeybees die from a very mild exposure. Not many years ago, we did all our food crops and beauty gardens with pesticides. I am sure mighty chemical corporations that brew the poison spray are happy many customers are convinced they can’t do without their product, and that they believe weeds are evil and that we are engaged in a noble “war on weeds.” I urge you to be careful of your health and put less poison on our beautiful earth.

Gary LeDeau


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