Monday, April 20, 2009

We are destroying the earth, period.

   Recently, my dog Jake was poisoned. We took him to the vet and they determined that it was pesticide poisoning that had attacked his central nervous system. We do not use pesticides nor do our neighbours. Really, the only possible conclusion was that it was the effect of 'spray drift'. My family lives in a rural farm area, surrounded by commercial agriculture. The effect of the farmers out spraying their fields on a windy day, combined with Jake having been exposed in a matter of twenty minutes resulted in us almost losing our dog. 
This is the second time it has happened. Luckily we rushed him to the vet who administered a universal antidote, pumped him full of charcoal and valium and we were left aniticipating for the best. The day this happened my Mom saw the tractors out, spraying chemicals into the air that both we, our pets and natural wildlife breath. One asks how this is affecting our bodies! What about children! Luckily Jake was O.K but we worry if it will happen again. 
   I did as much research online as I could, we contacted the environmental sector of the government and talked to our neighbours. Turns out, that day they were spraying spinach fields which uses some of the most potent pesticides. The pesticide likely used is called demethoate, which is an organphosphorus pesticide, which functions similarily to nerve gases used during the second world war. Inhalation of air containing elevated levels of dimethoate can lead to a range of health effects including breathing difficulties, headache, a lack of coordination, convulsions, incontinence, unconsciousness and death. Exposure to dimethoate over long periods of time can cause similar symptoms as those described above and may also lead to impaired memory, depression, irritability, confusion and insomnia.
    Dimethoate is very toxic to non-target insects such as bees and also to birds and aquatic organisms. It may also harm other wildlife and livestock. There is also concern that exposure to Dimethoate may interfere with the hormone systems - that it is an "endocrine disruptor". This makes me sick.This is the stuff we are spraying on our food. 
 It really reinforced the pertinence of Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, which exposed the dangers of the pesticide DDT in the 1950s. Continual chemical warfare on the environment is going to continue to degrade our health and the natural world. I view Carson as one of the most influential people in history, who participated in launching grass-roots environmental awareness that continues to gain momentum. 

  "We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth."  — Rachel Carson

      Consider buying organic. Protest against private pesticide use. Be aware of what is happening. Take measures to make your life more green today. Earth day is Wednesday, why not start there!!!


  1. This is so true, and people are completely ignorant to the truth OR don't care. Where I live (in the U.S.) people are so obsessed with a weed free lawn that they use dangerous chemicals. They don't think of what it may do to their children or their pets or the wildlife.

  2. Oh no! JAKE! This is freakin' awful.

    I can relate too. I grew up surrounded by grape fields that were sprayed daily. I remember every time the tractor popped up my mother would hang her head out the kitchen window and scream for us to come in.

    When they weren't spraying pesticides in the grape fields, they were spraying manure in the corn fields.

    Manure of course is much more pleasant.

  3. They recently banned the spraying of lawns where we live with pesticides. All I can say is they banned them for a reason... And we all know what that reason is...They are dangerous to our health!!! If the general public and government officials have ever witnessed or experienced the poisioning of a dog they too would want all pesticide uses abolished!!