Silent Spring Why do we not care about exterminating a whole society of insects, but we start riots and revolts over the killing of animals like elephants, dolphins, whales, rhinos, and other nearly extinct animals? We have reasons to kill these animals just like the insects, the slaughter of these animals temporarily benefits us, but what people do think about is what will happen if we eliminate every single insect of a certain species. Rachel Carson is an incredibly brave individual for writing Silent Spring.
She had no doctorate in the field of environmental science, yet she still did her research and spoke her mind about the fact of the matter, and that matter being the killing of mass amounts of insects using pesticides. DDT was the main pesticide she was incredibly angry about because of the hidden or unknown effects it had on the environment. If there was one chapter that sticks out more than the others it would be the last one, The Other Road, which mainly focuses on the work Dr.
Knipling was experimenting with. In this chapter Carson writes about the different way we could eliminate the insects without harming our environment with the dangerous DDT compound. Ways like sterilizing the males so they cannot get the females pregnant, extracting pheromone from the female and spreading it over a large area it try and mask the real pheromone emitted by the female and the male can then not find her. All are great ideas but how do we know they will be safer than DDT.
We do not, just like we had no idea that DDT was going to have a extreme effect on the environment, there is no way to be able to account for every little reaction that the new drug we are spreading will not devastate our ecosystem. I think that it is a well known fact that people overall do not like insects for many sorts of reasons. They annoy us, they land on us, they bump into us, they drink our blood, the carry diseases, they land on our food, and off hand I can only think of one possible benefit to one particular insect: the bee, and only for spreading pollen from flower to flower.
So overall we want to get rid of these insects as soon as possible because they do not contribute to anything productive in any population. It is very difficult to compare something that is seen as a pest and useless, meaning an insect, to something as that is seen as being beautiful and majestic, meaning wild animals. Why do people see insects as an annoying nuisance? In the early twentieth century we have just come out of the American agricultural revolution, and we were exponentially increasing the amount farmlands and with it crops.
Insects then took advantage of what that had available to them, like the massive amount of food we are farming to feed our growing population. Farmers were getting very upset at the amount of crops wasted by insect infestation. The single most important reason as to why there will never be an uprising for killing to many insects is simply because no one cares for them. There is another reason though, one that scientists think about more than the general public. The sheer number of insects within a given area is bound to exceed our expectations.
So many in fact it is nearly impossible to exterminate all of them. Due to the great amount of insects it is impossible to try and poison them because I can guaranty you that a couple of the billion will be immune to it. And if a couple of them are then they can repopulate and the new population will be immune to the previous poison we tried to use. We could kill the most amount of population by using two or more types of poisons which should eliminate this problem, but this problem will almost always occur due to the sheer size of the community of insects.
Comparatively when people try to kill dolphins or whales we will react drastically different than someone plotting to exterminate a hoard of termites or insects that eat crops. It seems slightly strange to explain why, but because dolphins and whales are short in number and if we kill them off we will have killed yet another species of animal that will never be seen on planet earth ever again. We also have no clue as to what effect it can have to the ecosystem after they are gone.
When we talk about attempting to clear an area of insects we should not mean to kill the whole population, but when we hunt nearly extinct animals we might possibly rid the whole population on accident. Like I said before, we have a reason for killing whales, dolphins, elephants, and rhinos, for their blubber, meat, and ivory. We get a personal gain from killing these animals, and to some it seems like it is unjust. We are killing innocent beings only for a small insignificant part of their bodies.
Insects on the other hand are pests, people do not see any benefit in having them so why do we need them? To sum up the point that I am trying to make, insects so not have a substantial value to us, or at least we cannot see it. But animals, especially animals on the verge of being extinct, do have a value to us. Whether is be because we won’t see them again, or because we like to use the various parts of them for our benefit. So we do not care about the pests we call insects, and we do not care if we kill large numbers of them for our own benefit.