OK, I will never vacuum a centipede again, I will stop roughing up ant hills on my property, and I will not pull every weed in sight. But if I ever get bed bugs, I'm sorry, but my respect for every living creature hits a line in the sand. The only other creature I can think of that resides on the other side of the line is mosquitoes, but only when landing on me. Enough about me. Hainze has written an lovely (really!) book about lives of many small creatures around us - their history, and our history interacting with them, especially with the pestier ones, which regrettably involves a continuously escalating war and many unintended consequences. John gives us both practical and ethical reasons why we should stop most, if not all, of these battles. Along the way you will learn fascinating tidbits you can drop into a lull in conversations, such as: whereas human evolution just got underway a mere 200,000 years ago, the silverfish has hardly changed since it emerged 300 MILLION years ago, securing itself as a nearly ideal land specimen soon after it crawled from the seas. We should be so perfected!! This is a delightfully told story that will hopefully challenge your attitudes and behaviors about the smaller creatures that share the earth with us.— Kay Wosewick
Fruit flies, silverfish, dandelions, and crabgrass are the bane of many people and the target of numerous chemical and physical eradication efforts. In this compelling reassessment of the relationship between humans and the natural world, John Hainze—an entomologist and former pesticide developer—considers the fascinating and bizarre history of how these so-called invasive or unwanted pests and weeds have coevolved with humanity and highlights the benefits of a greater respect and moral consideration toward these organisms.
With deep insight into the lives of the underappreciated and often reviled creatures that surround us, Hainze’s accessible and engaging natural history draws on ethics, religion, and philosophy as he passionately argues that creepy crawlies and unwanted plants deserve both empathy and accommodation as partners dwelling with us on earth.