from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Friday, 20 November 2020

pets and insecticides

 I can't keep quiet about this. I feel so angry. If you live with animals, you should too (or even of course if you don't!).

A recent article in The Guardian has highlighted the outrageous practice of giving our companion animals routine – often monthly – doses of flea treatment and wormers – even when they don't need it.

Our vets, whom I otherwise rate, invite one to sign up to receive such treatments regularly. (A doctor friend of mine said 35 years ago: 'It's the pharmaceutical companies that really pull the strings.' Yes indeed. Let's not buy their line.)

It doesn't take much intuition to sense that these are not going to do our animals any good. It also doesn't take much intelligence to wonder where such insecticides end up, and what their impact is. I almost never use these products.

But I wasn't aware that one dose, for one medium-sized dog, of a common flea treatment contains enough toxic chemicals to kill 60 million bees. Yes, you read that correctly. We know how badly bees are suffering already.

An irony is that this happens whether or not it's flea 'season', which in northern Europe is summer. (Yes, I know ticks can be dangerous to both animals and more especially humans, if they carry Lyme disease. However, if you walk in the countryside, you are likely to pick up ticks even without an animal beside you. It's good practice to check your skin after such a walk. I'm assiduous about checking our dogs regularly and removing ticks with tick-hooks.)

There are alternatives that are insect-repellent but non-toxic.

I buy an essential oil blend, Pets' Parasite Formula. I use it weekly in flea and tick season, and yes it is harder work and no it is not quite as effective as a blast of chemicals, but it's not bad. You can use it as a spot-on, on their collars, in a shampoo like Neem, or brushed through their coats. I buy it direct from the French vet who developed it, but you can also buy it here.

For worms, I use Verm-X, which is herbal, tasty, and very effective. This too has been developed by a vet. You can get this from the manufacturers.

I have written to my vets asking them to reconsider. I've posted this all over social media, and am telling anyone who will listen.

Read the article here.

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