What's your take on insects?

StrangeOtter

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Should vegans grow vibrant beautiful meadows instead of ugly barren lawns because mowing a lawn probably kills insects? Or am I confusing veganism with Jainism?
 

silva

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Should vegans grow vibrant beautiful meadows instead of ugly barren lawns because mowing a lawn probably kills insects? Or am I confusing veganism with Jainism?
More reasons than just insects. typical grass lawns are horrid for many reasons. They're just really stupid.
I want to do something else, but have no idea what's realistic. For the front yard I'd like to see just flowers, bushes, and I guess some kind of spreading flat ground cover?
I can never keep a mower running right. I spent sooooo much time taking mine apart last year! :mad:
 
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StrangeOtter

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More reasons than just insects. typical grass lawns are horrid for many reasons. They're just really stupid.
I want to do something else, but have no idea what's realistic. For the front yard I'd like to see just flowers, bushes, and I guess some kind of spreading flat ground cover?
I can never keep a mower running right. I spent sooooo much time taking mine apart last year! :mad:
At least here some plants that covers the ground quick are cerastium tomentosum, clovers and glechoma hederacea. Shady and moist areas can be covered with moss, dry and sunny areas could be covered with pebbles and succulents for example. Maybe a bond and berry bushes for birds? Rowan, cherry or apple trees? And insect hotels? Now, I don't know what would be realistic, but I just get excited when I think about gardens. :)
 
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Live and let live, I say, when possible that is. This was not possible in the case of Veganite vs. Wasp Nest. Unfortunately the wasp nest was by my front door of my house. I am semi-allergic to stings, so this was a huge problem. I researched non-evasive removal, but sadly it was not possible in this case. They had nested under a concrete foundation. It just wasn't possible to relocate them. So I tried the passive approach, but at the end of the day I became a killer vegan. It's true! Call me what you will.

I think there's a simple line here; it requires a little common sense, which isn't always that common. As for the mosquito on my arm, I will slap it without hesitation. Again, common sense, and my two cents on the matter.


*
 

StrangeOtter

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I just learned that lemon balm underneath apple tree repels the pests that could harm the three and the harvest.
 

Tom L.

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At least here some plants that covers the ground quick are cerastium tomentosum, clovers and glechoma hederacea....
Oh-HO... you've touched on something I know about intimately. (Tom takes off his Easter bonnet and puts on his botanist and entomologist hats) Glechoma hederacea is also known as ground ivy (but it's in the mint family). It's actually quite attractive, with a tidy creeping habit and a profusion of small bluish-purplish flowers. But it sometimes has the larva of a small beetle, fly, or moth- I'm not sure which- feeding on it. You can tell the larvae are there because they live in swellings called galls, which are formed when the larvae feed. It was spreading too rapidly, and I didn't want to pull the plants which had larvae feeding in them- so I started eradicating the Glechoma early, before the larvae had started feeding. But I kept some of the plants and started an indoor terrarium with them last summer. They're doing very well.

But yes- lawns are kind of pointless unless you like to lounge on them. I plan to keep some grass, but am planting other things: I planted some of my lawn with vegetables, but when I mow it, I use a non-motorized mower- the kind with the cylindrical blades. I always see lots of small insects flying around, so I think it's much less lethal to small critters than a motorized mower. I'm learning how to sharpen the blades myself because the hardware store said their sharpener quit.
 
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Lou

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I'm not in favor of lawns either.
they use a lot of water, and fertilizer, and pesticides. Plus the lawn mower (unless its electric) burns fossil fuels.
However, Lawns are maybe not as bad as they seem at first glance.
Although there is some debate on it, lawns sequester carbon. and quite a bit. since it mostly sequesters the carbon underground - maybe better than bushes or trees. So they might be actually good for the environment. but pretty much only if you grow an orgainic lawn and have an electric lawnmower.

Here in California some people like replacing their lawns with clover. there is some weeding necessary - but little to no moving. And fertilizers and herbicides aren't necessary.

there are some other great ideas if you want to get rid of your lawn.


Oh, hey here is my sister's house.
 

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Lou

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And here are some yard around the neighborhood
 

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StrangeOtter

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Oh-HO... you've touched on something I know about intimately. (Tom takes off his Easter bonnet and puts on his botanist and entomologist hats) Glechoma hederacea is also known as ground ivy (but it's in the mint family). It's actually quite attractive, with a tidy creeping habit and a profusion of small bluish-purplish flowers. But it sometimes has the larva of a small beetle, fly, or moth- I'm not sure which- feeding on it. You can tell the larvae are there because they live in swellings called galls, which are formed when the larvae feed. It was spreading too rapidly, and I didn't want to pull the plants which had larvae feeding in them- so I started eradicating the Glechoma early, before the larvae had started feeding. But I kept some of the plants and started an indoor terrarium with them last summer. They're doing very well.

But yes- lawns are kind of pointless unless you like to lounge on them. I plan to keep some grass, but am planting other things: I planted some of my lawn with vegetables, but when I mow it, I use a non-motorized mower- the kind with the cylindrical blades. I always see lots of small insects flying around, so I think it's much less lethal to small critters than a motorized mower. I'm learning how to sharpen the blades myself because the hardware store said their sharpener quit.
I didn't know the English name for it so thank you. But I started to wonder why it was necessary to get rid of the insects? I know that some insects spread plant diseases and when they munch away the growth, it can sometimes look bad. But I'm ignorant and would love to know more.
Anyway, it's really nice that you were able to salvage some of the ground ivy. Quite fascinating idea to put them into terrarium! I bet they are joy to the eye. :)

By the way, creating a habitat for birds helps with pest control (this is one of the reasons why I got so excited about bonds and berry bushes). The ideal garden takes care of itself: when the habitat is right, there are insects, and then the small birds will come and when the small birds come, the larger ones come as well. Owls are good when dealing with moles. Planting trees and bushes are good for birds, but also for creating partial shade and protection from the wind for the plants.
Water features might also attract snakes (also rock piles attract them and rock piles attract all sort of reptiles) and toads, both are good with controlling problematic creatures like unwanted insects, rodents and moles.
Wasps and some beetles are also good especially when dealing with unwanted larva. The beetles like straw mulch. Wasps seem to make their nests on roofs and trees and they stay in the same place year after year.
 
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While the vegan definition may not prohibit killing, and leaves it for each vegan to decide, I think the spirit of vegan ethics arguably implies to avoid doing so unless really necessary (e.g. self defence).

With regards insect sentience, we can think about the vegan attitude to seafood without eyes which is to give the benefit of the chance just incase.

I think the post by Strange Otter is well thought out and very compassionate.

I don’t see how we can be sure that killing 1,000 insects in a lifetime just because they entered your house is better or worse than killing a dog for the same reason. From their point of view, they can’t understand that this is your territory.

That being said, you do need to consider health concerns and poisonous insects.

We have ant infestations and I found the solution is remove the food and block the access point to the house and they disappear.

I think it many cases humans kill insects or animals not because it’s the only way but because killing is easier, cheaper or faster than gentle removal. However, depends on the case.

To be honest though, I have at times failed to meet my own standards.
 
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On the lawn topic, I once did a thread on another forum called "is it immoral to mow the lawn"? I can't remember if we're allowed to post links to other vegan forums (any moderators reading this?) but if you google that, including the quotation marks, you can find a long thread if anyone's interested. To cut a long story short, I think that mowing the lawn reduces insect, bird etc habitat, and therefore will cause less of them to live and thrive, so it may actually be preferable to not have a low cut, regularly cut perfect green lawn.
 
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Lou

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On the lawn topic, I once did a thread on another forum called "is it immoral to mow the lawn"? I can't remember if we're allowed to post links to other vegan forums (any moderators reading this?) but if you google that, including the quotation marks, you can find a long thread if anyone's interested. To cut a long story short, I think that mowing the lawn reduces insect, bird etc habitat, and therefore will cause less of them to live and thrive, so it may actually be preferable to not have a low cut, regularly cut perfect green lawn.
I think its a little more complicated than that. But certainly allowing the grass to get a couple of feet high is going to provide great cover for larger animals. I'm pretty sure that cutting grass promotes growth so you would have more growth and more carbon absorption from the atmosphere. but then lawn clippings decompose and release carbon dioxide. So maybe it makes no difference.

I was walking around yesterday and I saw another yard that went without a lawn. I really like this one.
 

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Tom L.

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I didn't know the English name for it so thank you. But I started to wonder why it was necessary to get rid of the insects? I know that some insects spread plant diseases and when they munch away the growth, it can sometimes look bad.
The insects weren't causing problems. It's just that the ground ivy was getting out of control, and if I didn't pull it up early in the year, the gall makers would die when I did the weeding. The non-motorized mower I use isn't perfect in this respect (last year a katydid was killed- they're large, as grasshoppers go, but I didn't see this one in time). But I'm certain that far fewer lawn insects are injured than if I mowed with a gasoline or electric mower.
 
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