Nature underfoot: living with beetles, crabgrass, fruit flies, and other tiny life around us
Hainze, John. illustrated by Angela Mele Yale, 2020 254p bibl index, 9780300242782 $28.00, 9780300252682
Many people regard their homes and lawns as sanctuaries—not as a part of nature, but removed from it—while only a few may think of these spaces as ecosystems for a multitude of tiny creatures that make their lives in our human-fabricated world. In this charming volume, entomologist and ethicist Hainze (Seattle Univ.) contends that humans might well develop a more expansive respect for all life by focusing on the small organisms that often attract the most revulsion: the silverfish, pill bugs, fruit flies, and centipedes in our midst. As a former pesticide industry scientist, Hainze points out the dangers of the misuse of the products he once helped develop, agents that often kill non-injurious, and worse yet, beneficial species as well as their intended targets. As an ethicist, Hainze reminds us of our responsibilities to the vast array of plants and animals who have been the losers in our quest to reshape the planet to suit our needs. Drawing on scientific, philosophical, and religious perspectives, the author adeptly argues for tolerance and even admiration for the species that have flourished in our Anthropocene world, and he advocates for increased efforts to preserve those that are vanishing at alarming rates.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. Reviewer: Z. B. Johnson, Lake Erie College Subject: Science & Technology – Biology Choice Issue: Oct 2020