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Right Livelihood: Selling Pesticides in Buddhism?

honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

Hello,

I am still new here (pardon me if I accidentally disobey any Newbuddhist rule) and I wonder if I could get any thoughts or solution to my problem here.

Its about our livelihood. We sell seeds, plants, and gardening tools here in Indonesia. Until now we have managed not to sell or distribute any kind of chemical or non chemical pesticide, due to Buddhism teaching in right livelihood (do not sell poison).

But our store is now expanding a lot and some visitors ask for pesticide if they have pest problem. We ignored and said that we do not sell pesticides, just fungicide. But our competitors have grown a lot due to this product.

My question is: How do you think or feel about selling pesticides? I have read a lot of sources, some of them said that it is a wrong thing to do, some of them said that usage of pesticide is inevitable anyway but you should avoid selling them, etc etc.

Please give your opinion, even 2 words couny :D

Thank you

Comments

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited February 5

    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    BunksTigger
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @dhammachick said:
    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    Hi dhammanick

    Thank you for your opinion.

    But the focused question here is selling, not just using

    I mean if I sell pesticides, does it make me living wrong livelihood?

    Thank you very much :)

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @honeyumi said:

    @dhammachick said:
    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    Hi dhammanick

    Thank you for your opinion.

    But the focused question here is selling, not just using

    I mean if I sell pesticides, does it make me living wrong livelihood?

    Thank you very much :)

    In a short word, no.

    honeyumi
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @dhammachick said:

    @honeyumi said:

    @dhammachick said:
    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    Hi dhammanick

    Thank you for your opinion.

    But the focused question here is selling, not just using

    I mean if I sell pesticides, does it make me living wrong livelihood?

    Thank you very much :)

    In a short word, no.

    So I am allowed to sell pesticides, and its up to the people buying this item, whether they use it wisely or not, it is not on me, right?

    Thank you very much.

  • Maybe sell pesticides but offer a discount/free gift to those not buying them. Maybe you can sponsor, commission or offer a link to alternative methods of pest control eg.
    https://buddhistenvironmentalresponsibilities.wordpress.com/environmentally-friendly-pest-control/
    You could offer to donate all profits from pesticide sales to a Buddhist monastery or environmental group ...

    Many possible solutions ... good luck. May all sentient birds and bees benefit ... o:)

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @dhammachick said:

    @honeyumi said:

    @dhammachick said:
    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    Hi dhammanick

    Thank you for your opinion.

    But the focused question here is selling, not just using

    I mean if I sell pesticides, does it make me living wrong livelihood?

    Thank you very much :)

    In a short word, no.

    Business in poison is considered one of 5 wrong livelihoods.

    "Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

    "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.177.than.html

    Things are never totally black and white though, it could be possible in some situations to do more harm by not selling pesticides.

    I'd recommend reading this article to see if it can't help you come to a decision.

    https://buddhasadvice.wordpress.com/livelihood/

    honeyumi
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Poison ? Or medicine ? It depends upon the dose....

    @honeyumi the five lay-precepts are guidelines and not laws, and if one really thinks about what one does on a daily bases, one would find they are (be it directly or indirectly) breaking a precept or two (or more) ..

    In this modern day and age due in part to the interactiveness of businesses, there are many jobs/professions which could be considered unwholesome livelihood...

    For example in the link provided by @person I found this paragraph of interest...

    "In your work, what is the product or service being delivered? Regardless of your role in producing it, you are contributing to some effect in the world. Whether you are the janitor, the chief executive, the truck driver, the receptionist or the creative director, you are working together towards the same goal. The product or service, the result of your work, can be evaluated as beneficial or not, to yourself and others. Because I love books and think of them as good to have in the world, I worked for three different publishing firms in my early work life. People who care for others are clearly providing a beneficial service. People who sell illegal drugs are not. What is the end product of your work? Is the end product supported by your effort, on balance, wholesome?"

    So by selling books that require the chopping down of forest trees, could at a stretch be seen as an unwholesome occupation, because one is destroying trees that provide oxygen which sustains life and so forth..

    The list goes on and on...

    In the long run, it's up to the individual and what sits well with ones conscience...Your family needs to be fed, and from what I gather, your 'intention' is to do the lease harm possible under the circumstances, whilst still providing for your family...

    Unless one is dealing in illegal drugs, selling or producing intoxicants such as alcohol, sell or kill other sentient beings for a living eg butcher, or slaughterer and the like or selling or involved in the manufacture of weapons, it pays to be aware but not to get too caught up in things,

    And as a "Buddhist" if what you do for a living makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, then if possible look for another job, other wise no peace will come to the mind ...

    honeyumilobsterpersonkarasti
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @person said:

    @dhammachick said:

    @honeyumi said:

    @dhammachick said:
    I remember reading about a monastery in New York that would not kill the cockroaches that started invading their home. It got so bad they had to move out and the Health Department ordered fumigation I as the infestation started to spread to other residences. Some of the monks for so sick because their food was infected. Most monks were crying when the pest control moved in to fumigate. Lama Surya Das wrote about it in his book Awakening The Buddha Within

    Personally, if I find spiders, cockroaches or other creepy crawlies invading my home, I catch and release (unless they're Redback spiders or funnel-webs or other deadly insects). But you also have to be realistic and realise there ARE times when you have to use pesticide. To put your health or other's at risk because of it is Idiot Compassion* and not advised.

    This is just my view of course _ /\ _

    Hi dhammanick

    Thank you for your opinion.

    But the focused question here is selling, not just using

    I mean if I sell pesticides, does it make me living wrong livelihood?

    Thank you very much :)

    In a short word, no.

    Business in poison is considered one of 5 wrong livelihoods.

    "Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

    "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.177.than.html

    Things are never totally black and white though, it could be possible in some situations to do more harm by not selling pesticides.

    I'd recommend reading this article to see if it can't help you come to a decision.

    https://buddhasadvice.wordpress.com/livelihood/

    Thank you. Thats what I am thinking about. Pesticides can be considered as poison for insect but sometimes people need them in order to have a successful plants, not failed ones and suffering from loss.

    karasti
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @Shoshin said:
    Poison ? Or medicine ? It depends upon the dose....

    @honeyumi the five lay-precepts are guidelines and not laws, and if one really thinks about what one does on a daily bases, one would find they are (be it directly or indirectly) breaking a precept or two (or more) ..

    In this modern day and age due in part to the interactiveness of businesses, there are many jobs/professions which could be considered unwholesome livelihood...

    For example in the link provided by @person I found this paragraph of interest...

    "In your work, what is the product or service being delivered? Regardless of your role in producing it, you are contributing to some effect in the world. Whether you are the janitor, the chief executive, the truck driver, the receptionist or the creative director, you are working together towards the same goal. The product or service, the result of your work, can be evaluated as beneficial or not, to yourself and others. Because I love books and think of them as good to have in the world, I worked for three different publishing firms in my early work life. People who care for others are clearly providing a beneficial service. People who sell illegal drugs are not. What is the end product of your work? Is the end product supported by your effort, on balance, wholesome?"

    So by selling books that require the chopping down of forest trees, could at a stretch be seen as an unwholesome occupation, because one is destroying trees that provide oxygen which sustains life and so forth..

    The list goes on and on...

    In the long run, it's up to the individual and what sits well with ones conscience...Your family needs to be fed, and from what I gather, your 'intention' is to do the lease harm possible under the circumstances, whilst still providing for your family...

    Unless one is dealing in illegal drugs, selling or producing intoxicants such as alcohol, sell or kill other sentient beings for a living eg butcher, or slaughterer and the like or selling or involved in the manufacture of weapons, it pays to be aware but not to get too caught up in things,

    And as a "Buddhist" if what you do for a living makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, then if possible look for another job, other wise no peace will come to the mind ...

    Thank you very much, your post is awesome.

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable. If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right? Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @honeyumi said:

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable.** If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right?** Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

    @honeyumi , if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides , then be creative by looking at alternative options such as provide customers with IPMP ([integrated pest management programmes) which promote biological control methods...greatly minimising pesticide use...

    You could even stock the seeds for certain companion plants that attract predators and parasites of local crop pests... Do some research :)

    lobsterhoneyumiperson
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New
    edited February 5

    @Shoshin said:

    @honeyumi said:

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable.** If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right?** Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

    @honeyumi , if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides , then be creative by looking at alternative options such as provide customers with IPMP ([integrated pest management programmes) which promote biological control methods...greatly minimising pesticide use...

    You could even stock the seeds for certain companion plants that attract predators and parasites of local crop pests... Do some research :)

    Yes, that will do great. But I want to emphasize this phrase of your statement: "if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides"

    That is exactly my question. Yes, I am currently uncomfortable because of my knowledge of the right livelihood guide from Buddha is including poison. But that is the question. Is the "uncomfortable" feeling is right? Or is it wrong?

    Should I be comfortable or not, of selling pesticide, just to keep up with competition?

    I believe things are not black and white, but if you are me, and you want to keep up with competition by selling pesticide, would you do sell them or not @Shoshin ?

    I highly appreciate your opinion, may all sentient beings be happy _/_

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 5

    @honeyumi said:

    Yes, that will do great. But I want to emphasize this phrase of your statement: "if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides"

    That is exactly my question. Yes, I am currently uncomfortable because of my knowledge of the right livelihood guide from Buddha is including poison. But that is the question. Is the "uncomfortable" feeling is right? Or is it wrong?

    >

    Ask yourself this simple question "Is my/your desire to stock pesticide a desire which manifests from greed ? (you have mentioned that you don't have any real 'need' to stock it....)

    Should I be comfortable or not, of selling pesticide, just to keep up with competition?

    Again look at the reason, is it out of greed or necessity ...?

    I believe things are not black and white, but if you are me, and you want to keep up with competition by selling pesticide, would you do sell them or not @Shoshin ?

    >
    No, not if there was no real need to...to do so I would just be promoting killing for the sake of killing (plus making extra money when doing so-in which case greed would be at the forefront)

    honeyumi
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    "He who deliberates too much before taking each step, will spend his entire life on one leg."

    Th bottom line is this: You wish to follow the Precepts Mindfully, but Life is life, you have a family and a business, and you want to keep your family well, and run a successful business.

    The first precept is to do no Harm.

    Primarily, that means to yourself - because the First precept is the Mother of the all remainder.

    The Precepts are there primarily to help you and Guide you.
    Putting others first is altruistic, but if you do not first and foremost look to yourself, you can never hope to make the lives of others better, if you yourself are suffering as a result.

    What is more important: The life of an insect eating the crops that someone is tending and caring for, or the life of the person who needs those crops to flourish, in order to feed their family and sell to make a living?

    It's all relative, but you need to put sentient, Conscious Human Beings first, because insects are more plentiful than people, and their control is more sensible.
    Helping your fellow human being is more skillful.

    You've received a lot of good advice here, which I need not repeat.
    But you're over-thinking this.
    Look also to logic.
    The Buddha wishes you to adapt his teachings skilfully, not wear them like a straitjacket.

    honeyumidhammachick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    I wouldn't sell it.

    honeyumi
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @seeker242, Principles are all well and good, but when your business closes because you're not making the profit your competitors are making, and your family suffers, goes hungry, has to quit school and go without - your principles need re-examining.
    Sometimes, Priorities trump Principles.

    While everyone should strive to do the right thing, you have to scrutinise what 'the Right Thing' really is.

    A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbour came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

    “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

    A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

    “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

    A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

    “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

    All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at Heaven's Gate, he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in Heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood. I put my Faith in you, and now look! I died!!”

    “Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

    dhammachick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    @seeker242, Principles are all well and good, but when your business closes because you're not making the profit your competitors are making, and your family suffers, goes hungry, has to quit school and go without

    Good thing that isn't what's happening then. :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    No, but if you read what the OP has put -

    But our competitors have grown a lot due to this product.

    It's only a matter of time before his competitors force him out of the market. It happens all the time - small businesses lose out to the bigger Competitors, because they can't keep up commercially. Expansion and diversity is critical, and key to staying in business.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    No, but if you read what the OP has put -

    I did read what the OP put.

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine

    Which mean they are not going out of business.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited February 5

    So I am allowed to sell pesticides, and its up to the people buying this item, whether they use it wisely or not, it is not on me, right?

    Thank you very much.

    You are allowed to do whatever your want. There are no hard and fast rules if the arguments members have had about it on other threads are anything to go by.

    You can ask us any question you want, but at the end of the day, we are members of an online Sangha. We are not gurus, leaders or experts - even though some might think otherwise.

    At the very best, you'll get helpful and hopefully skillful answers for you to ponder. On a bad day you might get those who think their opinion is the only one that counts. It's entirely up to you on how you proceed forward from here.

    I hope you get the information and answers you are looking for.

    _ /\ _

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    @honeyumi said:

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable.** If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right?** Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

    @honeyumi , if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides , then be creative by looking at alternative options such as provide customers with IPMP ([integrated pest management programmes) which promote biological control methods...greatly minimising pesticide use...

    You could even stock the seeds for certain companion plants that attract predators and parasites of local crop pests... Do some research :)

    This.

    If you put a good system in place and market it well, you could attract business from people who would also rather find ways to protect their gardens with minimal harm to insects. There are places that succeed doing that here, if your store is the only one offering it you could potentially do well for yourself.

  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @dhammachick said:

    So I am allowed to sell pesticides, and its up to the people buying this item, whether they use it wisely or not, it is not on me, right?

    Thank you very much.

    You are allowed to do whatever your want. There are no hard and fast rules if the arguments members have had about it on other threads are anything to go by.

    You can ask us any question you want, but at the end of the day, we are members of an online Sangha. We are not gurus, leaders or experts - even though some might think otherwise.

    At the very best, you'll get helpful and hopefully skillful answers for you to ponder. On a bad day you might get those who think their opinion is the only one that counts. It's entirely up to you on how you proceed forward from here.

    I hope you get the information and answers you are looking for.

    _ /\ _

    And I do. Thank you @federica @seeker242 @Shoshin @dhammachick :)

    I just discussed to my wife, and we agreed that we will keep things like this right now (not expand to pesticides) until we are forced to.

    Plus, a lot of people (including our competitors) sell these kind of products and we are confident that the folks around will find no difficulties to get the poison (or medicine) to kill or keep the pests away.

    As @Shoshin said, it's simple, I think I know the answer deep in my heart but I was not so sure and really really want to get opinion from other Sangha members. And now I am sure.

    The bottom line for me right now is : greed or necessity - because no matter whether I am involved in selling pesticides or not in my country, there are plentiful others that sell them. So the people are safe, they have the options. If they need it, the will buy it from other people.

    I just lost an opportunity, but still can feed my family well enough. We hope that we would not be forced to sell so.

    Thank you all and you are the best!

    May all sentient beings be happy.

    @dhammachick I am happy to find out this symbol you made: _ / \ _ it's simple but.. never mind :)

    personShoshin
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @person said:

    @Shoshin said:

    @honeyumi said:

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable.** If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right?** Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

    @honeyumi , if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides , then be creative by looking at alternative options such as provide customers with IPMP ([integrated pest management programmes) which promote biological control methods...greatly minimising pesticide use...

    You could even stock the seeds for certain companion plants that attract predators and parasites of local crop pests... Do some research :)

    This.

    If you put a good system in place and market it well, you could attract business from people who would also rather find ways to protect their gardens with minimal harm to insects. There are places that succeed doing that here, if your store is the only one offering it you could potentially do well for yourself.

    Yes, we will sell insect net (screen net for greenhouses) instead of pesticides, and will seek for other alternatives again and again. Thank you very much, it's so helpful.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited February 5

    @honeyumi said:

    @person said:

    @Shoshin said:

    @honeyumi said:

    Okay I am gonna update my question though:

    Our store right now sells gardening products except pesticides, and we are doing just fine. We have enough income to live right now, but expanding to pesticides would be a great! But if we do not sell pesticide we are doing just fine, enough, but expandable.** If I am understood enough, selling the pesticides just to gain profits (whilst not selling them is enough already) would be wrong, right?** Because our family is fed enough right now.

    I am sorry if my English is no good enough :(

    @honeyumi , if your sole aim is to keep up with competition, but feel somewhat uncomfortable selling pesticides , then be creative by looking at alternative options such as provide customers with IPMP ([integrated pest management programmes) which promote biological control methods...greatly minimising pesticide use...

    You could even stock the seeds for certain companion plants that attract predators and parasites of local crop pests... Do some research :)

    This.

    If you put a good system in place and market it well, you could attract business from people who would also rather find ways to protect their gardens with minimal harm to insects. There are places that succeed doing that here, if your store is the only one offering it you could potentially do well for yourself.

    Yes, we will sell insect net (screen net for greenhouses) instead of pesticides, and will seek for other alternatives again and again. Thank you very much, it's so helpful.

    That's good. What I mean though is don't just say to people asking for pesticides sorry we don't sell them, here is a net instead. Learn about Integrated pest management systems and make it a feature of your business, promote it, post signs about it, make it something people specifically come to your store to buy.

    Edit: Basically be proud of selling an alternative to pesticides. I'm not sure of the conditions in Indonesia so sorry for any negative characterizations. Maybe people there want chemicals to make them feel like they are part of the modern world, but here in the west many people recognize that pesticides come along with harmful side effects too and want to avoid those so they look to alternative approaches. Giving alternatives to pesticides doesn't have to be a step backwards from modern approaches but rather a step forward away from them to less harmful methods. It can be a positive for your business rather than a negative.

    honeyumi
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @honeyumi said:
    Hello,

    I am still new here (pardon me if I accidentally disobey any Newbuddhist rule) and I wonder if I could get any thoughts or solution to my problem here.

    Its about our livelihood. We sell seeds, plants, and gardening tools here in Indonesia. Until now we have managed not to sell or distribute any kind of chemical or non chemical pesticide, due to Buddhism teaching in right livelihood (do not sell poison).

    But our store is now expanding a lot and some visitors ask for pesticide if they have pest problem. We ignored and said that we do not sell pesticides, just fungicide. But our competitors have grown a lot due to this product.

    My question is: How do you think or feel about selling pesticides? I have read a lot of sources, some of them said that it is a wrong thing to do, some of them said that usage of pesticide is inevitable anyway but you should avoid selling them, etc etc.

    Please give your opinion, even 2 words couny :D

    Thank you

    -Some pesticides are worse than others...

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    If the idea of selling pesticides causes you enough concern to have to seek the advice and/or approval of others, then in your own mind you're doing wrong. If someone on an internet forum tells you it's ok is that really going to put your mind at ease? If not then look for an alternative that you are comfortable with.

    dhammachickhoneyumi
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I agree with others who suggested alternative ways to avoid pests rather than simply kill them. Sometimes, there is no choice, but often more can be done. My main concern with pesticide is it rarely is limited to only the thing you are trying to kill. You might be wanting to get rid of the bugs eating your potato plants, but that very commonly impacts birds and mice. And then the animals that eat the birds and mice also get poisoned. We have a lot of problems here with larger animals like eagles being poisoned by rodents they eat that were poisoned by homeowners. The extended harm is what causes me enough pause to keep pesticide out of our home garden. I don't really want to eat pesticide either, personally, as much as I can manage to avoid it. There are lots of simple things that can deter pests, things like a proper placement of vinegar, for example.

    But, you do what you can to prevent and then you get rid of them how you must when prevention doesn't work. I agree with federica that you shouldn't wait until everyone has driven you out of business to keep up with supply and demand. That is just how the business world works and it wouldn't be fair to your family to allow things to get to that point. But it's true. Many people who need to buy stuff simply go to the place that has everything. That is part of why in the US walmart has put so many small businesses out of business. Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry.

    Another thing you could try if you think it has an impact is to actually announce to your customers, with signs, why you do not carry pesticides. Maybe you could offer free classes on how to prevent pests, and then sell some of those prevention items. It may encourage your clients to stay, and bring in more who share your beliefs. That won't work everywhere, but you might have an idea whether it would work for where you are.

    lobsterdhammachickhoneyumi
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @karasti said:
    I agree with others who suggested alternative ways to avoid pests rather than simply kill them. Sometimes, there is no choice, but often more can be done. My main concern with pesticide is it rarely is limited to only the thing you are trying to kill. You might be wanting to get rid of the bugs eating your potato plants, but that very commonly impacts birds and mice. And then the animals that eat the birds and mice also get poisoned. We have a lot of problems here with larger animals like eagles being poisoned by rodents they eat that were poisoned by homeowners. The extended harm is what causes me enough pause to keep pesticide out of our home garden. I don't really want to eat pesticide either, personally, as much as I can manage to avoid it. There are lots of simple things that can deter pests, things like a proper placement of vinegar, for example.

    But, you do what you can to prevent and then you get rid of them how you must when prevention doesn't work. I agree with federica that you shouldn't wait until everyone has driven you out of business to keep up with supply and demand. That is just how the business world works and it wouldn't be fair to your family to allow things to get to that point. But it's true. Many people who need to buy stuff simply go to the place that has everything. That is part of why in the US walmart has put so many small businesses out of business. Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry.

    Another thing you could try if you think it has an impact is to actually announce to your customers, with signs, why you do not carry pesticides. Maybe you could offer free classes on how to prevent pests, and then sell some of those prevention items. It may encourage your clients to stay, and bring in more who share your beliefs. That won't work everywhere, but you might have an idea whether it would work for where you are.

    "Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry." Yes, this is my concern hence the question and discussion. I will take it in my mind thank you very much @karasti

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @honeyumi said:

    @karasti said:
    I agree with others who suggested alternative ways to avoid pests rather than simply kill them. Sometimes, there is no choice, but often more can be done. My main concern with pesticide is it rarely is limited to only the thing you are trying to kill. You might be wanting to get rid of the bugs eating your potato plants, but that very commonly impacts birds and mice. And then the animals that eat the birds and mice also get poisoned. We have a lot of problems here with larger animals like eagles being poisoned by rodents they eat that were poisoned by homeowners. The extended harm is what causes me enough pause to keep pesticide out of our home garden. I don't really want to eat pesticide either, personally, as much as I can manage to avoid it. There are lots of simple things that can deter pests, things like a proper placement of vinegar, for example.

    But, you do what you can to prevent and then you get rid of them how you must when prevention doesn't work. I agree with federica that you shouldn't wait until everyone has driven you out of business to keep up with supply and demand. That is just how the business world works and it wouldn't be fair to your family to allow things to get to that point. But it's true. Many people who need to buy stuff simply go to the place that has everything. That is part of why in the US walmart has put so many small businesses out of business. Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry.

    Another thing you could try if you think it has an impact is to actually announce to your customers, with signs, why you do not carry pesticides. Maybe you could offer free classes on how to prevent pests, and then sell some of those prevention items. It may encourage your clients to stay, and bring in more who share your beliefs. That won't work everywhere, but you might have an idea whether it would work for where you are.

    "Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry." Yes, this is my concern hence the question and discussion. I will take it in my mind thank you very much @karasti

    As a compromise, maybe you could carry them in a small amount but promote non-pesticide methods.

  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @person said:

    @honeyumi said:

    @karasti said:
    I agree with others who suggested alternative ways to avoid pests rather than simply kill them. Sometimes, there is no choice, but often more can be done. My main concern with pesticide is it rarely is limited to only the thing you are trying to kill. You might be wanting to get rid of the bugs eating your potato plants, but that very commonly impacts birds and mice. And then the animals that eat the birds and mice also get poisoned. We have a lot of problems here with larger animals like eagles being poisoned by rodents they eat that were poisoned by homeowners. The extended harm is what causes me enough pause to keep pesticide out of our home garden. I don't really want to eat pesticide either, personally, as much as I can manage to avoid it. There are lots of simple things that can deter pests, things like a proper placement of vinegar, for example.

    But, you do what you can to prevent and then you get rid of them how you must when prevention doesn't work. I agree with federica that you shouldn't wait until everyone has driven you out of business to keep up with supply and demand. That is just how the business world works and it wouldn't be fair to your family to allow things to get to that point. But it's true. Many people who need to buy stuff simply go to the place that has everything. That is part of why in the US walmart has put so many small businesses out of business. Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry.

    Another thing you could try if you think it has an impact is to actually announce to your customers, with signs, why you do not carry pesticides. Maybe you could offer free classes on how to prevent pests, and then sell some of those prevention items. It may encourage your clients to stay, and bring in more who share your beliefs. That won't work everywhere, but you might have an idea whether it would work for where you are.

    "Who wants to stop at 2 places when they can get it all at one? that is the risk you run in being the one store that doesn't carry the stuff that all your competitors carry." Yes, this is my concern hence the question and discussion. I will take it in my mind thank you very much @karasti

    As a compromise, maybe you could carry them in a small amount but promote non-pesticide methods.

    Thank you @person. I will try to do my best to not keep them in stock, but if I am forced to keep them in stock, definitely I will go along with your suggestion, carry them in small amount but not promote them, promote the non pesticide instead :) thank you very much.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Remember though, as you pointed out: you cannot control the Actions of others; you can only be responsible for yourself. While you might stock even a small amount of these products, if you run a well-designed and thoroughly researched programme on pest control WITHOUT pesticides, and offer this information and process to your clients, if they still choose to buy pesticides, that's not on you, that's on them. Offering a viable and workable alternative is extremely thoughtful and skillful, but it's up to your customers how dedicated - or lazy - they want to be. The options are for them to choose...

    Bear in mind that pesticides do not discriminate. They also damage the insects that are predators of pests, and that pollinate crops. Inform your clients that they could be making the problem worse by impeding Nature from creating and carrying out her own 'preventative measures' - !

    But maybe if you provide a sound and workable alternative, together with basic education, you may find you convert clients to a better method of doing things....

    Working WITH Nature is always preferable to trying to fight her....

    dhammachicklobsterperson
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @federica said:
    Remember though, as you pointed out: you cannot control the Actions of others; you can only be responsible for yourself. While you might stock even a small amount of these products, if you run a well-designed and thoroughly researched programme on pest control WITHOUT pesticides, and offer this information and process to your clients, if they still choose to buy pesticides, that's not on you, that's on them. Offering a viable and workable alternative is extremely thoughtful and skillful, but it's up to your customers how dedicated - or lazy - they want to be. The options are for them to choose...

    Bear in mind that pesticides do not discriminate. They also damage the insects that are predators of pests, and that pollinate crops. Inform your clients that they could be making the problem worse by impeding Nature from creating and carrying out her own 'preventative measures' - !

    But maybe if you provide a sound and workable alternative, together with basic education, you may find you convert clients to a better method of doing things....

    Working WITH Nature is always preferable to trying to fight her....

    Thank you @federica. As @Shoshin and @person suggested, I have done some research, in Indonesia there is some unpopular non-pesticide methods (biological way) like using ladybugs because they are predator of aphids, reptiles that are predators of insects, etc. But I am not comfortable in selling them too, I am not skillful yet and afraid of the deaths of the insects I might not know how to treat for.

    But I will go for simpler principle. If a customer looks for pesticides, first I will tell them to use garlic water or chili water instead. Or a portion of dish soap combined with water, might help to let the insects go away. I will search for other alternatives and suggest them biological ways (right placement of vinegar as @karasti said seems brilliant too!).

    lobsterperson
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New
    edited February 7

    And if I do fail, the customers are lazy and not dedicated to find out whats best for the environment, I will try to carry small stock of pesticides, to offer them just if they are really asking for that. It comes to my mind perhaps its just like pharmacy store's concept of selling products that might do harm to the users! (xanax etc) haha..

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @honeyumi said:
    And if I do fail, the customers are lazy and not dedicated to find out whats best for the environment, I will try to carry small stock of pesticides, to offer them just if they are really asking for that. It comes to my mind perhaps its just like pharmacy store's concept of selling products that might do harm to the users! (xanax etc) haha..

    Just don't make the mistake of expecting your customers to share your views. What you consider lazy, they may see as something to come to you for because you're the one running the business.

    honeyumi
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @honeyumi said: Thank you @federica. As @Shoshin and @person suggested, I have done some research, in Indonesia there is some unpopular non-pesticide methods (biological way) like using ladybugs because they are predator of aphids, reptiles that are predators of insects, etc. But I am not comfortable in selling them too, I am not skillful yet and afraid of the deaths of the insects I might not know how to treat for.

    I'm not suggesting you 'sell' these products/animals. I'm suggesting you research ways to develop agricultural methods of encouraging them to flourish naturally....

    honeyumi
  • honeyumihoneyumi Indonesia New

    @federica said:

    @honeyumi said: Thank you @federica. As @Shoshin and @person suggested, I have done some research, in Indonesia there is some unpopular non-pesticide methods (biological way) like using ladybugs because they are predator of aphids, reptiles that are predators of insects, etc. But I am not comfortable in selling them too, I am not skillful yet and afraid of the deaths of the insects I might not know how to treat for.

    I'm not suggesting you 'sell' these products/animals. I'm suggesting you research ways to develop agricultural methods of encouraging them to flourish naturally....

    great point! I do not want to sell them either. Yes, I've heard that if people want to 'invite' ladybugs to come to their garden, they should plant yarrow or daisies. Something like that, right?

    Thank you

    @dhammachick good point! It is the downside that I will try to get balanced. Thank you.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @honeyumi said:

    Thank you @federica. As @Shoshin and @person suggested, I have done some research, in Indonesia there is some unpopular non-pesticide methods (biological way) like using ladybugs because they are predator of aphids, reptiles that are predators of insects, etc. But I am not comfortable in selling them too, I am not skillful yet and afraid of the deaths of the insects I might not know how to treat for.

    @honeyumi I was on about stocking & selling the 'seeds' for the 'plants' that 'attract' the predators and or parasites of the crop pests, "Companion plants"

    But I will go for simpler principle. If a customer looks for pesticides, first I will tell them to use garlic water or chili water instead. Or a portion of dish soap combined with water, might help to let the insects go away. I will search for other alternatives and suggest them biological ways (right placement of vinegar as @karasti said seems brilliant too!).

    Those home made mixtures that you have mentioned might be less toxic to humans and more beneficial for the environment, however they are still killing agents and will kill the insects that come in contact with theses sprays... Insects have an exoskeleton which has a protective layer of waxy substance which helps lock the moisture in, the soapy water removes this waxy protective causing the insect to loose moisture dry out and die...

    honeyumi
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @honeyumi said:

    @federica said:

    @honeyumi said: Thank you @federica. As @Shoshin and @person suggested, I have done some research, in Indonesia there is some unpopular non-pesticide methods (biological way) like using ladybugs because they are predator of aphids, reptiles that are predators of insects, etc. But I am not comfortable in selling them too, I am not skillful yet and afraid of the deaths of the insects I might not know how to treat for.

    I'm not suggesting you 'sell' these products/animals. I'm suggesting you research ways to develop agricultural methods of encouraging them to flourish naturally....

    great point! I do not want to sell them either. Yes, I've heard that if people want to 'invite' ladybugs to come to their garden, they should plant yarrow or daisies. Something like that, right?

    Thank you

    I think the point to help your business isn't just to sell non toxic alternatives. What you should be selling is a mind set and a lifestyle. Get interested and exited about growing a garden that is healthier for your customers and nature. Try to find a selling point that appeals to people in your country. Is pollution a problem? Would some people like an effective approach that is closer to traditional ways of life?

    Maybe you'd be able to contact some place that cares about this and see if they can offer some help or suggestions.

    http://www.beyondpesticides.org/resources/safety-source-on-pesticide-providers/what-is-integrated-pest-management

    Shoshinhoneyumilobster
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