Vegetarians choose not to eat meat for a variety of reasons. Some cite the lower fat and cholesterol and higher fiber on their plates. Others for more emotional reasons: they don’t want to eat anything that smiles back at them. Hypothetically at least.
I stopped eating pork about eight years ago, after a scientist happened to mention that the animal whose teeth most closely resemble our own is the pig. Unable to shake the image of a perky little pig flashing me a brilliant George Clooney smile, I decided it was easier to forgo the Christmas ham.
George Clooney’s political bent certainly qualifies him as a pig, but I hardly think he looks like one. Or vice versa.
If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make ’em smell so good when they’re cookin’?
Now scientists (possibly those furlowed in the recent Global Warming controversy) are telling us that vegetables should be off the table too.
we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot.
Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way.
It’s time for a green revolution, a reseeding of our stubborn animal minds.
Sorry, what? I couldn’t hear you, I was trying to bite off a chunk of my laptop battery. I think I chipped a tooth.
When plant biologists speak of their subjects, they use active verbs and vivid images. Plants “forage” for resources like light and soil nutrients and “anticipate” rough spots and opportunities. By analyzing the ratio of red light and far red light falling on their leaves, for example, they can sense the presence of other chlorophyllated competitors nearby and try to grow the other way. Their roots ride the underground “rhizosphere” and engage in cross-cultural and microbial trade.
Maybe so, but can they dance?
Plants can scream though. Sort of.
Some of the compounds that plants generate in response to insect mastication [that means chewing gutter-huggers-JR] — their feedback, you might say — are volatile chemicals that serve as cries for help. Such airborne alarm calls have been shown to attract both large predatory insects like dragon flies, which delight in caterpillar meat, and tiny parasitic insects, which can infect a caterpillar and destroy it from within.
So dragon flies can eat delicious caterpillar meat but I can’t?
It’s a small daily tragedy that we animals must kill to stay alive.
If that’s not a bumper sticker yet, it should be.
Plants are the ethical autotrophs here, the ones that wrest their meals from the sun. Don’t expect them to boast: they’re too busy fighting to survive.
Well then, why didn’t the Democrats include plants in the health care bill? Don’t they care?
So as you sit down to your bountiful (hopefully) table later this week, have compassion. Remember: you can’t eat animals; you can’t eat plants. Merry Christmas!