Ah, yes, I saw you guys grimacing over my last entry, joking about how I don’t respect the rights and feelings of the plants. Let me tell you – I do!
I am alive, therefore I eat; like all other life forms on Earth. But in doing so, I choose to have the least impact possible. I eat as little as necessary and I avoid concentration camp crops, currently even shifting to 100% home grown… you know, where the plants are running free 🙂 Given you treat them with dignity, as fellow beings as opposed to an industrial product, none of those plants has to suffer a miserable life or die. They naturally reproduce by offering their fruits, feed soil creatures with their “droppings”, or go through a cycle of manifestations like grain, salad, and potato. Receiving these plants’ gifts means meeting their needs, not ripping them off, literally.
Yes, I might not be able to avoid their suffering in every given moment, but the key phrase here is dignity. It is the least, yet the most basic thing, we can offer them in return for their services to us. When we don’t hold life, including plant life, precious, we’re mindlessly going to kill it off. Look around you. See something like that? Today, almost 50% of the food in the Western world gets thrown away. Half. That’s the lives of carrots and cows, grass and geese, wasted.
And wouldn’t you know that feeding on animals not only leads to countless cruelties against animals, it adds an innumerable amount of plant suffering to it. Depending on the kind of stock you breed, from minimal 3 up to 15 plant calories have to be fed to the stock in order to get one meat calory. No one knows to how many plant lives that translates. As long as there are edible plants available you can’t justify eating meat, no matter how you put it.
Treating all beings with dignity won’t buy them a new life, but it guarantees that we do neither overconsume nor torture. Instead, we care for having them fulfill their appropriate role, their purpose in the community of life.
Before we eat, The Mother says, let us thank all those who helped bringing the meal to our dishes: The farmers, the drivers, the cooks; and make sure to be grateful to the life forms our meal consists of. The Christians’ saying the grace reflects a piece of that wisdom of caretaking. Native Americans knew it all along, and so did mankind from its earliest days: Thanks for offering yourself to me.
For all those still mocking on the sensitivity of green beings, here’s one for you:
“The Secret Life of Plants“