Both Sides Now

I saw an interesting cloud formation earlier this summer.

Sadly, the camera wasn’t on-hand. As with many back deck sights, like the vision of an airliner flying nearby under a daylight full moon, or the crows chasing a large blue heron slingshoting around a nearby conifer, perhaps there are some events, and I wonder how many, that only I will ever get to see?

The cloud images were quite elaborate and dramatic.  It looked a GIANT turtle, with a huge gaping maw, chasing a second cloud of a tiny turtle desperately-running away. It was the terror of that tiny turtle that provided a revelation…

I’ve always thought that human beings evaluate other living things through an anthropomorphic lens; that is, the more like a human being the life form appears to be the more worthy of life it is.  Every living thing feeds on some other living thing even if it’s only after it has become compost. I thought that, from a totally objective standpoint in our circular food chain, a plant’s life is just as worthy as a human’s.

But, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, most of those organic entities want us to eat them. Most, if not all, of life survives via seduction and fruits and vegetables want us to hungrily smell, lick, bite, and swallow them so that we might eliminate their progeny into fertile ground.  At the very least they’re hoping for some fertile ground nearby. (Sorry, plants.)

There’s a big difference between desiring consumption and watching your family die one-by-one just ahead of you on the killing floor.

What that terrified little turtle cloud taught me was about the emotional component involved in consumption. This appears to be the moral component of meat vs. vegetables.

This evaluation is just about food.  Trees, and that thin layer of flora that supports all of life on Earth, is a another matter.

Humans Vs. Plants


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