It wouldn’t be a Monday without Salon making me want to set the world on fire. I won’t link to this ridiculous article with its insipid and pointless argument, but you’re free to seek it out in the same way people are allowed to summon the Abandoned Gods: no one’s going to stop you, but the journey will surely end in someone hanging from a motel ceiling without their skin.
There can be no vegetarians, the author insists, because plants ingest animal matter in the form of nitrates and whatnot in the soil. These nitrates and whatnot got into the soil via poop, and decaying bugs and squirrels; therefore, the soil is made out of animals and also therefore the plants are made of animals.
Wherefore? The transitive property, the author explains. Not the transitive property you read about in high school biology, because there isn’t one: the property applies to math, not to living beings. To argue the transitive property about ecology is to insist upon a lunatic essentialism: that food maintains its former “self” even after being broken down into basic components and integrated into a new biological unit.
Lunch does not remain lunch after being eaten: it becomes energy, waste, and replacement parts. Using this author’s misapplied “transitivity of eating,” though, you are reading my lunch. My body converted it into glucose to power my brain and electrical charges to move my fingers and heuristic memory algorithms to make coffee, which gives me the willpower to use my brain and fingers. But–using the transitivity of eating–it’s all just a leftover pork chop.
(I suppose no one made the counter-argument to this guy that–using his theory–carnivores are actually ruminants. And then followed up by asking if he’s actually seriously honestly making the case that ‘you are what you eat?'”)
Ah, well. It’s not like he doubles down on the dumb later in the article.
Privileging organic matter strikes me as a biologist’s bias.
For fuck’s sake.