Posted by: turtlebella | 12 October 2006

Do not discriminate against plants!

I’d like to notify all literal interpreters of the Bible (because I know a lot of them read this blog) that the Bible appears to have been vastly anti-plants.  Today I was listening to The Center of Everything (by Laura Moriarty) on my iPod and the young narrator was quizzing  her grandmother regarding Noah and his ark and if he collected 2 of every animal, including tarantulas and the like.  And I realized, hey! Do they not mention plants as being needed to be saved from the flood? Because you know, very few plants can survive flooding.  And it would have been pretty easy to save plants, given that all you have to do is collect seeds and you don’t even have to, you know, feed them, clean up their poop, keep them from fighting amongst each other and eating each other! Much more feasible than collecting 2 of all animals.

Thankfully, the flooding of the entire earth probably never ever happened, although there probably were a number of large floods in prehistoric times (they just didn’t cover the whole earth).  So we don’t really have to worry about how come there are all these plants around now.  But it does seem to me that this is yet another example of how animal-centric we are.  This might be because we ourselves are animals (although, again the literalists probably don’t like that idea much, we are separate and fundamentally different from all other animals).  Since I study plants this perspective drives me bananas! Plant are amazing organisms! And Noah was dumb if he didn’t take ’em along on his ark. So there.

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Responses

  1. Bravo!

  2. Well, of course, he would have had to take some plants along. Because otherwise those animals wouuld have starvted to death ….

  3. Sandy Sasso has a lovely book, A Prayer for the Earth, which tells the story of Naamah, Noah’s wife, who collected seeds to bring on the ark (thus feeding the animals and making possible the regrowth of plants after the flood): http://tinyurl.com/yg85fj. I like having a name to go with the story.

  4. Nice to know about Naamah and the story about her. I feel like we probably don’t get to know the women enough in the Bible. (although this might be remedied by my actually, you know, reading the Bible!!!! :)

  5. I never thought of that. Of course, I don’t do very much reading of the bible, as I worship the devil :)

    I was thinking about its impact the other day though because I was in a decolonial philosophy class and we’ve been reading all these philosophers who define man by defining what man ‘does differently’ than animals. The prof. noted that man can reason, animals can’t. I commented that we don’t really know if animals don’t have reason. He rolled his eyes, “Well they don’t get jealous and kill each other.” How does he know??? Monkeys war with each other. I wanted to say that some cultures worship monkeys, dogs, buffalo but the philosophy we have to read comes from these western men (marx, hegel, etc.) who didn’t try hard enough to take christianity out of their work. All this ‘human above animal’ thing just comes from their bible infested society. We shouldn’t have to define ourselves in relation to them. Why can’t they just be?

    Instead of saying all this. I said something like: “What about Koko…that..um…gorilla who knows sign language. he thinks stuff.” everyone laughed. dang.

  6. Don’t you just love it when you are thinking something profound and worthy but you just can’t get it to come out of your mouth?! And yes, I think there is something very much true about the Christian tradition of defining humans in relation to the lower animals. If we didn’t then we’d have to acknowledge that we are animals too! And have “base” instincts. Not that I know much about it, but I do think that every endeavor to find the one “thing” that separates us from animals (language, use of tools, culture) have one by one been disproved by anthropologists. So perhaps we are not so different from animals. Hard to accept though, easier to think we were “created” in the image of God.

  7. that is so true. amen(:


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