Bad news for vegetarians! said the Daily Mail. Plants can ‘hear’ themselves being eaten – and become defensive when attacked. Egad.
Most people don’t give a second thought when tucking into a plate of salad. But perhaps we should be a bit more considerate when chomping on lettuce, as scientists have found that plants actually respond defensively to the sounds of themselves being eaten.
I don’t think this is actually anything that vegetarians have to worry about, though, since the plants we eat are dead already, having been slaughtered long before they reach the plate, harvested by scythe or by brute force plucking savagery. Your salad is merely a pile of leafy corpses, and the Silver Lake farmers market an abattoir of vegetables and fruits and lifeless greens, of tubers and carrots wrenched from the ground like beating hearts torn from sacrificial victims, or of herbs, still alive amid all that death, waiting to be murdered on the cutting board, diced with silent screams or pounded into a chlorophyl mush and sprinkled over the corpses of kale. And don’t even think about the pressed olive oil, oh god. And that fresh baked bread? Soylent green is people, or wheat, anyway, same thing.
I sliced open a blood orange once and the juice splattered everywhere, over me, my face, my clothes, like some gory film. The orange lay before me, quartered, dead, and I devoured it with bloodstained hands, feeling oddly cannibalistic. I cut open another the next morning, again there was citrus blood everywhere, but this time it was communion, and I drank of the blood and ate of the body and became one again and filled with the Holy spirit, until some monophysite came in and told me I was making a mess.