Archive for May 11th, 2008

Ten of Spades: The Fungus Who Ruled the World


 

Qui domine le monde? Fistulina hepatica?

I am the master of my environment. The king of the fifth kingdom. My sweet chestnut tree delivers all the nutrients I need. I have no need for even a brain to live in this paradise on a lesser creature. Nothing needs to change; even in the far future, if my tree dies, my descendents can continue to feed on it. This forest belongs to us.

With food security like this, it does not matter that I am incapable of surviving without my host.  I have everything I need. I do not need to move, I do not wish to move, and, because a perfect design has no superfluous features, I have no ability to move.

And yet, I am moving. I am being pulled from my life source. Pulled by something even more powerful than myself.

 

I can no longer pretend that I am the master of my environment, above the rest of the animal kingdom. I can not go on as a parasite on less fortunate creatures, raising and killing them just because I have a big enough brain to know how. Something has to change. There are simply not enough resources to continue transforming large amounts of food into small amounts of meat. I want something to be left for my descendents. This forest belongs to nobody, and we have no right to destroy it for pasture.

I’m perfectly capable of surviving without meat. I can get all the nutrition I need from fruits, vegetables, chestnuts from the forest, mushrooms… ah, now here’s a beef steak I can eat without troubling my conscience.

I pull the beefsteak fungus from the treetrunk and take it home for dinner. I need not exercise my power over nature tonight.

 

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