Baxter Black: Plant rights!
Beware, connoisseurs: A new discovery may change the way America eats. Love your broccoli? Savor your home-grown tomatoes? Would you give your eye-teeth for a blueberry pie?
This discovery could create sweeping protests and black markets like marijuana never has seen. Plants feel pain. That’s right, plants feel pain.
Science has discovered that a relative of the cabbage plant was proven to be sensitive and react to an insect chewing on it by increasing its “chemical defenses.” Silly, you say? How silly do you think the humane treatment and endangered species congregation takes this new opportunity?
Selected species of fungi, coral and insects already have been declared endangered. There is no reality connected to the extent of damage and sacrifice that must be made by the humans to save the fungus. Now, there will be zealots who will solicit millions of dollars to save the fungus.
They will adopt the mantra of, plants feel pain! Lettuce killers! Save our turnips! Free chili! Have you hugged your kumquat today? Sponsor your own pineapple or bunch of grapes for only $25 per month! Join the vegetable protection league!
These anti-plant consumption groups will rise in self-righteous indignation. They will use the tried and true methods used today by anti-meat eaters of yesterday. There will be billboards with pictures of a bunch of limp carrots with their top knot sagging, another showing a potato with tears coming from its eyes, an artichoke with a broken heart.
They will seek out the most flagrant violators of plants’ rights; vegetarians and their extremist branch, the vegans. Media will pick up the banner, covering rallies demanding equal rights for plants. Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s will be sued by the plant savers of the United States (PSUS) for everything their lawyers can think of. Small growers who sell their fresh produce at local farmers markets will become pariahs — ridiculed, demeaned, cursed and hung in effigy in their own pumpkin patch … and on and on.
Well. Nobody with any sense even would consider something like the vegetable protection league or that the PSUS could happen. What would advocates suggest people eat? The human body can be sustained by mouth or intravenously by taking a slurry of chemicals containing hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur and phosphorus. That would be their answer. Which is irrelevant because all they need is a cause. They don’t need to prove anything. Even if they could convince only 2.4 percent of the population that eating vegetables is ethically bad and unhealthy, it would be a victory for their cause and make them feel good about themselves. They would be their own little industry, and we all gotta make a living.
Today, only 2.4 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarians, who for practical reasons do not consume eggs and dairy products. And they feel good about themselves.
I asked in jest if anyone with even half a brain would actually consider plants’ rights and the vegetable protection league … and then I remembered Congress.
Ruth Rose Hutton was a fighter. As she aged, multiple falls compromised her independence, but her spirit endured. She always seemed to recover, surprising her doctors and family, who were grateful to have her in their lives until her death at age 87.