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Monday, October 3, 2016

Why must you eat my plants?

My reaction towards recent experiences is perhaps an indication that I am not meant for raising plants outdoors. When I take care of a plant, I can’t help but feel affection towards it. The feelings are not as intense as those for a child or a pet but they are still strong enough to make me seriously disappointed, upset, and saddened when a plant dies due to a variety of unpredictable reasons.

The most recent disappointment involved various critters destroying succulents that I had taken care of for over four months. Even after protecting the plants with bird netting, the scavengers managed to get under the net and bite off pieces of several plants. They also managed to completely uproot a few plants that I especially liked. This whole experience left me very upset and it made me realize how problematic it is to get emotionally invested in a project that is full of unpredictability. Outdoor plants can die due to a variety of factors ranging from disease, unexpected cold or hot weather, and various critters such as squirrels, pigeons, and crows. Perhaps the most upsetting part is that you can prepare for all these problems and you can still lose the plant. It reminds me of a quote by Captain Picard from Star Trek:

It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.

As frustrated as I am, I have to accept the fact that every living organism on Earth is fighting to survive and it will destroy other life forms if it needs to for the sake of survival. For instance, my own existence involves the destruction of living things. I eat meat, fruits, and veggies. I consume paper and use numerous other products. My consumption involves destroying plants and killing animals. Scavengers that destroy plants are living things as well. Their existence also involves the destruction of other living things (such as the plants I am raising). The death of living things for the sake of preserving life seems to be an unfortunate reality of the universe. This certainly isn’t true in every situation but it definitely seems to be a running theme that is present in numerous contexts, both locally and on a cosmic scale (e.g. galaxy formation and the destruction of stars).

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