Flowering Trees

My friend was in an argument with a vegetarian and trying to establish her case that humans were omnivores. Then all of a sudden, a carnivore jumped in and started to state his case mainly to me. I don’t have any strong feelings toward any direction, I just now prefer organic meat and vegetables not genetically modified. He disagreed with the vegetarian argument of not killing living animals as a food source. He related how in order to make a salad, a head of lettuce was brutally chopped and mixed with all different kinds of other vegetables and then covered in a disgusting sauce. How was that different from slaughtering an animal? Plants are alive and killing them requires work. He went on to describe a flowering tree in his mother’s backyard in Israel. Not knowing what the tree was called in English, he described it as a ‘tree with different color flowers’. Everyday this tree would shed its million petals and each day he would look out the window and see all his work from the day before had gone to waste with a fresh array of petals. He began to really hate this tree and its petals and decided he wanted to kill it. He asked a friend who works in the field of botany how he could kill it. He was told that in order to kill this tree, he needed to drill a hole through its trunk and then inject poison. I wondered why he just couldn’t chop it down but made no reply. I asked, “So did you kill it?” “No, its still alive.” In the end, he thought it was too much work. For some reason, the story captured my imagination and I continued to picture for the next several days an image of this guy in sunny Israel raking the petals of a colorful blossoming tree and hating it and yet taking care of it all at the same time.

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