Shakespeare wrote that men, like plants. “vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease, and wear their brave state out of memory.” Sadly, when it comes to our existential philosophy that is where the similarities disappear.
In Nation of Plants, author and neurobiologist Stephan Mancuso reveals how the heirarchichal and predatory survival models of animals are quite inferior to those of the much older and wiser vegetable kingdom. Animals take an exploitive and non-integrative approach while plants, are “horizontal, diﬀusive, decentralized and much more in line with modernity”.
Mancuso suggests that if we wish to survive as a species mankind should promptly reject the self-destructive aspects of its animal nature in favor of the more sustainably regenerative world-view of the vegetable.
Indeed, plants have so many lessons to teach us. They adapt to limitations, adopt new tactics to changing conditions, share resources, develop strategies of mutual aid, and even spontaneously regenerate in ways that are responsive to the local and temporal necessities of their environment.
Though the subject of Nation of Plants is human extinction, with its wry tone, terse insight, and whimsical narrative, the book somehow manages to be at once alarming and amusing. The perfect gift for any thoughtful biped.