On becoming a vegetable
DOI link for On becoming a vegetable
On becoming a vegetable book
The chapter draws on some years’ work with an Africanist hylozoic cult in the Caribbean who have certain problems in theorising Life and disease. As they maintain that everything that exists – animals, plants, rocks, the Earth – is ‘alive,’ then what is ‘Life’? Affinities are noted with the seventeenth-century radical English Puritans like the Ranters, and the whole schema is outlined against the backdrop of West Indian notions of ‘nature.’ If the whole system threatens to collapse into a bland material monism, then opposition, disease, and disharmony are seen as caused by an anti-Life, anti-Nature power which incites countervailing human agency. The chapter suggests that the ambiguous nature of nature itself allows for the divinity of Life and Mother Earth to be both a total source of sustenance and a point of ire.