Sir: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is thinking along the right lines, but he fails to make clear that plants, in fact, are the indisputable masters of the planet. His comment that food plants and man exist in a state of "mutual dependence" is incorrect. Plants are not in any way dependent upon man or any other animal: the reverse is true.
Personally, I have never subscribed to the generally held view that the human race is the supreme organism: it is indeed merely another species among the multitude of animals and has very little of significance to distinguish it from any other, apart from a well-established habit of self-destruction never observed in any other animal species.
Every significant food chain there is begins with plants, and every animal in existence is utterly dependent upon plants for food to eat and oxygen to breathe. There are no alternative sources for these essentials. The most important single chemical molecule in existence is chlorophyll, which fixes the energy of the sun and uses it to cycle water and our chief waste product, carbon dioxide, to make food. Without plants there could be no animals.
Peter C. Jowsey
12 SeptemberReuse content