I’ll Stick to Compost, Thanks
I had just finished planting a couple of tomatoes in the front yard when a woman parked in front of my house. She got out of her car, and we chatted a bit; she was probably right that I should’ve planted on the other side of the walk, where they’d get a little more sun, but there were aesthetic and practical considerations viz. the location of bushes and the likelihood of the landlady’s gardener mowing the wrong spot.
So she started praying over the tomatoes. She invoked the sun, and the earth, and the spirit of the tree that blocks their light, and told the little tomato spirits that I would take care of them and therefore they should grow. “Everything has a soul, you know”, she said.
Great. My tomatoes have souls. Now if I don’t make the right propitiating maneuvers before eating them, I’ll be hit with a tomato curse – spaghetti sauce will permanently spatter my oven! I’ll be forced to eat store-bought forever! Or my brain will be swapped with the soul of an evil tomato, nearly wrecking my life while I engage in comic salad hijinks trying to get my body back! Argh! I guess that’s what I get for buying plants at Whole Foods; they don’t sell the soulless hybrids.
Attention Bay Area neopagans, animists and generic mystic crystal flakes: I’m glad your various religious beliefs don’t require you to spew bigotry, make it difficult for me to receive standard medical care, or even disapprove of my personal life. Seriously, I’d much rather live in a society of Fundamentalist New Age Poofiness than a society of Southern Baptists. But no matter how nice your religion might be, it’s poor form to assume that I share it, and proselytizing is always annoying so stop praying over my damn vegetables.