I open the fridge to grab a “head” of raw beet. I pick a small one: it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few weeks, “waiting” for its turn. I am no longer at peace even eating raw vegetables. What I mean is that: I feel even for them. Yes, for raw vegetables. I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian. I eat what my body requires and wants. But I am an empathic eater. I feel for the food that we all are. Even this beet has a self: indeed, if given a chance, it’ll grow. I’ve seen that happen with cloves of garlic. What does it mean to grow? If a “thing” grows, is it a thing? I don’t think so. I can relate to beet: it doesn’t want to die; it’s holding out, sitting in the fridge, on some level hoping to be pardoned. I slice off the top and the bottom from the root. Later today, at a minimum, I’ll toss them out into the backyard, back into nature. At a maximum, I might stick them into soil – just to give them a bit of a chance at being a beet. Life is zero-sum: to eat is to kill, no matter how you slice it.