Among Giants follows a small group of environmental activists into the high canopy of an ancient redwood grove, where they have made their homes. Both the grove and the surrounding forests were marked for clear-cutting when the activists began their tree-sit.
Aristotle thought that plants possess what he called a ‘vegetative soul’. Centred on growing and reproducing, this primordial, unthinking state of being was encompassed and far surpassed by the ‘rational soul’ of humans. Friedrich Nietzsche, however, believed that, in the overwhelming confusion of considering how we might live, there was much we could learn from plants – deeply rooted in the ground and yet limitlessly expressive as they are.
What does it take to slow us down? Perhaps the most useful thing COVID-19 can teach us after we go back to normality is to have an honest discussion about how we live and if our lifestyle is sustainable.