We Carrot Live Without them, They’re Kinda a Big Dill

We Carrot Live Without them, They’re Kinda a Big Dill

Maxine Lim

We are not the only life-forms on this planet, and we need to work harder to keep it that way. Long before we arrived, plants were thriving in our world. Early on, we discovered that our lives were quite dependent on greenery and that became one of our misdeeds. The key message of this book, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, tells us that we need to protect mother nature and that we need to realise that the human race is not that unlike plants and our needs do not come before theirs.

In contrast to what most think, plants’ methods to sustain oneself and behavioural patterns are similar to the way we live. Plants fundamentally live and survive quite alike to our life: “As soon as a seed is anchored, its priorities shift and it redirects all its energy toward stretching up. Its reserves have nearly run out and it desperately needs to capture light in order to fuel the process that keeps it alive. As the tiniest plant in the forest, it has to work harder than everything above it, all the while enduring a misery of shade” (Jahren 63). Like before the industrial age, many of us had to fight to flourish in this world and use what resources we can grasp.

Just like humans and animals, plants have to fight to survive. Plants require specific things and need to do particular things that keep us evolving and growing, just as we do. Like us, plants have signs that tell us how old they are since “there’s a lot of additional information written into tree rings, it is coded within a language that scientists don’t speak fluently–yet. An unusually thick ring could signify a good year, with lots of growth, or it could just be the product of adolescence, a random spurt of growth hormones cued by an influx of unfamiliar pollen from a distant source” (78). The way humans have wrinkles and change of hair colour, trees have indications of how mature they are, supplying to the idea that they are not so different from our species.

Plants are just as important as we are, and they go through almost the exact same things as we do. Without plants, our species would not sustain itself. In this book, Jahren states that “People don’t know how to make a leaf, but they know how to destroy one. In the last ten years, we’ve cut down more than fifty billion trees. Every ten years, we cut down about 1 percent of this total forest, never to be regrown” (4). Without our influence, plants already have to go to extreme measures to survive and trees take a very long time to grow. When we cut them, we cut off its chance to continue growing and becoming something great. Each leaf on each branch on each tree is unique, just as we are, and every tree we cut down and every flower we pick, gradually leads to the downfall of our planet.

The world does not revolve around the human race, but because many people believe that, the nature around us is slowly withering. Around 2000 different types of plants are used by humans to make food and with the ever-growing population, the numbers are sure to continue climbing. Our ways of survival are quite similar to plants and just like us, they need specific things, such as water and sunlight. Additionally, just because plants are different from us, it does not necessarily mean they are beneath us. We sacrifice the plants around us for our own benefit, most of which is not needed. Each leaf on each branch on each tree in each forest is different, and as Hope Jahren said:  “Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited” (31). Lab Girl will show us exactly what we’re missing out. 

Topic: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.


Jahren, Hope. Lab Girl. Little, Brown, 2017.

Acosta, Jenny. “Food Pun Feast.” JennyAcosta.com.

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