More-Than-Human Dreaming

Ann Light, Anna Lychagina, Markéta Dolejšová, Sebastian Prost, Steph Marsden & Xinyi Li

But nothing in this world is simple. To transform our food systems towards a regenerative more-than-human flourishing, we need to get out of our human shells and learn how to better understand the needs of other creatures.

Non-human creatures do a great deal of work in our food systems that is essential for humans to survive and thrive. Look at bees, or microbes in fermented edibles. Do we value their labour enough? Don’t they deserve better credit for caring for us and other species on our planet? Perhaps, we should be more grateful and try to make their job easier by providing decent working conditions, rather than keeping up with the food business as usual.

“While tending to our garden, we learned that more-than-human care in food systems shouldn’t be romanticised.”

— Food processing group

Remember visiting our garden, the one that’s full of all those wonderful plants – herbs, flowers, vegetable patches? Remember the snails? How cool they are with their little antennae and camper houses attached to their backs. If you had stayed longer, though, you would’ve seen that for the snails, our garden is a free, unrestricted picnic area. Those creatures just want to eat it all! And that’s not so cool.

For us – avid gardeners that we are – it’s sometimes quite impossible to maintain a harmonious relationship with the snail picnickers. As harsh as it sounds, we simply need to start getting rid of them. Recently, we’ve been really bothered with this, thinking: how great would it be to cooperate with the snails and make a deal on which garden patches they can eat, and which should be left untouched? An alternative to treating them as uninvited pests. We tried to call a truce and proposed to run a garden restaurant for them that would serve a fine selection of the harvest.

Well, it didn’t work out at all…we didn’t really understand each other. Everybody was confused and felt misplaced! Ah, these romantic dreams of more-than-human care, where snails, plants and humans live in harmony.

What would you do, in our place?