The fossil economy breaks the possibility of such a cycle [of human reciprocity with other living things]. How many million years of dying in the forests and seas of the ancient world go into one generation of living the way we have been doing around here lately? How could our lives ever be worthy of so much death? What could we possibly give back? And what would giving back even mean, when all that dying happened in the deep past of geological time? Committed to dependence on these vast underground reserves of death, the only response that remains is to silence such questions, to extinguish the ways of living which embody them, to make them unthinkable.
It’s as if we’ve discovered some powerful necromancy and we now we need a taboo on the practice. How is such a taboo established? How is it taught and enforced?