The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan Essay

The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan Essay

Length: 870 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Beauty can be defined in many ways. Though, regardless of its definition, beauty is confined by four characteristics: symmetry, health, vibrancy and complexity. Michael Pollan, in the book The Botany of Desire, examines our role in nature. Pollan sets out to discovery why the most beautiful flowers have manipulated animals into propagating its genes. Most people believe that humans are the sole domesticators of nature, although, beauty in some sense has domesticated us by making us select what we perceive as beautiful. In flowers, for example, the most attractive ones insure their survival and reproductive success; therefore the tulip has domesticated us in the same way by insuring its reproduction. Whether it is beauty or instinct humans have toward flowers they have nevertheless domesticated us. Humans have long recognized that flowers are an indication of future fruits. Therefore it was vital for nomadic hunters to remember where in the wild they saw flowers. And further yet each type of flower produced a specific fruit. Thus fruits and flowers had something in common; the preference of one fruit meant the preference of a type of flower. Most often, as in modern times, the most healthy looking flower shows signs that it will produce quality fruit. The beauty of a flower told hunters that a nutritious fruits would ripen after the flowers bloomed. This concept explains how we have evolved toward preferring healthy looking flowers. But how does this explain the security of a plants reproduction? It is necessary to mention that plants not only produce fruits to stop herbivores from eating the plant, but in their own diabolic plan, plants found a new way to spread their seeds through fruits. Herbivores would eat the fruits an...


... middle of paper ...


...e likely to reproduce. He also states that the ability to change to the environment also make it vital to survival. The tulip in regard to its complexity has changed to fit desire. So who has been manipulating who? The tulip in its part has given us the desire of beauty, while we in turn select for the most beautiful. We have instead been living a relation of co-evolution as explained by Pollan. Nomadic hunters relied on distinguishing flowers to get to future fruits before others. Also the vibrant colors tulips produced genetically, favored us to choose certain strains. Flowers in some way have been domesticating us to choose their strains. Plants related their flowers beauty to successive reproduction and thus evolved its flower to adjust to human desire. Flowers indeed have manipulated humans to fit their pollination needs.


Works Cited

The Botany for Desire

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan Essay example

- Every garden has their own purposes that make gardeners devote a great amount of time to take care of them. Gardeners are coming up with their own unique ways of taking care of their gardens, especially when they make profits out of it. In his book, The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan claims the best gardeners of his generation have devoted themselves to growing cannabis, popularly known as marijuana. Intrigued with Pollan’s argument, I completely agree with him. Marijuana growers are the best gardeners because they perfected the plant in growing them indoors, they make good business out of it, and the plant itself fills the need of humans for transcendent altered states of consciousness....   [tags: Marijuana Farmers, Book Review]

Better Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan Essay

- The American diet is full of on-the-go amenities from an array of different meals; however, is this fuel actually causing harm to the body in the long run. What is in the American diet that sets American’s health apart from other parts of the world. The documentary Forks Over Knives states that “We spend 2.2 trillion dollars a year on health care, over five times more than the defense budget. In fact, we pay more per person for healthcare than any industrialized country in the world, yet we’re sicker than ever” (Forks Over Knives)....   [tags: american diet, protein, meat]

Better Essays
1632 words (4.7 pages)

Adaptation to Human Needs in Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire Essay

- In “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan, the author argues that instead of humans interacting, controlling, and paving the way for plants, they in fact work in ways for our lives to better themselves, and help us to become the human’s we are. They instill desires in our life: beauty, control, sweetness, and intoxication. Each plant mentioned in the four-part book, apples (Malus Domestica), tulips (Tulipa), marijuana (Cannabis Sativa x Inidica), and potatoes (Solanum Tuberosum) contribute to a desire....   [tags: plants, dandelion, crops]

Better Essays
1885 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Pollan´s Theories and the Potato

- Pollan has a few positions regarding the nature that the potato satisfies and its connection to politics, production, and his own personal life. His view regarding the desire that the potato satisfies is compared with the idea of the sublime. Pollan states that the sublime is “mostly a kind of vacation in both a literal and moral sense” (184) and that nature itself is a counter to that. Agriculture can be described as a method of control of nature (in this case, particularly with genetics). Thus the potato (and its representative, the NewLeaf) are introduced as the manifestation of our desire to control....   [tags: agriculture, potato, genetic crops]

Better Essays
601 words (1.7 pages)

Technology Is An Unavoidable Aspect Of Today 's Society Essays

- Technology is an unavoidable aspect of today’s society. From getting up at precisely seven o’clock for that early morning meeting, to falling asleep to the drone of the eleven o’clock news anchor, people do not even think about how much technology impacts their everyday lives as humans. However, there are also more specific applications of advancing technology, such as improving research capabilities for agriculture and medicine, reinventing the way people or groups communicate, especially in terms of advocating for political or societal change, and even revolutionizing the way that students learn in school....   [tags: Education, Higher education, Michael Pollan]

Better Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

The Desire for Intoxication Leads to Destruction Essay

- The Desire for Intoxication Leads to Destruction Through time, people all over the world have looked for ways to feel intoxicated and alter their consciousness for different reasons. One of the most ancient ways people have reached this state of intoxication has been through the popular marijuana plant. Today this plant has become so widely accepted that it has been legalized in a few states and will most likely be legalized in other states, such as California and Maine, even though it is prohibited by federal law....   [tags: Marijuana Drugs]

Better Essays
2171 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Michael Pollan 's ' Dirty Deals '

- Dirty Deals Michael Pollan bestowed a gung-ho attitude as he propelled through his quest investigating the quality of America’s food. Along his journey he ventured to make sporadic changes in his diet. He never claimed to make radical changes nor did he make self-righteous claims. Pollan derived at the conclusion to continue eating meat even after finding out how the animals are killed he did not seem very proud of that. He publically pondered over why quality of food takes lower priority than price....   [tags: The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan, Food]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

Analysis Of The Article ' Escape From The Western Diet ' By Michael Pollan

- Michael pollan is an American journalist, author and activist, and he is currently working as a professor of Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate school of Journalism. He completed his B.A. in English from Bennington in 1977 and an M.A. in English from Colombia in 1981. Michael pollen is author of many food and eating related books For Example, The omnivore’s dilemma, A natural history of four meals, Food rules, In defense of food and many others. In 2010, Michael pollan was named one of the top magazines top 100 most influential people....   [tags: Nutrition, Obesity, Eating, Michael Pollan]

Better Essays
1148 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis Of Michael Pollan 's ' Escape From The Western Diet ' And David Freedman 's How Junk Food Can

- Michael Pollan and David Freedman are two reputable authors who have written about different types of food and why they are healthy or why they are damaging to our health. Michael Pollan wrote “Escape from the Western Diet” and David Freedman wrote “How Junk Food Can End Obesity”. Imagine Pollan’s idea of a perfect world. Everything is organic. McDonald’s is serving spinach smoothies and Walmart is supplying consumers with raw milk. The vast majority of food in this world consists of plants grown locally, because almost everyone is a farmer in order to keep up with supply and demand....   [tags: Nutrition, Food, Organic food, Michael Pollan]

Better Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Animal 's Place By Michael Pollan

- Michael Pollan presents many convincing arguments that strengthen his position on whether slaughtering animals is ethical or not. He believes that every living being on this planet deserves an equal amount of respect regardless of it being an animal or human, after all humans are also animals. “An Animal’s place” by Michael Pollan is an opinionated piece that states his beliefs on whether animals should be slaughtered and killed to be someone’s meal or not. In his article, Pollan does not just state his opinions as a writer but also analyzes them from a reader’s point of view, thus answering any questions that the reader might raise....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, The Animals, Slaughterhouse]

Better Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)