I believe that a pet cat or a dog may eat you to survive if certain circumstances presented themselves and there were no other alternatives, eventually becoming hungry enough to overcome devotion in favor of survival, but the worms I just bought for my compost would have no moral dilemma at all about whether or not to compost me and/or my husband, should either of us be added to the bin. For whatever reason, that makes me happy.
I have no plans to be added to the bin anytime soon, but having…let’s call it a pet…who could return me to the earth seems like a pretty good deal. It is not a path to immortality, but it is a transformation that perpetuates life. As a committed gardener, the thought of a literal return to the earth gives me a sense of peace, more so than just about anything else, except maybe a Double Haul IPA after a hard day of pulling weeds.
But aside from the philosophical ruminations around (and actual potential of) self-as-soil, the worms will eat our food waste, making compost, and help us save the planet because compost pulls carbon out of the atmosphere. They also promise to be a boon to the raised bed in which their box is buried. But every time I dip into their coir and dirt and hold them in my gloved hands, I think about the relationship of worms to eternity: recycling life into to soil and the soil springing back into life again. They are a deep pet.
More to come on the worms. They’re just getting used to things. Hopefully, they don’t die this winter, but if some do, the survivors will compost them. I guess that makes my pet either an ouroboros or an eternal return. I never had a dog like that.