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Private Life of Plants, The

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      02.09.2000 19:01
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      The Private Life of Plants. David Attenborough's latest nature documentary series is up to his usual outstanding standards. It is shown on BBC 2 at 19:30 on Fridays. The photography is stunning and the geographical range of locations mind boggling (how can he be striding through a grass fire in Africa, wearing exactly the same clothes as he was two seconds ago when abseiling through the Borneo rainforest?) The subjects are fascinating and his explanations clear, concise and well scripted. "Nothing new here." I hear you mumbling to yourself. Well that is what I thought until the final three minutes, when he delivered his very eloquent bombshell: Grass is our master. We have all been living our lives smugly thinking that we are at the top of the food chain. In fact, we are merely slaves to a much cleverer and more abundant being. Our slave driver is grass. Grass in its various forms (wheat, barley, grazing pasture etc.) has made us devote vast areas of the planet?s most fertile ground to growing it. We religiously nurture it; feeding, harvesting, re-sowing and mercilessly destroying anything that could harm our master. Yes we might eat some of the crop, but that is a small price for grass to pay for continued global domination and endless pampering. So, next time you walk across a beautifully groomed lawn or drive through miles and miles of golden wheat fields, have a good think about who is serving whom.

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