8 July 2009

Animal fire

Without wanting to get mystical about it, fire is, in many respects, a kind of animal, albeit an ethereal one. Like any animal, it consumes oxygen. Like a sheep or a slug, it eats plants. But unlike a normal animal, it’s a shape-shifter.
-- Olivia Judson. Mystical? No. A comparison of limited value? Yes. Still, the idea grips the imagination: fire as a 'vital spark' has a long history.

In the Anthropocene, fire is the tool and weapon of Man, an animal which has extracted millions of year's worth from the Earth in two or three centuries. See Fire and Fire creature, fire planet.

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