The importance of being eaten: edibility, blending boundaries and the porosity of relationships between and across species.


In an attempt to reject human exceptionalist and reductionalist tendencies, this paper considers how a morethanhuman materialities perspective can support the aims of multi-species ethnographies that attempt to offer plants a voice. I do this by suggesting that edibility, the processes of ingestion and the behavioural consequences of assimilation of bodies into bodies enables a methodology with which to ‘hear’ plants as they communicate with their ingestors. Paying attention to how the condition of being edible provokes relationships, I explore not only the lively physicality of merging phyto-materials with human-animal fleshy bodies but also demonstrate how the permeability of bodily boundaries can be usefully repositioned as a locus of relationality and influence, in a world of agential materials. As a result of this direction, I also shine a light onto epistemological and ontological category/species boundaries that represent living beings as distinct and separate from each other.