In pagan stories around the world, there is usually no original sin; human beings as a species are not guilty. Neither are they perfect, and there is no final judgement. There is death and resurrection or reincarnation, but it happens every day, through making love, bearing children, telling stories, killing animals, eating their flesh, wearing their clothes, and leaving animals enough, and fish enough, and trees enough, that they will be here next year and the next and the next without end. There is, I think, an implicit understanding in these stories that you must eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, a little every day, and that you can eat from the tree day after day, but what you mustn’t do is cut down the tree or sell the ground on which it grows.
(Robert Bringhurst, ‘The Polyhistorical Mind’, in The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind and Ecology, Counterpoint: Berkeley, 2006/2008, p. 34)
Beings eat one another. This is the fundamental business of the world. It is the whole, not any of its parts, that must prevail, and this whole is always changing. There is no indispensable species, and no indispensable culture. Especially not a culture that dreams of eating without being eaten, and that offers the gods not even the guts or the crumbs.