Mergers and acquisitions in the global fertilizer industry are on the rise, even as those among steel companies are slowing. Why? And why does it matter? According to Reuters, China’s demand for meat will continue to grow, even as its demand for steel levels off. “The revolution of the stomach moves at a slower pace,” the author informs us, adding that merger activity among fertilizer giants went “hog wild.” Perhaps not the most original metaphor, but the point is made. China is the world’s largest consumer of potash, a form of potassium that’s used principally for fertilizer, along with animal feed. Predicting the future in a pile of potash? Focus on feed — and the inputs to produce it. “As long as China’s taste for meat increases,” the article concludes, “fertilizer companies should continue to eat one another up.” The absent referent? The planet, being eaten up, too.