What if your vegan meal can feel?


Some jokingly may say this is why they could not dare inflict pain by biting into a carrot..

We know the kill floors of animal torture centers, those hidden stinky places filled with dangerous activities and little worker safety programs, inflict pain. They are drenched in the agony of steaks consumed by the highest payer..

But veggies!? Nuts!? They feel, too!?

This interesting story written by  PETER WOHLLEBEN in Nautilus includes these few snippets worth reading after his interview with Emanuele Coccia, who wrote a book about plants, Die Wurzeln der Welt (published in English as The Life of Plants):

I listened, fascinated by what he had to say. Here was a man of my own heart. I would prefer it, I told Coccia, if science categorized species one beside the other. That would still allow an order, a system of sorting, without imposing any kind of a hierarchy. He immediately agreed. He reiterated his belief that the ordering system we have today is not scientific but rather influenced by cultural, historical, and religious values. For Coccia, the hard boundary between the plant and animal world does not exist. He believes plants can experience sensations and even reflect on them. And he is not the only one who thinks this.

And more

Baluška, together with colleagues from around the world, including Stefano Mancuso from the University of Florence, has come a little closer to answering the question about plant consciousness. Baluška and his colleagues sedated plants that feature moving parts, such as Venus flytraps. These plants catch their prey in a trap that snaps shut as soon as insects touch trigger hairs on the inner side of their double-lobed leaves. The two sides of the leaf fold together in a flash, capturing the insect between them, and the plant then digests its prey. The anesthetics the scientists used, which included some that are used on people, deactivated electric activity in the plants so that the traps no longer reacted when they were touched. Sedated peas showed similar changes in behavior. Their tendrils, which usually move in all directions as they slowly feel their way through their surroundings to find supporting structures to grow on, stopped searching and started to spiral on the spot. After the plants broke the narcotics down, they resumed their normal behavior.

This one part also is fascinating.. imagine trees using their leaves as eyes..

Leaves that function like eyes? There’s an idea that takes some getting used to, particularly as a tree regularly discards its “eyes” in the autumn when its leaves fall off. Does that make leaves disposable eyes? In a certain sense, yes. A working life of six months (under European climate conditions) is relatively long in comparison with some animals. Flies, for example, use their eyes for little more than a month simply because that’s how long they live. And mayflies, which live for barely a day after metamorphosing from a larva into a flying insect, use their visual apparatus for less than 24 hours—and yet the eyes they have are real.

There’s another thing with trees. The cells in the leaves, once they are formed, last for the whole growing season, which means they are relatively long lived. In contrast, our eyes are in a constant state of partial rejuvenation: The cells in the outer cornea, for instance, are completely replaced every seven days.

This one in particular is interesting because of so many years of scientific papers theorizing the trees talk to each other, including this article in 2018 that became a controversial hypothesis.. 

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The ultimate question that exists here may not be one all share in concern about. Namely whether it is morally justifiable to inflict pain for our mastication and consumption. 

The question was simple for vegans and veggies who argued that the pain animals felt was wrong to inflict. Meat eaters defended..

But when you throw agony-filled vegetable into the mix, the murky waters of morality suddenly get harder to look through..

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