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Author Topic: Do plants feel pain?  (Read 13030 times)


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Re: Do plants feel pain?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2019, 06:31:12 am »

That is amazing. Interspecies plant communicator! Widening my perspective on this issue


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Re: Do plants feel pain?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2021, 08:24:40 am »

plants absolutely react to stimuli.  be it called pain or otherwise.  their sensitivities and reactions are no doubt different, but absolutely they do exist.


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Re: Do plants feel pain?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2021, 09:22:41 pm »

Excellent book on this subject
"Through seed satyagraha we will disobey every law engineered by corporations that violate the rights of nature, farmers rights and our rights to seed freedom and food freedom"


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Re: Do plants feel pain?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2021, 03:50:25 pm »

You are confusing pain with a physical response.

Pain is a conscious, subjective experience whereas response is a physical reaction that takes place in the presence of external stimuli.
My mom is a neurologist and she told me of a phenomenon wherein a person can be without conscious experience - that is the regions of the brain responsible for subjective experience and suffering are dead or otherwise disconnected - but in response to a very specific stimulus, the facial muscles will contort and create a grimace.

Science has shown that plants do indeed respond to physical stimuli. This is not a surprise by any stretch of the imagination. However, a mechanical response to physical stimuli does not imply the capability to experience physical distress as a result of such stimuli. Suffering, from a neurological standpoint, is very advanced. It requires not only the capability to sense touch, but also sensory organs that can detect physical distress, some degree of cognition, and lastly and most importantly, some degree of awareness. If a creature possesses some but not all of these things, one could argue that that that creature can feel pain, but if a creature possesses none of these things, such as the case with plants, then there really is no case from a scientific standpoint.

Now we get to the philosophical implications of the question - if plants can indeed feel pain the argument follows that vegans and vegetarians would have to radically alter their lifestyle in order to accommodate their beliefs. This is not so. While it makes for a pointed dismissal to veganism as a whole, it neglects to consider the problem of trophic layering. The ten percent rule, stating that 90% of energy is lost (or rather, diffused due to entropy) when food moves upward through a trophic layer (Ie: 90% of the plant's energy is lost when consumed by the rabbit, 90% of the rabbit's energy is lost when consumed by the snake, and 90% of the snake's energy is lost when consumed by the eagle) is generous at best. This is why there are many more trees than deer and many more deer than wolves.

In other words, eating corn uses less corn than feeding that corn to a cow and then eating the cow, from which the only the socially acceptable cuts of meat are taken, which I might add are relatively nutrient poor.  Using less corn, and using it judiciously, results in is less suffering. Veganism, contrary to its public reputation, is not a philosophy of absolutes. It is deeply utilitarian, in that it attempts to minimize the amount of suffering one inflicts on other conscious agents (within reason), not eradicate it entirely. Some of the practices of Jain ascetics and the philosophy espoused by anti-natalists are much more absolutist in comparison. 

As for the newer research regarding mycelial networks, there is a lot of interesting research and discovery out there, but the science is often exaggerated. Mycelial communication is not evidence for cognition or subjective experience by any stretch of the imagination. Personally, I blame the popular science media for really misleading the public on that.

The science has been very, very clear in saying that there is simply no evidence that plants exhibit any form of physical cognition. That being said, as an animist I absolutely believe that in a mystical, non-physical realm, the ruling spirits of plants absolutely have cognition, intelligence, and subjective experiences. This is a complicated subject that is filled with nuance but to shorten it, what animists describe as plant consciousness is very different from physical cognition and we have to make sure not to confuse the two.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 03:59:26 pm by river_lotus »


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Re: Do plants feel pain?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2021, 03:36:28 am »

I'm going to assume no unless convinced otherwise. Bring on the peer-reviewed research!
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.--Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
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