Plants are capable of communicating, perceiving and responding to stimuli such as contact or a change in temperature, and are even intelligent, according to some scientists. But do they have the capacity to suffer like animals?
Those who choose a vegetarian diet do so to avoid animal suffering and exploitation as much as possible. Organisms able to feel pain just like us. English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) said that because of their ability to feel pain, animals should not be able to feel pain. Treat differently For humans: “The question is not, ‘Can they reason? nor “Can they talk?” but,”Can He suffers?“,” he wonders.
And if there is no doubt for the vast majority of animals about their consciousness, there are those who would argue that even plants can suffer, and therefore the attempts of vegans Avoid suffering From a living being to their food they are completely in vain. But is it really so?
What do plants perceive?
Let’s start with Determine what the pain is. According to Triccani, pain is “an unpleasant sensation, caused by the action of a factor that compromises the physical integrity, or provoked by the anatomical or functional suffering condition of an organ”. As he explains Dr. Elizabeth Van Volkenburg, Professor of Biology at the University of Washington, «Technically speaking Plants are like any living thing perceive and respond contact, including painful contact.
Both animals and plants already have it mechanoreceptors in their membranes, which send messages to plant cells when, for example, a person to cut their papers. This means plant you know when is he coming foodripped off, or torn off. A team of researchers It has also shown that plants are cut, dried, and generally stressed They make sounds Which we can not hear, but that was recorded and processed to mp3 files.
Do they also perceive pain?
However, although the reaction to the stimulus is one way That can be used to measure the organism’s ability to feel pain, and this alone is not enough today There is no evidence That plants feel pain, in fact they lack brainfrom Synapsis and gods nerves This is enough to rule him out.
As the scientist and botanist say Stephen Mancuso in an interview To Corrado Formelli, “The plants are many More sensitive than animalsBut they don’t feel pain in the sense we give them. Plants evolved knowing they were being eaten, however They do not have brain and then pain system».
in Do plants feel pain? The authors state that experimental evidence indicates that at least some plants contain The ability to perceive, To communicate And yes they can Even the definition of clever In some ways. The error is in assuming that these skills require Awareness. Plants can detect features of their environment and communicate with other plants unconsciously aware of what is happening. Therefore, they do not perform any activity on the conscious or cognitive level and this makes them, unlike animals, Not conscious.
What does all this teach us?
plants are exceptional beings They are capable of amazing things that most of us don’t know about, but they don’t have pain receptors like we and other animals do. This means that those who care about the suffering of other organisms can safely continue to eat vegetables.
For those who are not All satisfied those plants no You feel pain, even in the face Scientific evidenceHowever, choosing to exclude animal products from your diet is still the best option: in fact, animals need to grow Large amounts of vegetables – Consider, for example, that in the European Union 66% of cereals grown in Europe Its purpose is reproduction – And by eating meat, eggs and dairy products they consume indirectly Many plants than they would have consumed if they were vegetarian.
It is necessary to review our diet to protect and preserve animals and secure global health. Learn how to do it better!
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