The Fascinating Evidence Showing Plants Have Human Level Intelligence, Feelings, Pain and More

General

I know many of us have very strong opinions on this so would appreciate thoughtful comments.

Because we can’t relate to the sentience of plants, does eating them make it less cruel than creatures whose sentience we can relate to? Is cruelty an objective standard or an emotional lens?

Plant Perception: New Research Shows Plants Can Feel and Think Like Humans
research into plant perception is showing that plants have feelings, they are sentient, they communicate with each other, feel pain and they can plan into the future.

Some plants, such as sundew, are so sensitive to touch, for example, that they can detect a strand of hair weighing less than one microgram (one millionth of a gram) to which they then respond. But what is more revealing is that they can determine with great specificity what is touching them—that is the plants can feel their environment. Raindrops, a common experience in the wild, produce no response. This kind of mechanosensitivity, which is, in plants, similar to what we call our felt sense of touch, is used much as we use our own: The plants consciously analyze what is touching them, determine its meaning, and craft a response. And that response many times involves rapid changes in their genetics, phenotype, and subsequent physical form. As McCormack et al. comment, “Plants intelligently perceive much more of their environment than is often apparent to the casual observer. Touch can induce profound rapid responses… in Arabidopsis changes in gene expression can be seen within minutes after the plant feels touch, and over 700 genes have altered transcript levels within 30 minutes.” Plants, in fact, possess a highly sophisticated neural system and while it does not look like our “brain,” it really is, in actuality, a brain. In fact, once you get over brain chauvinism, it’s not all that different from our own.

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