So what happens when plants can feel?

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KingofDucks
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#1
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#1
After reading through the meat eating vets thread, it got me thinking about what happens if/when plants are found to be concious, or at least feel pain (of which there is emerging evidence for).

This is particularly directed at those of you who are vegans/vegitarians due to the ethical issues surrounding consumption of meat due to animal suffering/conciouness. I was wondering whether they would still consider eating plants to be morally right or justifyable or not, and if so how?

Expanding on this, would it be right to grow plants, and harvest the fruits/vegetables they produce, or cut grass, deforest, etc.
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viddy9
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(Original post by KingofDucks)
After reading through the meat eating vets thread, it got me thinking about what happens if/when plants are found to be concious, or at least feel pain (of which there is emerging evidence for).

This is particularly directed at those of you who are vegans/vegitarians due to the ethical issues surrounding consumption of meat due to animal suffering/conciouness. I was wondering whether they would still consider eating plants to be morally right or justifyable or not, and if so how?

Expanding on this, would it be right to grow plants, and harvest the fruits/vegetables they produce, or cut grass, deforest, etc.
There's no empirical evidence whatsoever that plants can feel pain or suffer. Not only that, but on evolutionary grounds, there's absolutely no reason to believe that plants could feel pain. In the absence of any capacity for rapid self-propelled motion, no evolutionary selection pressure can exist to create an energetically expensive nervous system allowing a being to feel pain.

And, the most important thing to note about veganism and vegetarianism is that it's not about moral perfection: it's about reducing suffering and harm. If plants could feel pain and suffer, veganism would still be the least harmful diet to sentient beings, because a lot more plant protein is required to produce 1kg of meat than is required to produce 1kg of plant protein - what do you think the animals reared for meat eat?

Therefore, if plants could feel pain and suffer, meat-eaters would be responsible for the suffering of plants and animals when they consume meat, as well as the suffering of even more plants when they eat their vegetables like everyone else does.

But, as I say, there's no reason whatsoever to believe that plants can feel pain and suffer.
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ChaoticButterfly
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#3
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What if all cellular life feels pain? :eek3:

What would you do then?
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username1738683
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#4
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Wouldn't they need a brain to experience pain? Anyway, the answer to the original question on what would happen if plants were found to suffer pain is... that nothing would change because people still would have to eat something and there is nothing left after that. Not a question of morals.
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indian_horse2003
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#5
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I only have two things to say.

1) Origin: Spirits of the Past
2) "Carrot Juice is Murder" by Arrogant Worms

:heart:
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D.G.N.A
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#6
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#6
The traditional response from vegans is (in my experience):

"Sentience."


Their retort is that plants are not sentient, therefore not being as important as animals. However, a lobotomized crippled old man lacks sentience.

So a vegan's counterargument actually justifies cannibalism, which is neat.

Not to say I'm anti-vegan. I eat meat, sure, but a balance - a slow transition from meat-centered to plant-centered is a lot safer than protesting entire industries like meat, fur, leather, dairy, eggs, et cetera.
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