THE morality of eating chicken

Feb 2011
6,148
You are just making a blatant anti-plant argument, to save yourself from feeling guilty about eating food of plant origin. So that it would save you from having to eat brick.

You might be hard pressed to find a plant which can think or argue like Plato or Aristotle. But this plant here below certainly can feel.

Seen this somewhere before?


Mimosa pudica. Also called sensitive plant, touch-me-not, shy plant etc. A creeping annual or perennial flowering plant of the pea/legume family. You contact it, or you even breathe hard on it, its compound leaves fold inward and droop immediately, to defend themselvs from harm, only to open up again some minutes later.

In our place, it tends to grow virtually anywhere there is some relatively open ground. So, I'm quite surprised to read that it's in fact grown by some folks for its curiosity value. It's sharp thorns are a bane for barefoot walkers, which we still often were when I was a kid. But hardy type frequent barefooters develop a thick foot sole soon enough, and tread away nonchalantly on it like it isn't there.
So in other words no brain. Just because something reacts to damage does not mean it feels pain. Brain dead people still react in much the same way (muscle movements and reaction to stimuli), you can still legally pull off their life support because every doctor worth their salt would say that the person is gone, because the brain is dead. Plants don't even have a brain.

And let's say that the plant you showed Do feel pain, despite not having a brain..... what does that have to do with eating a cabbage? How many people eat Mimosa pudica? Seriously....

This is a traditional Japanese automaton:



You put a weight onto its plate, such as a tea cup, the automaton turns around and walks the opposite direction. Does it mean the automaton can feel? No, it doesn't have a brain. Just because something reacts to stimuli doesn't mean there's a mind behind it.

Dreamhunter said:
You are just making a blatant anti-plant argument, to save yourself from feeling guilty about eating food of plant origin. So that it would save you from having to eat brick.
Not really, if plants can think and feel then it benefits me. Because then no matter what I eat, something experiences pain. And if I resort to eating bricks, then I get hurt from starvation and bad digestion. This evens the playing field in which it becomes an either I get hurt or they get hurt situation, which allows me to eat whatever I want by excuse of survival. But since plants don't have brains, and hence can't experience pain, it gives me a path to eat things without anybody experiencing pain. I can't use survival as an excuse to eat meat because I have alternative methods of consumption that's just as healthy.
 
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Jun 2012
7,067
Malaysia
You do not equate an automaton with a plant. An automaton does not need to nourish itself, does not grow, does not multiply. It has zero life force in it.

Point is, if a mimosa can feel something, then so can a cabbage, or a cluster of wheat or corn. There's only a difference of speed of response.

As for me, I can't survive without animal meat, so I can eat any meat I want by excuse of survival.
 
Feb 2011
6,148
You do not equate an automaton with a plant. An automaton does not need to nourish itself, does not grow, does not multiply. It has zero life force in it.
You equated reaction to stimuli with feeling pain. The automaton I showed reacts to certain stimuli, just like the plant you showed. Ergo if you equate reaction to stimuli with feeling pain, then the automaton I showed also feels pain.
Nourishing yourself is not the same as feeling pain. In fact many people who can feel pain lost the ability to nourish themselves.
Multiplying yourself is not the same as feeling pain. Many people are infertile, but can still think and experience pain.
Simply living is not the same as feeling pain. A brain dead person has "life force", doesn't make him any less brain dead.

None of what you said are the same as experiencing pain. The argument is about whether plants can experience pain as we do, the argument is not about whether plants are alive. No one is questioning that plants are alive.

Dreamhunter said:
Point is, if a mimosa can feel something, then so can a cabbage, or a cluster of wheat or corn. There's only a difference of speed of response.
First off you only proved that mimosas reacted to certain external stimuli, not wheat or corn. Again, that's not the same as experiencing pain.
Second, a mimosa can't "feel something", because it doesn't have a brain. It reacts to external stimuli the same way the automaton above reacts to external stimuli, in that no information is transmitted to a mind for experiencing said stimuli, the electrical signals produced by stimuli goes straight to the hydraulic pumps that make the leaves curl up. No electrical signal is going to some sort of mind for experiencing pain. The action is a mindless reflex, not a conscious decision.

The calcium ion channels that plants rely on do not support rapid or repetitive signaling between cells; once a plant action potential is generated, it cannot be repeated at a fast enough rate to allow, for example, the speed with which a worm ‘dashes ... into its burrow.’ Speed requires ions and ion channels that can open and close in a matter of milliseconds, allowing hundreds of action potentials to be generated in a second. The magic ions, here, are sodium and potassium ions, which enabled the development of rapidly reacting muscle cells, nerve cells, and neuromodulation at synapses. These made possible organisms [i.e., animals] that could learn, profit by experience, judge, act, and finally think. -Oliver Sacks

Dreamhunter said:
As for me, I can't survive without animal meat, so I can eat any meat I want by excuse of survival.
If you mean that literally rather than metaphorically, go right ahead.


Sometimes cited as support is the fact that plants are certainly capable of responding to outside stimuli. Sunflowers are able to move their flowers and track the sun across the sky while tress have been shown to shift nitrogen (important in photosynthesis) to leaves in heavier sunlight. However from an anatomical and physiological point of view the idea that plants feel pain finds little support. Plants lack pain receptors that would allow them to experience negative stimulation in the first place as well as lacking both a brain and a nervous system that would be required to analyze and respond to such sensory information. There does seem to be evidence that plants release hormones after being damaged much in the same way animals will but plant hormones are quite different from those found in animals. Furthermore this would not be evidence of a pain response in plants but rather an automatic reaction to stimuli.

More damning for the position though is the total lack a reason for plants to have evolved a pain response. Pain is a useful adaptation for animals because it helps them avoid dangerous situations. A perfect way to illustrate this is to look at humans born without the ability to feel it. The condition is called congenital analgesia or congenital insensitivity to pain. A rare genetic condition the prime symptom of which is the total lack of any ability to experience a pain response. As you may have been able to guess suffers often do not live long and those that do must be carefully watched. Broken bones may go untreated or infections unremarked upon if only because they have no reason to be concerned about them. Without pain there is no reason to pull your hand out of the fire.

So if pain helps animals survive can the same be said for plants. Of course not. Lacking any ability to avoid danger if it arises, such as retracting a branch being munched on by an herbivore or uprooting to a new spot during a fire, the development of a pain response system would be an evolutionary waste. It would add nothing the fitness of the organism (the ability to reproduce) and the resources that would be used to grow it could instead be put into growth and reproduction. Plants certainly can respond to threats, many species of algae increase their production of defensive chemicals after suffering damage from herbivory, but such things only indicate a response to outside stimuli not pain. -https://metabiological.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/do-plants-feel-pain/
 
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