Plants Feel Pain

Well, it’s clear someone skipped school a little too often.

Pain is a sensation in response to tissue damage. It is a warning that something isn’t right, and we could be in danger. In humans and other animals, it’s our central nervous system that allows us to feel the pain and it sends back information about what we need to do about it. In your case, Anthony, that would be to stop licking the electric cables.

Now imagine you’ve had one too many messages from grown men thinking they’re utterly unique and hilarious, and you’ve been banging your head on your desk for the best part of an hour. You feel pain. The nerves in your face are sending information to your brain saying “ouch” and your brain is sending back a message saying, “Stop banging your face into the desk and block that douche canoe.”

But the thing with plants is, you can say stupid things to them all day long and you won’t give them a headache. You can cut flowers and put them in a vase, chop carrots and feed them to your bunny pals, and harvest wheat and turn it into tasty chick*n nuggets. They don’t mind. They don’t have a central nervous system. And you can’t hurt them.

Animals on the other hand can and do suffer routinely so if your goal is to reduce suffering in the world, it would be good to start by caring for beings who we know suffer, and not pretending to care about those that don’t.

And here’s a final twist in the tail, Anthony. If you do believe that plants feel pain (bless your heart), you would do well to stop eating animals because farmed animals eat many times more plants than you would if you just ate plants directly. Meat-eaters are therefore responsible for the deaths of a lot more plants than vegans.

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