I have always secretly hoped that someday we would discover that plants are just as sentient as animals, and as a result, the aggressively judgmental, overly proselytizing ethical vegans of the world would be forced to come to terms with the fact that when it comes to food, they are no less murderous than the cow and chicken-eating people like me.
It’s getting harder and harder to deny that plants are a hell of a lot smarter and more aware of their surroundings than we ever thought.
Plants can communicate with each other:
Plants respond to gravity. Light. Chemicals. They move. They network. They sleep. They play:
Natalie Angier, writing for the New York Times, points out that plants are chemical factories that are capable of calling for help. Warning their neighbors. Bait and trap their enemies. Plotting the demise of their attacker.
Angier challenges the moral high ground that ethical vegans have so righteously ascended. She writes:
Plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot. This is not meant as a trite argument or a chuckled aside. Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way. The more that scientists learn about the complexity of plants — their keen sensitivity to the environment, the speed with which they react to changes in the environment, and the extraordinary number of tricks that plants will rally to fight off attackers and solicit help from afar — the more impressed researchers become, and the less easily we can dismiss plants as so much fiberfill backdrop, passive sunlight collectors on which deer, antelope and vegans can conveniently graze. It’s time for a green revolution, a reseeding of our stubborn animal minds.
I’ve said it before: It’s remarkably arrogant for us to think that we fully understand the true nature of any living thing, including plants. To simply assume that the carrot you are eating is incapable of experiencing thought or pain or existential suffering is foolish. As scientists are continuing to discover, plant life is capable of far more sentience than we could have ever imagined.
So eat up, my ethically vegan friends, while there is still time. It won’t be long before we discover that the acorn that smacked you on the head was purposely thrown by an oak tree getting revenge for it’s leafy brethren.