Humans have the tendency to see the world from their own perspective. Naturally, it is easier to understand the world in a way that the world looks like from where we are standing. Not so long ago, humans assumed that animals have no self-awareness and hence do not suffer. Scientists now know that all the sensitivities that were thought to be peculiar to humans, exists in the animals. Next, it is used to be assumed that the intelligence and awareness is proportional to the size of one's nervous system. Scientists now know that even creatures with nervous systems made off just a few cells are capable of such amazing self-aware intelligence that it defies the prior understanding of what it means to be aware. Not so long ago, it used to be assumed that the plants have no awareness either. Scientists now know that there is plenty of evidence that it might not be so. And so like this, one by one, the old understanding of awareness falls, inevitably. I feel that all beings have awareness of self, whether humans are aware of it or not. I also feel that a step up from those veganism-inspired ideologies that focus only on the suffering of animals, is to be able to see all beings on this living organism of Earth, and acknowledge the rights of them all.
Food for thought:
(1) CELL SIGNALING - POTENTIAL AWARENESS OF PLANTS, Keith Roberts, Nature 360, 14 - 15 (05 November 1992)
See also the References within:
1. BAYDOUN EAH
THE IMMOBILITY OF PECTIC SUBSTANCES IN INJURED TOMATO LEAVES AND ITS BEARING ON THE IDENTITY OF THE WOUND HORMONE
PLANTA 165 : 269 1985
2. BOWLES D
CURR BIOL 1 : 165 1991
3. CREELMAN RA
JASMONIC ACID METHYL JASMONATE ACCUMULATE IN WOUNDED SOYBEAN HYPOCOTYLS AND MODULATE WOUND GENE-EXPRESSION
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 89 : 4938 1992
4. DOHERTY HM
THE WOUND RESPONSE OF TOMATO PLANTS CAN BE INHIBITED BY ASPIRIN AND RELATED HYDROXYBENZOIC ACIDS
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY 33 : 377 1988
5. ENYEDI AJ
SIGNAL MOLECULES IN SYSTEMIC PLANT-RESISTANCE TO PATHOGENS AND PESTS
CELL 70 : 879 1992
6. FARMER EE
INTERPLANT COMMUNICATION - AIRBORNE METHYL JASMONATE INDUCES SYNTHESIS OF PROTEINASE-INHIBITORS IN PLANT-LEAVES
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 87 : 7713 1990
7. FARMER EE
REGULATION OF EXPRESSION OF PROTEINASE-INHIBITOR GENES BY METHYL JASMONATE AND JASMONIC ACID
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 98 : 995 1992
8. GREEN TR
WOUND-INDUCED PROTEINASE INHIBITOR IN PLANT LEAVES - POSSIBLE DEFENSE MECHANISM AGAINST INSECTS
SCIENCE 175 : 776 1972
9. HILDMANN TH
CELL 4 : 1157 1992
10. KERNAN A
AUXIN LEVELS REGULATE THE EXPRESSION OF A WOUND-INDUCIBLE PROTEINASE-INHIBITOR II-CHLORAMPHENICOL ACETYL TRANSFERASE GENE FUSION INVITRO AND INVIVO
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 91 : 73 1989
11. MALONE M
KINETICS OF WOUND-INDUCED HYDRAULIC SIGNALS AND VARIATION POTENTIALS IN WHEAT SEEDLINGS
PLANTA 187 : 505 1992
12. MCGURL B
STRUCTURE, EXPRESSION, AND ANTISENSE INHIBITION OF THE SYSTEMIN PRECURSOR GENE
SCIENCE 255 : 1570 1992
13. PEARCE G
A POLYPEPTIDE FROM TOMATO LEAVES INDUCES WOUND-INDUCIBLE PROTEINASE-INHIBITOR PROTEINS
SCIENCE 253 : 895 1991
14. PENACORTES H
ABSCISIC-ACID IS INVOLVED IN THE WOUND-INDUCED EXPRESSION OF THE PROTEINASE INHIBITOR-II GENE IN POTATO AND TOMATO
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 86 : 9851 1989
15. ROBLIN G
ANALYSIS OF THE VARIATION POTENTIAL INDUCED BY WOUNDING IN PLANTS
PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY 26 : 455 1985
16. RYAN CA
THE SEARCH FOR THE PROTEINASE INHIBITOR-INDUCING FACTOR, PIIF
PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 19 : 123 1992
17. RYAN CA
PLANT PHYSIOL 54 : 328 1971
18. VANSAMBEEK JW
MEDIATION OF RAPID ELECTRICAL, METABOLIC, TRANSPIRATIONAL, AND PHOTOSYNTHETIC CHANGES BY FACTORS RELEASED FROM WOUNDS .1. VARIATION POTENTIALS AND PUTATIVE ACTION POTENTIALS IN INTACT PLANTS
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY-REVUE CANADIENNE DE BOTANIQUE 54 : 2642 1976
19. WILDON DC
SYSTEMIC RESPONSES ARISING FROM LOCALIZED HEAT STIMULI IN TOMATO PLANTS
ANNALS OF BOTANY 64 : 691 1989
20. WILDON DC
ELECTRICAL SIGNALING AND SYSTEMIC PROTEINASE-INHIBITOR INDUCTION IN THE WOUNDED PLANT
NATURE 360 : 62 1992
(2) Further scientific references:
1. Title: Signaling role of action potential in higher plants
Author(s): Pyatygin SS, Opritov VA, Vodeneev VA
Source: RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 55 Issue: 2 Pages: 285-291 Published: MAR-APR 2008
2. Title: A simple CA model for signal transduction in plants
Author(s): Mukherjee S
Source: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MODERN PHYSICS C Volume: 18 Issue: 10 Pages: 1627-1639
3. Title: From semi-conductors to the rhythms of sensitive plants: The research of J. C. Bose
Author(s): Shepherd VA
Source: CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Volume: 51 Issue: 7 Pages: 607-619 Published: 2005
4. Title: Relationship between environmental factors and diurnal variation of bioelectric potentials of an intact jute plant
Author(s): Datta P, Palit P
Source: CURRENT SCIENCE Volume: 87 Issue: 5 Pages: 680-683 Published: SEP 10 2004
5. Title: Ways of signal transmission and physiological role of electrical potentials in plants
Author(s): Dziubinska H
Source: ACTA SOCIETATIS BOTANICORUM POLONIAE Volume: 72 Issue: 4 Pages: 309-318
6. Title: The effects of mechanical vibration on the microstructure of Gerbera jamesonii acrocarpous callus
Author(s): Wang BC, Long XF, Liu YY, et al.
Source: COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-BIOINTERFACES Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-5 Published: JAN 2002
7. Title: Magnetic detection of injury-induced ionic currents in bean plants
Author(s): Jazbinsek V, Thiel G, Muller W, et al.
Source: EUROPEAN BIOPHYSICS JOURNAL WITH BIOPHYSICS LETTERS Volume: 29 Issue: 7 Pages: 515-522 Published: 2000
8. Title: Changes in the resistance of photosynthesizing cotyledon cells of pumpkin seedlings to cooling and heating, as induced by the stimulation of the root system with KCl solution
Author(s): Retivin VG, Opritov VA, Lobov SA, et al.
Source: RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 46 Issue: 5 Pages: 689-696 Published: SEP-OCT 1999
9. Title: Bioelectricity and the rhythms of sensitive plants - The biophysical research of Jagadis Chandra Bose
Author(s): Shepherd VA
Source: CURRENT SCIENCE Volume: 77 Issue: 1 Pages: 189-195 Published: JUL 10 1999
10. Title: Changes of electric potential in pistils of Petunia hybrida Hort. and Brassica napus L. during pollination
Author(s): Wedzony M, Filek M
Source: ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM Volume: 20 Issue: 3 Pages: 291-297 Published: 1998
(3) "Just as Descartes managed to ignore the obvious when he said that animals were unfeeling machines, there is considerable evidence that plants are much more aware than we commonly believe. Using a definition of pain that is based on possession of a nervous system deliberately and arbitrarily excludes plants. Yet plants are clearly aware of when they are being attacked because they mobilize chemical defenses. Just as meat eaters try to deny the fact that animals feel pain, vegans try to deny the fact that plants feel something akin to pain--something that could be used to justify not killing them. If we ever encounter aliens, the chances that they have a nervous system like ours is vanishingly small, but we would nonetheless assume that they feel what we would categorize as pain.
Plants have all kinds of chemical defense systems that go in to action when the plant is damaged. Plants have ways to avoid being eaten--thorns, phytoestrogens (found in over 300 plants), poison, taste, growing high off of the ground. As Barbara McClintock, a Nobel laureate geneticist who worked with corn for over 30 years, said, "Animals can walk around, but plants have to stay still to do the same things, with ingenious mechanisms....Plants are extraordinary. For instance,...if you pinch a leaf of a plant you set off electric pulses. You can't touch a plant without setting off an electric pulse.... There is no question that plants have [all] kinds of sensitivities. They do a lot of responding to their environment. They can do almost anything you can think of. But just because they sit there, anybody walking down the road considers them just a plastic area to look at, [as if] they're not really alive" (Keller 199-200). If anyone should be at least open to the possibility that plants have some level of awareness, it is vegans since we continually chide others for not acknowledging animal awareness."
Groves, Julian McAllister. Hearts and Minds: The Controversy over Laboratory Animals. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1997.
Keller, Evelyn Fox. A Feeling for the Organism. New York: W H Freeman, 1983.
Mason, Jim. An Unnatural Order: Why We Are Destroying the Planted and Each Other. New York: Continuum, 1993. (Read this book!!)
Tompkins, Peter and Christopher Bird. The Secret Life of Plants. Philadelphia: Harper & Row, 1973.
(4) One evidence of the evolution of the scientific thought on plants:
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2005 Dec 14;51(7):607-19.Links
From semi-conductors to the rhythms of sensitive plants: the research of J.C. Bose.
Department of Biophysics, School of Physics, The University of NSW, NSW 2052, Sydney, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
J.C. Bose (1858-1937) was one of the world's first biophysicists. He was the first person to use a semi conducting crystal to detect radio waves, and the ingenious inventor of a portable apparatus for generating and detecting microwaves (approximately 1 cm to 5 mm radio waves, frequency 12-60 GHz), as well as inventing many instruments now routinely used in microwave technology. Bose extended his specialist knowledge of the physics of electromagnetic radiation into insightful experiments on the life-processes of plants. He became a controversial figure in the west. He invented unique, delicate instruments for simultaneously measuring bioelectric potentials and for quantifying very small movements in plants. He worked with touch-sensitive plants, including Mimosa pudica, with plants that perform spontaneous movements, including the Indian telegraph plant Desmodium, and with plants and trees that did not make obvious rapid movements. Bose concluded that plants and animals have essentially the same fundamental physiological mechanisms. All plants co-ordinate their movements and responses to the environment through electrical signalling. All plants are sensitive explorers of their world, responding to it through a fundamental, pulsatile, motif involving coupled oscillations in electric potential, turgor pressure, contractility, and growth. His overall conclusion that plants have an electromechanical pulse, a nervous system, a form of intelligence, and are capable of remembering and learning, was not well received in its time. A hundred years later, concepts of plant intelligence, learning, and long-distance electrical signalling in plants have entered the mainstream literature.
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
(Franklin P. Jones)
A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.
Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.
Children are one third of our population and all of our future.
(Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981)
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.
Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.
(Franklin P. Jones)
Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.
(Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone Scelto)
Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food, and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food, and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.
(Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960)
Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.