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Are vegetables vegan?


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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

Some recent studies are giving evidences that plants are able to communicate and feel pain. This will lead to some interesting developments in the vegan philosophy.

 

Teo

 

Indeed. Douglas Adams is looking more prophetic all the time.

I will cheerfully concede the environmental and health (when done correctly) benefits of the vegan diet, but I don't give much credence to the notion of veganism as "cruelty-free" eating. Between the growing evidence that plants are more complicated creatures than we'd always assumed, and the brute fact that growing grains and produce necessarily kills untold numbers of insects, rodents, etc (there have been good studies on this, as well), it simply doesn't hold water.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Plants responding to stimuli is not "feeling".

Feeling requires being connected to a brain that interprets a stimulus as painful. If there's no brain (or no connection) then pain doesn't exist. Paraplegics feel no pain in the affected limbs because there's no connection. Plants feel no pain because there's no brain.

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

Plants responding to stimuli is not "feeling".

Feeling requires being connected to a brain that interprets a stimulus as painful. If there's no brain (or no connection) then pain doesn't exist. Paraplegics feel no pain in the affected limbs because there's no connection. Plants feel no pain because there's no brain.

The same argument is made (rightly, IMO) regarding crustaceans, insects, etc on the grounds that their brains are too primitive to feel pain as we understand it. I'm not advocating one way or the other, but vegans *do* make that argument and, I feel, can rightly have it turned back on them.

There's another hypothesis that at least some plants have a collective model of intelligence, in which each individual plant (or each part of a large collective plant, which can sometimes span several square miles) acts as a sort of synapse in a collective brain. It's an intriguing notion, though it'll take some inspired experimentation to a) find a way to test this; and b) do so effectively and duplicably.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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36 minutes ago, chromedome said:

The same argument is made (rightly, IMO) regarding crustaceans, insects, etc on the grounds that their brains are too primitive to feel pain as we understand it. I'm not advocating one way or the other, but vegans *do* make that argument and, I feel, can rightly have it turned back on them.

There's another hypothesis that at least some plants have a collective model of intelligence, in which each individual plant (or each part of a large collective plant, which can sometimes span several square miles) acts as a sort of synapse in a collective brain. It's an intriguing notion, though it'll take some inspired experimentation to a) find a way to test this; and b) do so effectively and duplicably.

 

Intelligence is a useful word for what plants are up to. Not intelligence in the thinking sense, they do not think, but intelligence in the military sense...as in "where's the invader?". The plant networks seem to coordinate response to infection and infestation, giving the plants half a chance against attack.  A lot of plant resistance is genetically determined, but activation of the network ups the level of defense molecules in the group.

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7 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

Intelligence is a useful word for what plants are up to. Not intelligence in the thinking sense, they do not think, but intelligence in the military sense...as in "where's the invader?". The plant networks seem to coordinate response to infection and infestation, giving the plants half a chance against attack.  A lot of plant resistance is genetically determined, but activation of the network ups the level of defense molecules in the group.

 

...and there are some interesting parallels there with hive insects, as well. It's a fascinating field of study, one I'm keeping an eye on sporadically as time permits.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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3 hours ago, gfweb said:

Plants responding to stimuli is not "feeling".

Feeling requires being connected to a brain that interprets a stimulus as painful. If there's no brain (or no connection) then pain doesn't exist. Paraplegics feel no pain in the affected limbs because there's no connection. Plants feel no pain because there's no brain.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Shakespeare. 


Just saying.

 

if you had told me in 1949 when my father, faced with a medical emergency, had to run in the pouring rain to the nearest phone box I would’ve laughed at you had you suggested that in my lifetime I could make that phone call from my wrist while recording an ECG of my heart!

 

just saying. 


 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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34 minutes ago, Anna N said:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Shakespeare. 


Just saying.

 

if you had told me in 1949 when my father, faced with a medical emergency, had to run in the pouring rain to the nearest phone box I would’ve laughed at you had you suggested that in my lifetime I could make that phone call from my wrist while recording an ECG of my heart!

 

just saying. 


 

 

 

You never read Dick Tracy?

 

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4 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You never read Dick Tracy?

 

Of course I read him and I still channel him!  Nevertheless I knew the difference between fantasy and reality. Or at least I thought I did. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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6 hours ago, gfweb said:

Plants responding to stimuli is not "feeling".

Feeling requires being connected to a brain that interprets a stimulus as painful. If there's no brain (or no connection) then pain doesn't exist. Paraplegics feel no pain in the affected limbs because there's no connection. Plants feel no pain because there's no brain.

 

This view is a bit simplistic. It assumes that the only things capable of thinking and feeling are what are called "brains". Are you so sure it's impossible that plants could use other ways to have thoughts and feelings? For the little we know, we can expect that in the future it will be possible to face artificial intelligence, which will be based on something completely different from what we call brain. I underscore "we can expect", meaning it seems the most probable scenario, but we can't be sure on either side. Same way, how can we be totally sure that plants don't have a system they use to think and feel, but is completely different from animal brains? We don't even know how our own human nervous systems work, see al the new studies on the enteric nervous system and our istinctive logic (called "gut feelings" and so on). We know so little about our own brain that supposing other living beings are incapable of thinking is pure arrogance. How can we be so SURE another living being is not capable of thinking? Just think about the opposite: what would happen if we would be able to transfer a human brain in another living being? Would we be able to notice that there is "human intelligence" in that living being? We can detect intelligence mainly through 2 things: language and artifacts. To be able to claim that a language is an output of poor intelligence we need to understand that language first. To be able to make artifacts you need a body that is able to create artifacts. We know dolphins are intelligent, but how much? We can't say anything about their language, we know they have a structured language they use to communicate, but we still haven't found a way to decipher it (if we were so much superior then it would be pretty simple for us to decipher such a simple language, or not?). We can't judge from their artifacts because, well, try imagining what artifacts you could make with the body of a dolphin. For plants it's the same: recent studies (last 5 years, there's an equipe in Florence at the forefront of this) point out that plants are capable of complex communications. We just are not able to decipher that language (yet). Does this mean that plants are not capable of thinking? No. Does this mean that plants are capable of thinking? Neither. We are still just too ignorant to claim something on either side. We are only arrogant because we are lucky to have hands, thanks to them we are able to kill all other living beings with ease. This makes us feel "superior". This does not make us more intelligent, especially considering all the killings between our own species.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd read this a couple of years ago and tripped across it again this morning. It occurred to me that it fits well in the context of this discussion, so I'll throw it out here for anyone who's interested.

 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/plant-memory-hidden-vernalization

“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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