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1984
Dec 21st, 2004, 06:51 AM
Hey everybody.

It seems that anytime a debate rises over my lifestyle choice with an omnivorous friend, the very first thing they do is get defensive and yell " But you kill plants, their alive too!". While I mostly try to shrug it off, I have not yet been able to come up with a valid response to this point.

Sure I can say " You idiot plants dont have a central nervous system, they dont feel anything", I'm not too sure If I really believe that. Plants have many mechanisms to avoid being attacked - some are poisonous, have thorns, release gases...etc.

Even fruitarians can be questioned..is not plucking a pepper from the plant kinda like taking the egg from the chicken? Anyways guys..I was wondering on your thoughts and opinions.

And how can I respond to my friends without contradicting myself?

eve
Dec 21st, 2004, 07:33 AM
Plants certainly do have a different central nervous system, and despite having mechanisms such as thorns etc, they can't run away. The important point is, many more plants are killed in order to maintain animals - more than 80 percent of all grains, for example, is fed to animals. Moreover, if your friend could choose whether to eat a carrot or a cat - which would she choose?

Saying 'you're killing plants' is an old furphy.

Billy
Dec 21st, 2004, 07:39 AM
Just tell them that they are killing both animals and plants: the plants are killed to feed the animals that are then killed for their consumption, so they're killing twice! Found that it usually shuts them up when I use this argument, as they can't really deny it.

See ya,
Billy

PinkFluffyCloud
Dec 21st, 2004, 07:46 AM
Well, maybe I am as arrogant as a Meat-eater who believes (s)he has a 'right' to eat animals, but I believe that is why plentiful foods, such as fruit and vegetables, were created - for consumption. :rolleyes:

I do actually think that plants have a living energy about them, but that energy varies - say, an old tree would be full of root energy, I could never destroy one. They also do a 'job' in that they help to clean the air, and also provide homes for birds, too. Collecting the apples (for example) from an apple tree (or even better, collecting windfallen fruit, as some Fruitarians make it their practise to do), will not harm the tree, but spraying it with Pesticides will, which one of the reasons I prefer organic fruit. :o

Surely the purpose of any food yielding plant is just that - to yield food? We are just consuming them directly, but Meat-eaters who come up with this fallacious argument are consuming plants that have already been consumed by animals, therefore causing harm to plants and animals. :(

If I could live happily on nothing but windfall fruit, then I would, and maybe I would have a totally clear conscience. As things stand at the moment, I chose not to eat anything with a brain or face, or anything plundered from those innocent creatures. I am not happy about many agricultural, or even horticultural, practices, which is why I am making plans to live off my own land, but, until that happens, I do what I can to cause least harm. That's what you need to explain - that, as a human it is almost impossible not to make some negative impact, but you choose to take the path of LEAST HARM. :)

eve
Dec 21st, 2004, 07:50 AM
PFC, right now, outside my front door, the mango tree is dropping fruit like crazy. Most of the neighbours pick them up and throw them in the garbage bin! But as I am an early riser, I collect what I want first - yummmm. :D

PinkFluffyCloud
Dec 21st, 2004, 08:00 AM
Yes, Eve, the throwing away is the real offence to the tree, I am glad you appreciate her fruit! :)

1984
Dec 21st, 2004, 04:31 PM
Have you guys ever heard of an experiment called the Secret Life Of Plants And Trees? It was conducted in the 60's and it had plants connected to lie detector tests to see if they could produce emotion. When the plant was given water it reacted positively and it showed on graph it produced...same goes with other things, when a plant was burned it reacted negatively. Then they also found out that it could tell when humans were lying or telling the truth. It's very interesting, I suggest you guys heck it out.

PinkFluffyCloud
Dec 21st, 2004, 04:49 PM
Yes, I have heard of this, 1984.
I don't need to check it, though, really, I`have given love and 'Rescue Remedy' to plants and seen them visibly recover.
I have to eat them, though, sorry.
If anyone can find a way of living without harming plants or animals, then I will certainly check that out! :)

1984
Dec 21st, 2004, 07:23 PM
PinkFLuffyCloud...Hey no need to apologize, I eat them too! I just thought the study was very cool. Thanks for the great suggestions guys. Now I'm ready to face my friends with a great comback!

Artichoke47
Dec 21st, 2004, 08:21 PM
I wouldn't acknowledge such idiots with a response. Don't waste your time on those fools.

bulletproof
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:05 PM
*you're

chakra
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:07 PM
Early societies worshipped plants and trees. They would often sacrifice a person to replace the spirit of the grain harvested. While such myth is considered superstitutious today, they would certainly have an equal difficulty with the self-assuredness of many of us.

I think it is worth study. Frasier's Golden Bough for instance, or similiar works of Joseph Campbell and Levi-Straus.

I agree it is far better to eat plants than to feed plants to animals and then slaughter them. But I won't assume it is morally higher. Perhaps less cruel and environmentally better is more accurate.

veganfever
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:32 PM
If it is less cruel and more environmentally friendly than it is moraly higher, in my opinion.
Would it be ethicaly higher with certainty? I would think so.

To me word "ethical" is secular word for moral. Word "moral" has religious roots and is used by religious people but in my mind it means essentially the same. Would any scholar here agree with that statement or is it a total absurd?
Sorry for this digression but couldn't help these questions popping into my mind.

PinkFluffyCloud
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:49 PM
I would say, depending on it's context, that the word 'moral' was fairly interchangable with the word 'ethical', yes, Veganfever. :o

I would say that eating plants is a 'morally higher' thing that eating animals, though it is not wholly without ethical complications. :(

I also believe that eating plants that have been grown organically, preferably by your own hand, is more morally defensible than buying/eating plants that have been sprayed with chemicals (thus damaging the eco-system), wrapped in plastic, and shipped half way across the World. :mad:

I don't laugh when the subject is raised, I know I am not above question with this, I am guilty of raping the land, just as most of us are. :rolleyes:

I agree with Chakra, we should never be too self-assured on this one. :eek:

Artichoke47
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:58 PM
It's also "they're," not "their," if we're doing spelling corrections.

feline01
Dec 21st, 2004, 09:59 PM
PFC, right now, outside my front door, the mango tree is dropping fruit like crazy. Most of the neighbours pick them up and throw them in the garbage bin! But as I am an early riser, I collect what I want first - yummmm. :D

I find that so offensive Eve that your neighbors just throw the fruit away. Today, I watched family after family coming into the office I work (welfare) in to collect a box of food to eat for Christmas. It was all just processed, dried or canned foods that had been donated. I'm sure many of these people would have loved some fresh fruit.

John
Dec 22nd, 2004, 02:27 AM
Morals and ethics mean the same thing. They are Latin and Greek for "customs." So they are relative.

I believe in good and evil. Going to the store and buying a steak is a greater evil than buying a potato. I don't care if someone's customs say that buying a steak is good and that a potato suffers the same as a cow.

eve
Dec 22nd, 2004, 05:39 AM
I would say that eating plants is a 'morally higher' thing that eating animals, though it is not wholly without ethical complications. :(
I also believe that eating plants that have been grown organically, preferably by your own hand, is more morally defensible than buying/eating plants that have been sprayed with chemicals (thus damaging the eco-system), wrapped in plastic, and shipped half way across the World. :mad:

I don't laugh when the subject is raised, I know I am not above question with this, I am guilty of raping the land, just as most of us are. :rolleyes:
I agree with Chakra, we should never be too self-assured on this one. :eek:
There's always a danger with vegans taking the high moral tone with eating - even eating plants is not good enough if the plants are not organically grown - this despite the byproducts of slaughter houses being used - blood, bone, horn, and manure used in organic growing Where does this all end?
What about being against leather, fur, silk, wool - and wearing cotton. I avoid garments made with those products, but what about the incredibly damaging cotton? Pesticides, fungicides, herbicides - and animals killed to grow cotton, and the runoff goes into the waterways for the marine life to be poisoned - when we buy cotton, non-human animals have died for the crop. Moreover the cotton is genetically engineered, so cottonseed oil is also suspect.

The point I want to make is not to be so high and mighty and 'pure' that other people doing their best would find it offputting when vegans get going.

eve
Dec 22nd, 2004, 05:47 AM
I find that so offensive Eve that your neighbors just throw the fruit away. Today, I watched family after family coming into the office I work (welfare) in to collect a box of food to eat for Christmas. It was all just processed, dried or canned foods that had been donated. I'm sure many of these people would have loved some fresh fruit.
You are right feline01, but there's no way that this fruit could be sent to where you live. It reminds me of when I was small, and if I, or my siblings, wasted food, my father told us about the starving Indians! What impact would my wasting some bread have on people in India who had nothing? But I was unable to respond to my father, and just ate the bread.

The point is, there are gluts, and my neighbours don't like mangoes, and they think I'm weird to pick them up and take them into my unit to eat. As for your clients who have to eat dried and canned foods - I can assure you that when I go into the supermarkets people prefer dried and canned foods because the fresh fruits are too expensive. And there are gluts everywhere - all the wasted food in the US - GE corn, soybeans, dried milk, etc. The world just doesn't organise distribution properly.

feline01
Dec 22nd, 2004, 02:38 PM
Eve, just to clarify:
I wasn't inferring that the fruit should be sent here. I was just speaking hypothetically. It would be nice if instead of people throwing fresh fruit away, the fruit could be donated to those in need in your area. There are hungry people all over this world. When I mentioned the dried and canned foods, I specified that this stuff was processed. The clients weren't given cans of fruit or veggies, they were given cans of sodium-laden, overly-processed soups and boxes of horrible packaged convenience foods. Many Americans eat that stuff anyway because they prefer convienence and low price over pricier and more involved food preparation.

ridgerunner
Dec 22nd, 2004, 05:34 PM
Fruit most assuredly does not feel pain. Picking it does not harm or kill the plant which produced it. The purpose of all fruit is to reproduce the plant that created it. It is specifically designed to be eaten! And its my guess that the plant actually "gets off" when you pick its fruit - after all, the act of reproduction is typically a pleasurable experience for all species. And you are certainly doing the plant a favor when you eat its fruit (including its seeds) - first you transport the seeds to a far away location (much more effective than the wind), then you plant it complete with a large dose of natural fertilizer (assuming you poop in the woods like our ancestors did). Eating fruit is certainly A-OK - you are not harming or killing anything. However, eating other vegetables where you must kill the plant to get the food is another story...

But comparing plants to animals is a no-brainer; when you eat animal food, you are killing not just the animal but all the plants that animal ate, too. Eating plants directly causes far less net suffering and environmental impact and requires far less natural resources.

gertvegan
Dec 22nd, 2004, 07:01 PM
Youíve got to be kidding me, right? You honestly equate the anguished thrashings of a cow hanging on the slaughter line with that of a stalk of corn ready to be gathered? The repetitive, compulsive swaying of an elephant chained in a circus car with emotional life of the hay with which she was fed? The tortured screams of a pig as the knife is dragged across his throat with a blade of grass as the mower hits it? You honestly do not differentiate despite all obvious indication that animal life and plant life are not equitable in terms of awareness and suffering?

How is it that you get through life? Understanding as you do that each adorable Brussels sprout on your plate has been beheaded with such wanton disregard? A house salad must be viewed as a murderous crime scene to a sensitive being such as you; a cruditť plate must seem to be a veritable genocide. How is it that youíve survived so long without fruits, vegetables and grains? If you do eat these things, how do you quell the voices in your head of all the plants you have plundered that shriek, "No! Not me!Please donít take my life for a boring little stir-fry! Arenít I worth more than that?!?"

So youíre either excrutiatingly sensitive or horribly sadistic. Either way, you creep me out. Next question?

www.veganstreet.com

gertvegan
Dec 22nd, 2004, 07:04 PM
I would have to disagree with your statement because plants lack a central nervous system and a brain, both of which are necessary in order to register pain. As you know, a painful response can be indicated by both its physical and emotional manifestation, each of which underscores the other. For example, a calf in a veal crate not only senses pain because he has been denied freedom of movement and has tender joints, but also because this restriction has kept him from his normal grazing instincts and comforts. His physical pain is compounded by his emotional pain, and vice versa. This calf possesses a central nervous system and a brain, so pain is experienced in a way scientists can chart, just as it would be with humans, and his piteous cries at being taken from his mother can be understood anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of animal behavior as emotional trauma.

Plants, however, differ from animals in significant ways. For one, as mentioned earlier, they lack the necessary physiology to register a painful response. Any being that can feel pain can also has been equipped through evolution with the ability to remove oneself from the cause of threat or pain. Furthermore, though plants have needs that must be met in order to thrive, they do not have complex social relationships and instictive needs for comfort, which, when denied, cause prolonged and identifiable suffering.

Perhaps it is possible that plants do feel pain, and we lack technology sensitive enough to prove this. If this is so, it is unfortunate, as we need plants in order to live. All beings with sentience must consume in order to survive. Meat and animal products, however, are absolutely elective and unnecessary - actually, they are detrimental - to human health. If it is true that plants feel pain, one can be comforted by the fact that they are taken at the end of their lives and, as opposed to animals, are allowed to go through their life cycle under the sky as nature designed.

Please donít take this as an agreement that plants feel pain, though, because I donít believe it is true. What I do know to be true, however, is that all animals - from crustacean to mammal - avoid pain and seek comfort. This is motivation enough to treat other beings that we know have the capacity to suffer with as much compassion and consideration as we can

gertvegan
Dec 22nd, 2004, 07:05 PM
The best way to minimize the suffering of plants is to become either a frutarian and eat only things that fall off of trees and bushes. The second best way is to become a vegan, because the animal who died for your Whopper ate a heckuva lot more plants each day than any vegan ever will.

gertvegan
Dec 22nd, 2004, 07:08 PM
And the Stepaniakster reply to What If Plants Feel Pain? can be read HERE. (http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qaplants.htm) . ;)