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FEB 08, 2010: Plants have feelings too!

We recently got an email about EFFA's view on the "plants have feelings too" argument. Many of you vegetarians have probably heard this before, either as a joke or seriously. The people who use this argument do not, for the most part, care about plants, but rather bring this up in an attempt to "expose" vegetarianism, to try to prove that it is "not as moral as it seems". How can a philosophy that's supposed to be moral support the suffering of plants?! It is a comic attempt to strip vegetarianism of it's moral high-ground. It uses a false premise (plants = animals) to try to show how "contradictory" vegetarianism is. In reality, the primary purpose of this argument is for people who are confronted with vegetarianism to feel better about themselves, to justify their own bad habits. "It's OK for me to eat meat since you kill innocent plants."

Well, here's the truth. Plants are alive, but, unlike animals, they are not "living beings". Saying that eating a plant is the same as eating an animal is just plain wrong and totally misguided. Plants do not have brains. Plants do not have nervous systems so they cannot feel pain. Animals, whether they be pigs, cows, cats, humans, fish, or chickens, do have brains and nervous systems. They have feelings and they do feel pain. The nature of plants is diametrically different from the nature of the millions of animals killed every day for food.

The "plants have feelings" argument is an attempt to deflect one's attention from the real issue - humankind's addiction to meat, and how this addiction is keeping the world in its present sad state. So, the next time you hear this argument, see it for what it is - bogus.
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