Do Plants live? Think? And Dream?

Plants live. Plants think. Plants dream.

 

We have a tendency to anthropomorphize. We imbue creatures that are most like us with feelings but creatures that are less like us are not gifted with such characteristics. We greatly value brains. The brain is the peak of evolution in our eyes. Creatures with big brains are seen as of more importance.

I suggest that this is a false premise.

Plants, being very unlike us, not being able to move or even visibly react, and not being endowed with a brain, are not afforded any great gifts. We accept that they are alive but we do not afford them intelligence, nor even consciousness. They merely exist and we can chop them up, cut them back and ill-treat them with impunity.

Science is beginning to demonstrate that this view is false. The more we find about plants the more it becomes apparent that plants are conscious, they have memories and they communicate. They are aware of their environment and react when things happen around them. They register people approaching. They react when attacked by insects or diseases. They can even count and hear.

They hear water moving underground and move towards it. They respond to stimuli and communicate through chemicals. Their language is nuanced. They pass on information about the approach of animals or attack from diseases or insect pests. They respond dramatically with electrical shrieks when they are damaged.

How is this possible?

We do not yet know.

Brain cells communicate via electrochemical transmissions through a huge interconnecting network of cells. Plants cells interact in the same way. Perhaps the whole plant operates as one huge brain?

Plants like in communities and families and support one another. But we isolate them from their communities. We chop them down and treat them as inanimate objects.

What if trees are indeed conscious, wise and sensitive? What if all plants are conscious and really do feel pain every bit as much as us but are unable to show us that they are feeling pain? Do plants fear us? Do they dream? Are we their greatest nightmare?

Think of the implications for how we treat them?

Mowing the grass takes on a whole new dimension. Cutting down a tree is of a far greater significance.

Would you be quite so comfortable eating a salad?

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