Why don’t vegans care about the rights of plants? After all, they’re alive too. Vegans murder plants. This is something that I hear all the time. It’s funny because before I went vegan, I never considered that plants felt pain, had the ability to suffer. But since going vegan, it’s something I’m told almost on a daily basis. If we look at the science just to begin with, plants don’t have a brain, a central nervous system, and they don’t have pain receptors. Which means from a scientific point of view, they don’t have the capacity to feel pain. If you consider the reason that humans and non-human animals have the ability to feel pain, it’s so we can escape danger and avoid life-threatening situations. Plants can’t do this. They can’t evade danger, and they can’t escape life-threatening situations, which means from an evolutionary point of view, it would serve no purpose for them to feel pain. If we look at this from a creationist, religious point of view, why would a benevolent and compassionate God give plants the ability to suffer and feel pain when they can’t escape? That doesn’t sound like the action of an all-caring and all loving God. I think part of where the confusion comes from is that plants are indeed alive, and they do some incredibly amazing things. But they operate on a cellular level, and they don’t respond like animals do. You see, plants react, but they don’t respond. Which means that the reason a Venus flytrap would close around a fly is not because they’ve consciously responded to the fly landing on them. It’s because the fly has caused the pressure stimuli to have a reaction, which causes the plant to close around the fly. Similarly, if you were to put a cigarette butt, or rocks, or anything onto a Venus flytrap, as long as you’ve triggered that pressure stimuli, the flytrap will close around whatever object it is that you put on them. An animal, on the other hand, has a conscious response, which means that they won’t just eat rocks because you put rocks in their mouth. They will respond to the fact that the rocks aren’t food, and they won’t eat them. Another way to look at this is a doorbell. A doorbell will ring if you press the buzzer. Now, the reason the doorbell rings is not because it’s conscious. It’s because it’s having a reaction. A reaction to the fact that the doorbell has been pressed. Now, let’s look at the ethics side of this argument as well; because I don’t truly believe that anyone looks at a life of a plant and holds them in the same regard as the life of an animal. Ask yourself this question: if you were driving down the road, and a dog ran out in front of your car, would you swerve onto a grassy verge to avoid killing the dog? If you would, then you yourself admit that the life of an animal has a higher moral value than the life of a plant. We also have to acknowledge that it takes up to 16 kilograms of plants to produce one kilogram of certain animal products. Which means that vastly more plants are used in the production animal products than they are in vegan products. Which means that vastly more plants are killed or murdered in the production of animal products than they are in vegan products. So even if you truly believe that plants feel pain, they suffer, and they deserve to live just as humans or non-human animals do, then you should still be vegan. Because by being vegan, it means you’re contributing to a lot less suffering to plants as well as animals.