September 19, 2019
Plants Feel Pain

Plants Feel Pain


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.

100 thoughts on “Plants Feel Pain

  1. Jfc, this guy is stupid. Scientist have already found out that plant communicate with one another. Who says they don't feel pain? Just because they don't have a central nervous system or pain receptors? Because surely those can be the only thing that makes you feel! Btw, 'from a scientific point of view' is never a good explanation, because if you knew anything about science, you would know that you never know if your assumptions are correct. You can always learn something new, like the fact that plants seem to communicate. Grass produces a certain chemical when it's cut and it seems to be a distress call. Go look it up, you might learn something new! Maybe you'll even realize that you can't live without hurting anything!

  2. So you're basing you're justification for eating plants on societal norms, you know slavery used to be a societal norm too.

  3. This is brilliant Ed. Thanks so much. Looking forward to getting involved with activism and meeting you.

  4. Yes Ed! I was hoping you did a video on this topic because it seems to be the first argument my family use against me (even though I think its a pretty poor one). Thank you so much for this video!

  5. Your FUCKING WRONG – Read on
    An Indian scientist, Dr. Jagadishchandra Bose, invented a instrument named crescograph and did many experiments on plants. A famous biologist, Dr. Bose showed that plants can feel, in their own way. "Suppose there is a lush green plant and its leaves are a sparkling green in the shining sunlight. We feel like pulling out a leaf to feel it. But we do not think of what goes on inside the plant. Maybe, we feel that the plant does not suffer like us. But the plant does suffer. In fact the pulsation of the plant stops where the leaf was plucked. In a short time the pulsation again begins at the spot, but this time very slowly. And then it completely stops. That spot is as good as dead for the plant."
    Dr. Bose also expounded on the 'nervous mechanism' of plants — the ability of plants to recognize and react to the individual who has committed an act of violence (particularly toward a plant) in their 'presence'.
    Darwin was fascinated by the reactions of plants to external stimuli — especially with carnivorous plants such as the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). He believed its almost instantaneous response touch and the way the plant snapped its trap shut around an insect indicated the presence of a central nervous system – such as that of an animal.
    Between 1960 and 1970, Burdon-Sanderson conducted many experiments on the Venus flytrap. The first experiment, and possibly the most remarkably revealing of all, was to attach electrodes to the surface of the trap lobes in the hope of recording electrical activity. He found that each time a trigger hair was touched it fired off a wave of electrical activity almost identical to the nerve impulses, or action potentials, produced by animal neurons. This experiment was carried out on the Sundew and Sensitive plant — all with similar conclusions!
    Researchers from Michigan State University have also recently discovered that plants have a rudimentary nerve structure, which allows them to feel pain. According to the peer-reviewed journal Plant Physiology, plants are capable of identifying danger, signaling that danger to other plants and marshaling defenses against perceived threats. According to botanist Bill Williams of the Helvetica Institute, "plants not only seem to be aware and to feel pain, they can even communicate."
    This research has prompted the Swiss government to pass the first-ever Plant Bill of Rights. It concludes that plants have moral and legal protections, and Swiss citizens have to treat them appropriately. Vegetarians would do well to investigate this data before claiming to be superior to those of us who do not subscribe to the idea that eating meat is morally wrong.

  6. I always tell people that plants with fruits want us to eat them to spread their seeds, otherwise they'd fall to close to mum and fight her for nutrients. I also mention that raw meat doesn't make my mouth water like the sight of a strawberry or melon. Foolish argument and used to deflect the conversation.

  7. following the same argument at https://youtu.be/EqUFqaeZA2g?t=121 2:00 , I have heard this "I believe the life of a human is more valuable than the life of an animal, therefore I can eat the animal because it tastes good. The animal's life, in my eyes, is less valuable than my taste pleasure". I'm stuck trying to counter that. any ideas?

  8. Plants don't have souls or spirits..same as animals. You know the plant or animal is living..yet because a plant can not complain we can ignore the fact you are killing it..unlike an animal..that's the only reason a vegan eats plants and feels no shame..pfft..it's alive..go eat a rock..whoops..made of dirt..made of minerals..same as man..guess you are out of options..everything is/was ALIVE..but not everything has a soul/SPIRIT.

  9. It's so ridiculous that you still have to make videos like this. Wtf is wrong with ppl still using this argument

  10. I think that there is little difference between your so called responding and reacting, apart from that animals can do it with more depth. A venus fly trap will close its mouth with anything in it because that is all it is wired to do, close with appropriate stimulus, however, with an animal, before it closes it's mouth, there is another step, in which they check if it is food or not, I believe that there is no difference between these actions other than their depth and complexity

  11. Can you explain why it has been scientifically proven that if you send negative thoughts to a plant they have a high stress response? How is that them not having feelings or consciousness ? I think you need to do more research on this topic.

  12. I argued with a plant right activist on instagram. Honestly sorry I know it’s not funny but it’s ridiculous that someone thinks a dog and daisy are the same. If those that are so concerned about plant rights like you said be vegan. Good video.

  13. It’s tough to argue with pure logic. And when there are no more arguments, the meat eaters will usually become aggressive to defend their illogic ways with tooth and nail.

  14. My god! These answers are brilliant. I stumble on this argument all the time, but now I have an excellent response. The impact you are directly having on creating a vegan world is something to celebrate. The animals of the world are grateful for you.

  15. I did an outreach today, wanting to find plants rights activists and use their logic against them. But I couldnt find anyone who seriously believe that plants feel pain… so no… nobody in the right mind will believe that.

  16. There are vegans and then there are patience vegans and you sir are a patient vegan- you are peaceful and have no problem when those who are ignorant to veganism keep asking the same annoying questions over and over again- me personally I am an pissed off vegan! Anyone who tells me plants feel pain I wanna scream!!!!!

  17. Hu? Your all-caring loving God introduced cancer, aids, young born suffering, hunger for innocent children and that's your basis to conclude that God could not have given pain to plants?

  18. So also to not hurt plants we should just take from it what it produces like fruit, beans and nuts. I think in my opinion that to cut or pick the fruit, beans or nuts from plants it is like cutting peoples hair without hurting them. Am I right?

  19. Are you serious… They've proven plants do react to pain… Aspen trees can survive forest fires because of how they react. There are plants that close when they are in danger… There are plants who create poison to prevent themselves from being eaten… All the same evolutionary trains animals have… How stupid can these people truly be?

  20. Thanks for this series Ed. I generally find my responses to questions like these can be quite long and not as persuasive as I would wish. Your arguments are concise and delivered from the heart, I will be borrowing many of them in future discussions.

  21. There is a plant that can sense danger which folds it’s leaves to avoid a predator this plant can also learn as if you drop water on the plants leaves it will sense the danger and fold its leaves but then reopen the leaves as it realised there is no danger and the plant memorises the sensation and won’t close the leaves the next time the water is dropped on it this proves that plants and somewhat conscious so vegans are ok with killing a conscious being?🤔

  22. Ed, after I watch Earthlings, I became vegan.
    None of my friends supported me.
    "You will be malnourished", "Your skin going to look horrible", or "How about plant, you eat plant, so you killed it to eat". I get so frustrated cuz I didn't know how to respond to them. But I'm going to study more and watch your video, hopefully convince my friends and family veganism is a good thing to do to our body, saving animals, and planet.

  23. I so glad you cleared that up. Now I can kill the 150 year old tree growing in my back yard without guilt. There are some squirrels and birds currently living in it but I'm sure they will find somewhere else to go.

  24. Non-vegan: you know what? You are hurting the plants too.
    Me: no. We are not.
    Him: how did you know? Are you a plant?
    Me: i don't have to be a plant for me to know. And i believe that for you to feel, you have to have a heart and brain.
    Him: how did you know plants don't have that (heart and brain)?
    Me: dude. Science. Parts of the plant.

  25. 1.There are no arguments against veganism, only excuses. 2. There is no excuse for animal abuse. 3. There's no right way to do the wrong thing. 4. Unecessary murder is never ethical. (Embrace veganism)

  26. Ed have you read The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben?

  27. Dude, I just stumbled across your videos and you are amazing !!! But I just want to point one thing out here, plants actually can respond and are able to avoid predators. For example, when predators come and eat the leaves of some plants, they are able to release chemical messengers in the air that travel further along to warn other neighbouring plants that danger is nearby, and those plants respond by releasing toxins into their leaves. They are also able to release chemical messages that attract predators of the animals that are eating the plants to the area. I'm definitely not arguing against your point here, just thought you might find it interesting. I recommend reading 'The hidden life of Trees' 🙂

  28. please do your self a favour and listen those people , ex vegans of 12, 10 , 8 years. it would be the most 45 mins well spend of your life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RnZD-ZIIbc

  29. "plants can't evade danger'.. not true…The grow around objects for protection. They can even hear with expirements with catapillar noise, the give off more chemicals to their leaves to combate..

  30. I post a link to the appropriate video from your, 30 DAYS, 30 EXCUSES playlist every time I see a comment with one of these excuses. These videos have been so helpful, this was such a great idea to post these. Thanks Ed, for all you do for the animals and the planet. 🙂

  31. @Earthling Ed

    I don't understand the difference. Your argument does not make much sense to me. You're saying plants merely react to stimuli but have no subjective experience of it, they merely have the appearance of it. Yet, how do you know they don't and how do you know animals do? We know the CNS of animals is related to how animals react to stimuli, not their subjective experience of it. You can only study reactions, not the subjective experience itself. I could make the exact same argument you do for animals, they are merely reacting to certain states and stimuli but have no subjective experience. So it's a bit hypocritical to not apply that same standard equally.

  32. you are using the same arguments as Kant do to show it is ok to kill animals. it is really funny. an animel do not to understand what is happening. they only react to to pain they feel. they react the same way if you try to kill or save them. you should think your arguments better through an chek if other have used it before. you seem to be the kind who never truely have went down the rabbit hole of thoes who disagree

  33. You know… a jellyfish doesn't have a brain and also can't respond to stimuli when it feels pain, based on this argument jellyfish aren't animals just because it moves with the current and not by itself.

  34. Sorry vegans they feel pain science wins stops the excuses https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-83446,00.html

  35. Being a vegan is a choice.
    Being an omnivore is nature's law.
    No need to push your vegan ego to non vegan.
    By the way Ed, your analogy is totally misleading.
    Of course you will choose the grassy field.. that's a human reaction to safety and avoid damage to the vehicle.. not because you care about the animal.
    I can give you many counter analogy but 2 will be enough..
    1. Did you manage to swift to the grassy terrain when your windshield hits insects? Of course not.. those insects are to small to cause harm and damage..
    2. Add a row of big trees on the left side of the highway and a grassy field full of fluffy chicken on the right side of the highway..
    Which side will you go?

  36. He says it takes 16kg of plants to make 1kg of beef but the source said pounds not KG. I feel like ive heard him say this to the public and i think the facts we use should be as accurate as possible so we dont spread misinformation and discredit ourselves. Especially ed himself who has a great reputation i wouldnt wonna see ruined by some false facts

  37. i'm so thankful for these excuses, i literally cannot thank you enough
    this saves me from paragraphs of writing when i am in an argument with an ignorant person xD

  38. This argument is so stupid that if someone say that to me i just end the convocation.
    Like, what the fuck does that even mean?
    That its ok to treat cow in such violance so plants wont be jealous? Like, im so confused.
    Is it ok to kill a dog bc plants have feelings too??
    Like, it makes me feel so bad thet people are so afraid to take responsibility on their actions so they just say something so unrellevent.
    GOD PLEASE HELP

  39. Plants have poison to defend themselves. Is that your excuse ed. Everything on earth is living even earth itself. I love my plants I have had plants that have died and I feel sad as I have lost plants that I have cared and loved for for 15 years+ I managed to save one of my plant a spider plant from dieing and I felt good about saving it's life. You murder everything vegans.

  40. Excellent Ed, as always. Also, would it be possible for you to get either Porky The Pig or The Fed Duck into your studio for a one on one interview as a part of your disclosure podcasts? They seem to have a lot to say in your comments section, and it would help a lot of us if we could get all of that out of the way in one sitting 🙂

  41. Oh wow and more absolutely anti-scientific drivel completely going against the fundamental basics of evolution and science. The only illogical assumption*is that *plants DON´T feel pain! It is only logic especialy from a evolutional standpoint that they do to release chemical reactions. And if not then once again how are they different to any fish, clam or fly? The same hypocrisy in manteled in different words(typical method of spreading cultist propaganda btw: Repeat and re-coat same old and lame arguments in different words). Just wow. How can one be so obviously so wrong on literaly every front of argumentation?

  42. Jesus what nonsense… Why would a god let ANY living being feel pain if he is compassionate? Same old religious christian argument debunked by agnostics and atheists in extent and with accuracy and logic. A good that makes *any living being suffer is not a compassionate one. Very strawman argument that only a cultist without facts to back it up would pull out.

  43. Wow what a stupid argument, if you head into an accident and have the choice between humans, animal, insects, fish and plants? Which would you kill less? This is literaly the most stupid and hypcritical argument, which even worse if we go by that: Once more torturing and eating fish, insects and seafoods is totaly okay isn´t it? In the end who cares about the old ant squashed ant or the displaced crab for instance when you harvest seaweed? If we are at it and spin this further, who cares about some birds, rodents etc. that get in the way of us harvesting our vegan crops? Not like we give a shit right? So that makes it totaly okay, right? If you latest by now don´t see the hypocrisy, inconsestincy and weakness in Eds "arguments"(more like cultish phrases from a preacher) than you are literaly brainwashed.

  44. Fake studies done by vegans, funded by vegans, failing any peer reviewed study or later tests that tried to replicate it. Which 6 time or more regurgitated phalacy would be complete without some fake studies done by 1 sided interest groups of your own kind?

  45. I'm vegan, but plants do feel pain. This is proven by Dr. Jagdishchandra Bose. You should read about it and make a video about your opinion.

  46. Its weird that the comments are placing plants on the same consciousness level or higher than animals with NO ACTUAL CERTAINTY that plants are as sentient as animals and using that reason to justify eating animals. I mean this whole stupid debate of eating meat and veganism could just be ended if we could all be healthy from eating rocks and the ground but this stupid god does not allow it.

  47. If plants communicate and can change there structure against there attackers even would it be logical to say if humans went all plant based that plants would sense that energy and change it structure to go against us and so to say there could be a better way to harvest the plants as well there are gmos to change those effects

  48. Funny you talk about reacting to life-threatening situations plants will let out certain toxins when they're attacked by insects to kill the insect in fact even more impressively Quorn when it gets attacked by caterpillars will releasing energies that will attract little flies that actually eat the caterpillar and the roots of the plant I love trees and stuff under the ground will give other plant certain nutrients like solar plants will give smaller plants certain nutrients because it's not cold enough to get everything it needs from the sun they communicate they feel which you seem to be dismissive they have memory certain plants will curl up if you poke it with a sharp object if you were to have that plant in your hat and you were to keep dropping it onto the floor the first few times it will care a lot eventually it will stop caring up because it will realise being dropped on the floor is not a threat so it has memory in fact and this is something that has been experimented on and all the other things I mentioned had been experimented on as well just to get that confusion out the way but anyway certain plants wall react to electromagnetic charges so if they can't feel how can they do that they're alive and they can feel and there's no one there in danger they do feel pain because they're drawing off certain energies that are human beings we can't fathom because we haven't adapted to fathom IT plants have adapted to be able to still be alive when the half eaten so if they had a brain that would be a bit heart so just to dispel the myth you're not better than everyone else because you're murdering plants and they feel pain this is all scientifically proven don't take my word for it research it yourself and don't dismiss it and also best understand natural history plants are one of the oldest things to live on this planet when the sun's radiation used to still affects the Earth before the ozone layer there was still a few patches of algae so just remember it's one of the oldest things on this planet is the oldest thing to survive on land for sure but just to answer this the reason why the sun's radiation doesn't affect the Earth now is because when oxygen makes the sun's radiation it creates another glass called ozone layer and we wouldn't be alive without it what can I say it maybe you should lighten up and have a steak sorry to be your worst nightmare just keeping it real👍

  49. Tbh I use your channel to convince people to be vegan like my sister and she is actually thinking about being vegan

  50. very good video 🙂 a lot of people say this because they are insecure and get defensive about eating meat. they feel guilty themselves so say it in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

  51. Is it 16 pounds or 16 kilos of grain to produce one pound of meat? In the video it wasn't clear. Thanks! Otherwise great video as always, Ed, keep up the great work.

  52. +Earthling Ed No offense please don't take it the wrong way but If you care about animal life so much then why are you using electricity and Internet ? You are complicit in the crime of killing countless life forms by using these things which you don't need. You are directly contributing your share in the death & destruction of a large amount of bees and birds.

  53. Whether plants feel pain or not has not been established. But even if they do that still doesn't make God any less benevolent & caring. Because he purposefully made this world like this so everything remains balanced. Life feeds on life that's the reason we are alive today. Yes we do eat helpless plants but you should know when we die our decomposed bodies form the base materials in soil which the trees use/eat to be born again/grow and enjoy their lives.

    And the Sky He has raised up high, and laid down the Balance. In order that you may not transgress within the balance.

    [al Qu'ran 55:7-8]

  54. I'm sorry but your argument is very weak and from a moral point of view it incredibly cruel. Hypothetically let's say we humans managed to create an artificial animal that isn't conscious. It can neither feel pain physically or emotionally. It doesn't have any desire to remain alive either. So would you eat such a creature because of the above stated reasons ? If you will then some sick minded cannible can even justify eating brain dead humans and going by your criteria you won't be able to prove him wrong.

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