So there you are on Facebook, Twitter, or simply chatting with a friend at the local coffeehouse and all of a sudden the infamous “What about plants, don’t they have feelings too?” question rears its ugly head. What makes someone ask this question when they’re being confronted with the idea that all sentient beings deserve the right not to be someone’s property? Or, you merely stated “Oh no thanks, I don’t eat flesh or secretions, I’m vegan”.
This has bothered me for sometime now. I usually try my best to explain the difference between an animal (human or not) and a plant but the questioner usually doesn’t seem to get it. Well, thanks to Adam Kochanowicz alerting me to the following quote by Leonardo da Vinci, maybe, just maybe, Leonardo can help answer the question a bit better:
Though nature has given sensibility to pain to such living organisms as have the power of movement, in order thereby to preserve the members which in this movement are liable to diminish and be destroyed, the living organisms which have no power of movement do not have to encounter opposing objects, and plants consequently do not need to have a sensibility to pain, and so it comes about that if you break them they do not feel anguish in their members as do the animals.
~ Leonardo da Vinci (Source)
And if Leonardo da Vinci still doesn’t quite answer the question I’m fairly confident my friend Professor Gary L. Francione’s article entitled “A Frequently Asked Question: What About Plants?” should do the trick. 😉
Think, then Go Vegan!