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> Plants And "pain"
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cosmic
Jul 25 2003, 11:35 PM
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I have always wondered if plants had some sort of pain response...

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Do plants feel pain?

This is a tricky one, not so much because we don’t know enough about plants, but more because a proper answer might require a rather philosophical discussion of what pain is, whether all animals feel pain in some way, etc. But as a rough-and-ready answer to the question ‘what is pain’, why don’t we (for the moment) define it as ‘a response to physical stress aimed at reducing that stress’.

I use this definition because although pain means all sorts of things to us, including displeasure and being hurt, it is generally aimed as a ‘warning’ to the body – “this hand is hurting, get it away from the boiling water” is one sort of message pain might be carrying. So at a simple level, pain is aimed at reducing stress.

So – what’s the answer? Well, recent research indicates that plants do have a stress response, which is used when a leaf is cut, for example. They release a chemical called ethylene (also known as ethene, a simple hydrocarbon: C2H4). Ethylene is released as a gas, all over the surface of the plant, and indeed its release is not only triggered by damage, but also decay. So a rotting plant releases lots of ethylene too.

Why is this like a pain response? Because ethylene release controls plant responses to stress, such as extra cell growth. It’s a signal to the plant to take measures to withstand stress. So this is all quite similar to my definition of pain above.

What’s more, the researchers who studied this response had a rather bizarre way of measuring the presence of ethylene – by listening for it. To be precise, they captured the gas in a bell jar and fired lasers at it, which resonated with the molecules and emitted sound at a particular frequency. Upon seeing this, it wasn’t long before scientists and journalists alike were calling these sounds ‘screams’, and suddenly this response seemed a lot more like pain as we know it!

But really, if I’m going to use this simple definition of pain, then anything living feels pain, because all organisms have a repertoire of stress responses. Bacteria have many for example, and their response to heat has been particularly well studied. Can we believe that bacteria feel pain?

So in short, at a very simple level, ignoring the ‘emotions’ of pain, plants have systems and responses that look like pain. But for many, me included, it’s hard to really call that pain, because pain means so much more.

Reference

Interesting...


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Sara
Jul 26 2003, 12:05 AM
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QUOTE (cosmic @ Jul 26 2003, 08:35 PM)

Why is this like a pain response? Because ethylene release controls plant responses to stress, such as extra cell growth. It’s a signal to the plant to take measures to withstand stress. So this is all quite similar to my definition of pain above.

What’s more, the researchers who studied this response had a rather bizarre way of measuring the presence of ethylene – by listening for it. To be precise, they captured the gas in a bell jar and fired lasers at it, which resonated with the molecules and emitted sound at a particular frequency. Upon seeing this, it wasn’t long before scientists and journalists alike were calling these sounds ‘screams’, and suddenly this response seemed a lot more like pain as we know it!


cry.gif ermm.gif


this is sad


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Sara
Jul 26 2003, 12:13 AM
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ok here's what i think


i think every living thing feels pain, and that's that. the only reason why most people think of plants as almost-non-feeling-pain creatures, is coz most of us got taught that plants have no pain receptors, and have no nervous system. we also got taught that lobsters dont have pain receptors, but now we know it's not true, and that in fact they do have pain receptors and hence feel pain.


plants do feel pain, so do animals, but is that it? we have to eat to survive, animals kill each other to survive, animals kill plants to survive, no matter how philosophical we get about our definitions of humans, we are physiologically ANIMALS and we need to eat things to survive, coz we cannot synthesize our food. we eat plants and we eat other animals.


of course, we make choices, some choose to go vegan, some dont, it doesn't make anyone any more correct or anymore valid than another, coz in the end, we are KILLING something to EAT it.

if we wanna minimize the pain we cause, then we should stop kicking trees, chasing after little ducks, and burning down forests for no particular reason, we should walk on concrete when we can, and should stop polluting earth.

this is what i think. blackhair.gif


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Radisshu
Jul 27 2003, 05:03 PM
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i wonder if mosquitos and flies you smash feel pain...


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Moremi
Jul 27 2003, 06:09 PM
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So I guess this means meat eaters are more humane than vegetarians laughing.gif since vegetarians eat their "prey" while it's still living rolleyes.gif


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Rei
Jul 27 2003, 08:52 PM
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I do not believe plants feel pain. Plants lack of nerves, which are required to have physical feelings. The fact that plants react when you cut off a piece of its body does not necesarily mean it's a manifestation of the plant feeling pain; like animals: when you cut an animal, the animal bleeds; now, the blood isn't the cause of the pain, but the nerves. Its the same with the plants: when you cut a plant, you will get a segregation of its natural fluids, but that of course does not mean the organism is feeling any pain at all.

And no, meat-eaters are NOT more humane that vegetarians, and I'm not just saying this because I'm a vegetarian.

Anyways... just my two cents.

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cosmic
Jul 27 2003, 09:00 PM
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So because it is alive, but does't not "feel" pain, per se, its ok to kill it? Its still alive and has a right to live, no?

A person that is in a comatose state, paraplegic, or has some nervous disease is easier to humanely kill because they feel no pain?


People can shun this off, but we classify what can be killed and what shouldn't.


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Rei
Jul 27 2003, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE
So because it is alive, but does't not "feel" pain, per se, its ok to kill it? Its still alive and has a right to live, no?

A person that is in a comatose state, paraplegic, or has some nervous disease is easier to humanely kill because they feel no pain?


People can shun this off, but we classify what can be killed and what shouldn't.


No no no! I don't mean to say that its alright to kill plants, or that humans suffering from nervous desease feel no pain!

As someone else said, animals have the need to kill in order to survive; now what sounds more humane, to kill other feeling animals, or non-feeling plants? I know it sounds cruel and evil, but that's reality. Now, killing humans with disabilities is simply horrible, and it is our task as capable human beings to take care and nurture those more unfortunate than us.

Also, because a human is in cromatose state does not mean they stop feeling; they simply can't express their feelings.

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cosmic
Jul 27 2003, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE
Also, because a human is in cromatose state does not mean they stop feeling; they simply can't express their feelings.



Exactly my point about plants. wink.gif


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Sara
Jul 28 2003, 12:07 AM
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QUOTE (Rei @ Jul 28 2003, 05:52 PM)
I do not believe plants feel pain. Plants lack of nerves, which are required to have physical feelings. The fact that plants react when you cut off a piece of its body does not necesarily mean it's a manifestation of the plant feeling pain; like animals: when you cut an animal, the animal bleeds; now, the blood isn't the cause of the pain, but the nerves. Its the same with the plants: when you cut a plant, you will get a segregation of its natural fluids, but that of course does not mean the organism is feeling any pain at all.

And no, meat-eaters are NOT more humane that vegetarians, and I'm not just saying this because I'm a vegetarian.

Anyways... just my two cents.


our brains have nerves, but the brain itself feels no pain, so it's not nerves, but more specifically pain receptors.


again, we claim that plants have no pain receptors or nerves, but it's not an absolute fact that plants don't feel pain. if that belief that they dont feel pain makes u feel better eating them, then good for u, we all need to eat.


moreover, is it jsut the idea of pain? or like cosmic said, the idea of killing a living thing is it ok? my belief is, if u kill it to eat, then it's ok, coz that's what other animals do too, and even some plants.

why is it any more human to kill plants to eat them than it is to kill cows to eat them? because of the common HUMAN belief that plants dont feel pain? it's a human belief, made by humans.


how do u define pain?


also, just because we cannot physically see plants hurting, it doesnt mean that they dont.


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ImperialAerosolK...
Jul 28 2003, 01:52 PM
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What does this mean for potheads. Does the pot feel the fire??? ohno.gif
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rev79
Jul 28 2003, 01:53 PM
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Moremi
Jul 28 2003, 02:11 PM
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QUOTE (Lpldbloom @ Jul 28 2003, 05:52 PM)
What does this mean for potheads. Does the pot feel the fire??? ohno.gif

No, it's already dead then. It's dried out. laughing.gif


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ImperialAerosolK...
Jul 28 2003, 02:12 PM
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QUOTE (ZDLRfan @ Jul 28 2003, 10:11 PM)
QUOTE (Lpldbloom @ Jul 28 2003, 05:52 PM)
What does this mean for potheads. Does the pot feel the fire??? ohno.gif

No, it's already dead then. It's dried out. laughing.gif

phew!!! smile.gif
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dreamer997
Jul 28 2003, 10:38 PM
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I don't believe that plants feel pain how we experiance it, because the don't have any nerves.

But they must feel something.

Plants are very sensitive to influences, and they can get diseaces. So they must feel pain but then in a plant kind of way and not in a human kind of way


You understand. Or me make no sense??? unsure.gif


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