It’s strange to read a long discussion in the NY Times about how plants respond to stimuli, and thus might be similar to animals in terms of why some people are vegetarians. The author notes, somewhat quixotically:

before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot.

This thinking is quixotic because there’s no mention of sentience in the whole article.  Sentience, as discussed in Wikipedia is

the ability to feel or perceive subjectively. The term is used in philosophy (particularly in the philosophy of animal ethics and in eastern philosophy) as well as in science fiction and (occasionally) in the study of artificial intelligence. In each of these fields the term is used slightly differently.

Plants are not sentient, at least I don’t think so, and the author of the Times article does not go there.  One can wonder about insects, but about plants, I just don’t think so.  Plants respond to certain stimuli, but that does not stem from a brain, or does it?


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