Should We Look At Plants The Same Way That Many Of Us Look At & Cherish Animals?

Collective Evolution

One particular question has been on my mind for quite some time.

We see a lot of activism over the treatment of animals in Factory Farms. A systematic, controlled, breeding of animals for the sole purpose of being used either as food or for producing food products. This definition gives me the shivers. In my opinion it is slavery and torture, without any consideration for the rights of animals. Like us humans, they too are individuals, with a fully functional body, and they are never asked if they want to be treated in the way they are. I know that I would most definitely not want to be treated like this.

Now, does this not apply to plants as well?

Seeing Plants As An Individual

A plant is a fully functional living organism. It grows in size from a small sapling to a huge tree. It eats, mostly by creating its own food through photosynthesis, sometimes hunting insects for nutrients and sometimes by being a parasite to other plants.

It has feelings and responds to changes. You can view examples of this here and here. The Indian scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose was one of the pioneers in understanding the neural mechanism of plants.

Breeding is done with the help of various factors, mostly through nectar sucking animals like bees & butterflies. Distribution of progeny is done in various ways, e.g. through fruit eating animals and birds.

Questioning Agriculture

This makes me question the whole idea of Agriculture. As I understand, as factory farming is to animals, agriculture is to plants. Nobody asks them if they like to be treated the way that they are. Yes, seeds are used to grow the crops, but these seeds contain a life, which will grow into an individual, whose life is in the hands of a human who will harvest it for food when it has become ripe or healthy.

Agriculture, like factory farms, is a very easy -although taxing on the environment -method of gaining food. It also removes the free will of a plant. Like we cannot choose where we will be born, a plant cannot choose where it will grow. Beyond that though, does it have to grow in the cage-less confines of a farm? Its life becomes in control of its human masters, its time of death already declared. It is the offspring of another plant. How would parent trees feel about the conditions of their children?

Also, wherever agriculture is performed, that area loses its diversity, however small it may be. Instead of a random occurrence of plants and animals, there is an artificially grown patch of plants. This lies good for forests, marshes, deserts or grasslands, anywhere. Just because a place looks empty, does not mean it actually is. It may be home to a variety of small plants & animals, who have their own role to play in nature.

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