My favourite reply:
So you have compassion for plants?
You'd better go vegan, then, since it takes a lot more plants to feed to animals to feed to humans than it takes to feed humans directly with plants.
Yes. This article from 2005 summarises the scientific knowledge on birds feeling pain.
It's worth taking a moment to define pain, as there is often confusion about this. The definition of pain from the International Association for the Study of Pain is:
An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or ...
The 'intelligent' behaviour that plants exhibit is not evidence for the capacity to suffer. Very simple organisms can show some kind of intelligence in their behaviour, and some think plants might even be conscious, but suffering is an entirely different matter.
From an interview with a scientist:
So, if I follow you, plants really do feel, not ...
In addition to Zanna's answer, I would - depending on the situation - mention the uncertainty about the correctness of that statement. While with animals we can be pretty much sure about this, because of their nervous system, with plants there is no evidence for this. Simple responses to stimuli do not imply the ability to feel pain.
Despite this, in ...
Plants don't have feelings as we know them
So a scientist infests one plant with a bug, and finds out that another, non-infested plant has "communicated" with the first plant and starts bracing itself? And other plants can even learn? Therefore plants talk and think, therefore they are sentient? Should we stop eating them?
Well, watch this. When I send you ...
This is hard to answer objectively. Especially when dealing with the "natural" concept.
According to this Nature article, human evolution was significantly helped by eating meat. More specifically, this helped sustaining the more and more energy required by larger brain and body:
The origins of the genus Homo are murky, but by H. erectus, bigger
I've become so fed up with people saying this to me that I usually just remind them the definition of veganism.
A vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products. Nowhere does it say "a person who does not cause plants to suffer".
Usually at this point in the conversation though, I know it's time to leave, because the person making this ...
Well, you've got to eat something. Could one not simply argue that consuming plants is the lesser (of many) evils?
We know that animals are conscious to some degree, have nervous systems, and experience pain. Surely that it is possible to fulfill our nutrient needs without exploiting animals ought to be enough. Considering that more plants (and water) are ...
It is important to consider the context of this quote from Dr. Van Aken. It was presented in a university press release, and press releases tend to use language that is non-scientific or even sensationalist.
The actual scientific study being featured was Mitochondrial and Chloroplast Stress Responses Are Modulated in Distinct Touch and Chemical Inhibition ...
My answer is:
If you think plant suffer, you should stop eating plants.
(I leave out the part "instead of telling me to")
Sometimes, they come back with "But I don't care about what I eat, I eat everything."
To which, I say "So you don't care about what you eat, but care about what I eat?".
Note: This isn't really meant to convince anyone, but most ...
In addition to Alexei's answer, it's worth to cite a few more facts.
Humans are most closely related to the great apes. Humans and apes are
remarkably similar biologically. In the wild, apes and monkeys consume
diets composed largely of plant foods, primarily the fruits and leaves
of tropical forest trees and vines. Considerable evidence indicates
Humans are omnivorous, meaning that we can consume a wide variety of foods. Other omnivorous mammals include dogs, pigs, badgers, bears, hedgehogs, opossums, skunks, sloths, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, mice, and rats. Hominidae (i.e. great apes, including humans) are also omnivores.
Omnivorous animals can survive on a diet of meat (including fish, ...
No, they don't.
The burden of proof always rests with the person who makes a prima facie implausible statement. Otherwise you could 'prove' anything 'until disproved' (such as the existence of a huge spaghetti monster that floats above the clouds and has created the earth).
Someone who claims, unless disproved, that plants suffer (where suffering has a ...
In short, Yes. But there is lot more to it than just that.
To weaken your argument, nervous systems of plants are far inferior to animmals. As many have pointed out, this severely affects the way plants feel or suffer, as compared to animals (See this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_perception_(physiology))
To generalise your argument, all physical ...
This is how I would like to argue:
You need to show the sympathy to the things which you see first, If you are cutting a hen or a cow, it screams and shouts, you need to feel the pain what it is undergoing. When I cut a plant I don't hear or see anything.
Also first and foremost I am not vegetarian because I don't like to hurt animals. I am a vegetarian ...