‘We can all become fruitarians’: Animal rights group PETA says they could resort to eating ‘only what falls off the tree’ if plants can be proven to feel pain – but say the ‘jury is still out on it’ ‘
Animal rights organization PETA has said they could become “fruitarians” and “only eat what falls off the tree” if plants can be proven to feel pain.
The vegan organization said the “jury is still out,” but added that it’s possible that plants have a way of experiencing pain that we don’t yet understand.
It comes after a new study suggested it’s plant-rich capable of producing alarm sounds while being cut off – with disturbing sounds coming from tomato and tobacco plants, as well as corn and the vines used to make cabernet sauvignon.
PETA’s Vice President of Programs, Elisa Allen, told MailOnline, “The jury is still out on whether [plants] feel pain. If we discover that they can, we can all become fruitarians and eat only what falls from the tree.
‘It shouldn’t come as a shock that plants make noise – probably from the formation and bursting of air bubbles in the plant’s vascular system – as they communicate through fungal networks to alert each other to imminent threats.
Animal rights group PETA has warned that they could become “fruitarians” and “just what falls off the tree” if plants can be proven to feel pain. [File image]
A recent study found that plants make disturbing noises when they experience stress
“But today we know that eating plants directly, rather than feeding them in massive amounts to animals and then killing those animals for their meat, requires fewer plants and doesn’t hurt animals — which undeniably feel pain.”
“So for anyone concerned about plant welfare, going vegan is the best option for now.”
Meanwhile, other vegans labeled the idea of plants feeling pain as “ridiculous,” pointing out that the plant kingdom doesn’t have the same ability to feel as animals.
Rory Cockshaw, campaigner with the vegan animal rights group Viva, told MailOnline: ‘The idea of plants being sentient is a bit ridiculous. Plants do not have a nervous system.
A recent study found that tomato plants that have not been watered for up to five days produce a much more frenetic popping sound – more than once every two minutes on average
‘The sounds that plants make are probably due to the bursting of air – that cannot be compared to the cry of a pig suffocating in a gas chamber.
Do plants feel ‘pain’?
When an insect bites a plant leaf, the wound triggers the release of calcium, University of Wisconsin researchers said last year.
This causes a chain reaction in the cells lining the leaves and stem of the plant.
It takes about one to two minutes for the reaction to reach every part of the plant.
The calcium generates a hormonal response from the plant to protect the leaves.
Some plants release harmful chemicals that make it taste bad to other invading insects.
Others, such as grass, release hormones that attract nearby parasitic wasps, which eat the attacking insects.
‘It cannot be compared to the howling of a dog when it steps on a thorn.
“As a vegan, I would feel bad eating animals because animals have a nervous system — they have feelings — they have the ability to feel pain.”
He added, “Plants don’t have the ability to feel pain or experience the world.”
However, when he discovered that plants can make disturbing noises, another vegan said, ‘I’m in shock! Eating tomatoes will never be the same again!’
Plants usually produce a noise similar to popping popcorn less than once an hour — believed to be caused by air bubbles bursting in their stems.
But a recent study found that tomato plants had not been watered produced a much more frenetic popping noise for up to five days — more than once every two minutes on average.
While being cut, the tomato plants sounded an alarm approximately every two and a half minutes.
The researchers also found that plants including vines, wheat, corn and cacti made noises when cut or dried out.
The sounds lasted longer when a plant was dried out, compared to when it was cut down, while different plants seemed to make different sounds based on factors such as sound frequency.