Please stop murdering plants!

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Colas D

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Hi, my name is Colas and I'm an ethical fruitarian. I believe that plants are sentient and can feel pain. So I only eat fruits in the botanical sense of the word. In other words, I only eat the fleshy part that surrounds the seed. From my perspective, fruits are willingly given by the plant. So by eating fruits and dispersing the seeds, we fulfill the wish of the plant, accomplish the will of God and contribute to turning the Earth into a garden of Eden. I do not eat cereals, leafy greens, nuts or seeds! This way of life fills me with bliss, felicity and happiness. Plants have a brain-like structure in their roots which enables them to feel emotions like us. This is why I consider ethical fruitarianism to be a moral extension of veganism. I believe that carefully harvested fruits are the only food that has the potential to be 100% karma free. Animals are worthy of compassion even though they look different. Well, so are plants! As a Science teacher with an ardent passion for botany, I have developed a profound love for our vegetal cousins. On a spiritual level, I believe that God is everything and that we are all part of Her/Him, even the most cruel animal exploiters. So I love every living being wholeheartedly in a non judgemental fashion. Ethical fruitarianism is also known as Eden fruitarianism, a term coined by author Mango Wodzak. If anyone is sincerely interested in this way of life, please by all means get in touch with me, I'll be more than happy to share my thoughts and experience.

Now, some vegans may object to ethical fruitarianism: "But plants are not sentient, they cannot feel pain as they have no brain!" Well, I empathise with this perspective as I used to think this way myself. I was a vegan for many years before converting to ethical fruitarianism. I also used to believe that plants could not feel pain because they lacked a brain or a nervous system, so I know where vegans that use this argument are coming from. When faced with the typical arguments made by non vegans (and plants though?), I used to repeat devoutly the mantra I had been taught about plants lacking nociceptors and thus being unable to feel pain. I would go on in great details about their so called "sensitivity", which I would argue was nothing but the automated response of mechanoreceptors. To be honest, whether I argued this way or not I can't really remember. Anyway, all of that was before I delved thoroughly into plant anatomy and the root brain theory. All of that was before my certainties about plants shattered into smithereens. I appreciate that when non vegans object to veganism with the traditional "and plants though?", this is sheer hypocrisy as they do not care for plants in the slightest. Nevertheless, the classic vegan counterarguments do not withstand scrutiny and close examination. Crucially, they do not stand up to the latest research in the field of plant neurobiology, which is at the cutting edge of botany. You may want to watch the YouTube talks from plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso. I particularly recommend "Are plants sentient?" and "The roots of plants". Many scholars in the field of plant neurobiology believe that plants are sentient. The root apex can sense 15 physical and chemical parameters. The plant uses neurotransmitters and electrical impulses to pass on information. The roots of plants form brain-like structures and for all practical purposes act as brains. Plants communicate with each other and animals, they trade nutrients with fungi, they display memory and learning skills, they show compassion (especially towards their close relative), they are sentient beings like you and I! This is why ethical fruitarianism is the only form of absolute non violence, ahimsa, towards all living beings. Not to mention that when crops are harvested, hundreds of mice, shrews, grasshoppers, etc. are mauled by the tractor blades while their habitat is being destroyed. This does not happen when fruits are carefully harvested. So not only is fruitarianism beneficial to plants, it is also highly beneficial to animals. It is the only path through which the Earth will eventually be turned into a garden of Eden.

Many thanks for reading!
 
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The "evidence" in the books you have read is not beyond dispute and has never been peer reviewed or replicated by multiple scientists so there is no proof that the conclusions of the authors are valid. I have no problem with people being fruitarians but please don't call these speculations "cutting edge science" because they are not.
 

Colas D

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The "evidence" in the books you have read is not beyond dispute and has never been peer reviewed or replicated by multiple scientists so there is no proof that the conclusions of the authors are valid. I have no problem with people being fruitarians but please don't call these speculations "cutting edge science" because they are not.
Hi Brian, I assume you are referring to the work of Cleave Backster. This work was not peer reviewed and was never replicated, you are perfectly correct. I will go further: from my perspective, it was a fraud. It has discredited the field of plant neurobiology for a long while and has hampered scientific progress. However, this is certainly not the scientific literature I was referring too in my post. The research I mentioned was carried out by Stefano Mancuso. It has been peer reviewed and replicated.
 
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From Here's Why You're Wrong When You Say, "Plants Feel Pain"

"Well, biologists know that neural systems like ours and those of other animals (yes, fish included) are one way to process information—but not the only way. Even though plants don’t have nervous systems, they can respond to stimuli. For example, when an aphid attacks a leaf, this sends an electrical signal that goes from leaf to leaf to tell the plant to start protecting itself. But it’s important to note that responding to damage does not mean the plant is in pain.
Unlike us and other animals, plants do not have nociceptors, the specific types of receptors that are programmed to respond to pain. They also, of course, don’t have brains, so they lack the machinery necessary to turn those stimuli into an actual experience. This is why plants are incapable of feeling pain."
 

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I do not eat cereals, leafy greens, nuts or seeds!
Um. explain to me again why fruit is OK but not nuts and seeds.

cereals are annual plants. They are going to die whether we eat them or not. Come to think of it, most vegetables are annuals. Isn't it more merciful to harvest them quickly instead of leaving them in the ground suffering a slow and horrible death?

and while you are at it can you show evidence of these root brains you believe in. They seem to have left it out of all the plant physiology books ever written.
 

Colas D

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From Here's Why You're Wrong When You Say, "Plants Feel Pain"

"Well, biologists know that neural systems like ours and those of other animals (yes, fish included) are one way to process information—but not the only way. Even though plants don’t have nervous systems, they can respond to stimuli. For example, when an aphid attacks a leaf, this sends an electrical signal that goes from leaf to leaf to tell the plant to start protecting itself. But it’s important to note that responding to damage does not mean the plant is in pain.
Unlike us and other animals, plants do not have nociceptors, the specific types of receptors that are programmed to respond to pain. They also, of course, don’t have brains, so they lack the machinery necessary to turn those stimuli into an actual experience. This is why plants are incapable of feeling pain."
Thanks for your answer Brian. Even though I strongly disagree with you, I sympathise as I know where you are coming from. I trod on this path myself. By no means am I trying to oppose veganism. I do support veganism wholeheartedly as I think it is a fantastic first step towards ethical fruitarianism.

However, I need to refute your argument. The specific type of nociceptors found in animals is not found in plants, I grant you that. But by no means does it imply that plants do not feel pain.
Let me give you an example. Plants do not have a vagina or a *****, they do not have sperm cells or ova. But it doesn't mean that they cannot reproduce! They have their own form of reproductive system, which is completely different from our reproductive system. They do not have a ***** but they have anthers which play an equivalent function. They do not have a vagina but they have a carpel (a pistil) which play an equivalent function. They do not have sperm cells but they have pollen grains which play an equivalent function. They do not have ova but they have ovules which play an equivalent function. You see, they do not have any of the anatomical features of our reproductive system. Yet, they can carry out reproduction. Well, it's exactly the same for sensitivity to pain. Plants do not have any of the anatomical features of the our central nervous system. Yet, they can certainly feel pain.
More generally, the same applies to every other sense. For example, plants can hear sound without ears. When a caterpillar munches on a leaf, the plant releases chemical in the air to warn other plants of an impending danger. Well, scientists have discovered that the mere sound (audio recording) of a caterpillar munching on a plant triggers the same chemical emission. So plants can hear. Yet, they do not have ears. Similarly, they can see without eyes, smell without nose, taste without tongue and touch without skin. Why wouldn't they be able to feel pain without a brain? You see, what matters is not to have a brain but to have an organ that plays an equivalent function. And this is precisely what the roots of a plants are. The roots of a plant act as a brain. Plants do not have neurons but they have cells that transmit electrical impulses. They do not have a central nervous system but they have a decentralised organ forming a colossal network (the root), which carries out the same function. A centralised nervous system is not necessary for sentience! Squids do not have a central nervous system, yet they are sentient and are very intelligent marine animals.

Now, plants also have structures that are equivalent to nociceptors. Historically, these structures were called mechanoreceptors. This term was given a long time ago when scientists still assumed that plants' response to damage was automated and merely mechanical. This was long before the emergence of plant neurobiology. The emercence of this new branch of science has brought about a radical shift in paradigm. Plant neurobiology has been around for a while but has really taken off in the beginning of the 21st century. It has dramatically changed our perception of plant sensitivity. Mechanoreceptors are now seen for what they really are: structures equivalent to nociceptors.

There is nothing new under the Sun. What is happening now with our perception of plants happened in the past with our perception of animals. Descartes postulated that animals could not feel pain and that therefore, their nociceptors were just mere mechanoreceptors. This mechanical approach has now collapsed. Similarly, the mechanical approach to plant sensitivity is bound to fall apart.
There is a plant call Mimosa pudica, who has learning skills. She can learn from her experience when to fold her leaves. This characteristic is poorly explained by a mechanical approach. Similarly, trees have the ability to show empathy and altruism, especially towards their relatives. This does not fit in well with the mechanical approach. A bean plant trying to reach a pole (a support to coil around) knows immediately if a competing plant has reached the coveted pole, and looks for another pole should the case arise. This is poorly explained by a mechanical approach but is perfectly explained if plants have a will and are sentient.

Plants are our sisters and our brothers. We have a moral duty to love them and not to slaughter them.
 

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Very interesting posts.

I didn't know it was possible to get adequate nutrition on a fruitarian diet.
 

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Very interesting posts.

I didn't know it was possible to get adequate nutrition on a fruitarian diet.
typically a fruitarian does eat nuts and seeds. but yeah, some don't because they believe that nuts and seeds are baby plants. It's like eating babies. potential plants.

Some fruitarians eat vegetables, nuts, and seeds, too

Fruitarianism is even more restrictive than veganism or raw veganism.[19] Maintaining this diet over a long period can result in dangerous deficiencies, a risk that many fruitarians try to ward off through nutritional testing and vitamin injections.[16] The Health Promotion Program at Columbia Universityreports that a fruitarian diet can cause deficiencies in calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, most B vitamins (especially B12), and essential fatty acids.[18]

Although fruit provides a source of carbohydrates, they have very little protein, and because protein cannot be stored in the body as fat and carbohydrates can, fruitarians need to be careful that they consume enough protein each day.[20]
 

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Come to think of it, most vegetables are annuals. Isn't it more merciful to harvest them quickly instead of leaving them in the ground suffering a slow and horrible death?

The same argument could be used to support hunting, fishing and human euthanasia. By this logic, when things approach the end of their average lifespan, they should be killed to prevent the pain of the aging process.

Me, Gardener, I am vegan because of the modern realities of meat consumption. Our population is too large to sustain it. Farming is cruel. Hunting is unnecessary and too often misused for recreation. There is too much waste - slaughtered animals that go into a landfill (where even decomposition is slow) instead of being consumed by other living things.
 

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Here are my questions about your diet:

You said you don't eat seeds, but you do eat fruits that contain seeds. Do you remove the seeds? If not, how is eating a whole tomato different from eating a cashew?

Do you take supplements in order to get all that you need, nutritionally?

In the wild, the leaves of plants are regularly snacked on by animals. This seems to be healthy for the plant, in moderation. When you pick a couple of leaves regularly, they grow faster and produce more leaves. They seem to thrive. How can we humans assume whether or not they like having a few leaves removed? Isn't there an equally good chance that they want us to prune them?
 

Colas D

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Um. explain to me again why fruit is OK but not nuts and seeds.

cereals are annual plants. They are going to die whether we eat them or not. Come to think of it, most vegetables are annuals. Isn't it more merciful to harvest them quickly instead of leaving them in the ground suffering a slow and horrible death?

and while you are at it can you show evidence of these root brains you believe in. They seem to have left it out of all the plant physiology books ever written.
Thanks for your comment Lou. Our value as human beings is not determined by our lifespan. If a baby were to be diagnosed with a rare medical condition and was given by doctors a life expectancy of 3 months, that wouldn't make it acceptable for us to chop her off and cook her in a frying pan. Well, the same logic applies to annuals.

The root brain theory did not pop up out of thin air. It was first proposed by Charles Darwin. Indeed, plants have an evolutionary advantage to have their root-brain buried in the soil (in other words protected from predators) and decentralised (it will still work efficiently if an animal eats part of it).
Plant neurobiology is often left out from textbook, I grant you that. So is vegan advocacy but it doesn't make it wrong! Science is conservative by nature: There is always a significant lapse of time between the discoveries of cutting edges research and their wide diffusion to a general audience.
 

Colas D

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Very interesting posts.

I didn't know it was possible to get adequate nutrition on a fruitarian diet.
Thank you. Great apes are frugivorous and they get adequate nutrition. They get all their vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids they need by eating a fruit-based diet. We humans are frugivore too. A comparison between humans, frugivores, herbivores, omnivores and carnivores show that we are 100% frugivores by nature. By no means are we herbivores! For example, the tongue of herbivores is moderately rough while the tongue of frugivores and humans is smooth. The length of the small intestine in herbivores is 20 times the length of the body while in frugivores and humans it is 9 times the length of the body. The size of the liver is proportionally larger in herbivores when compared to frugivores and humans. Herbivores have 4 legs and hooves while frugivores and humans have prehensile hands to pick up fruits. Herbivores have multiple teats while frugivores and humans have dual breasts. And I could go on and on talking about the urinary concentration, the digestion time, etc. Humans are not herbivores but 100% frugivores. No wonder there are so many people allergic to gluten!
 
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Thank you. Great apes are frugivorous and they get adequate nutrition. They get all their vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids they need by eating a fruit-based diet. We humans are frugivore too. A comparison between humans, frugivores, herbivores, omnivores and carnivores show that we are 100% frugivores by nature. By no means are we herbivores! For example, the tongue of herbivores is moderately rough while the tongue of frugivores and humans is smooth. The length of the small intestine in herbivores is 20 times the length of the body while in frugivores and humans it is 9 times the length of the body. The size of the liver is proportionally larger in herbivores when compared to frugivores and humans. Herbivores have 4 legs and hooves while frugivores and humans have prehensile hands to pick up fruits. Herbivores have multiple teats while frugivores and humans have dual breasts. And I could go on and on talking about the urinary concentration, the digestion time, etc. Humans are not herbivores but 100% frugivores. No wonder there are so many people allergic to gluten!
I've watched some videos from a Brazilian fruitarian on youtube, he eats huge amounts of fruit every day.

BTW apes as far as I know eat nuts and green leafy vegetables, and orangutans and chimpanzees eat also animal foods like insects and eggs even though in very small amounts, 4% if not mistaken. They also happen to live in tropical climates.
 
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Colas D

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typically a fruitarian does eat nuts and seeds. but yeah, some don't because they believe that nuts and seeds are baby plants. It's like eating babies. potential plants.

Some fruitarians eat vegetables, nuts, and seeds, too

Fruitarianism is even more restrictive than veganism or raw veganism.[19] Maintaining this diet over a long period can result in dangerous deficiencies, a risk that many fruitarians try to ward off through nutritional testing and vitamin injections.[16] The Health Promotion Program at Columbia Universityreports that a fruitarian diet can cause deficiencies in calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, most B vitamins (especially B12), and essential fatty acids.[18]

Although fruit provides a source of carbohydrates, they have very little protein, and because protein cannot be stored in the body as fat and carbohydrates can, fruitarians need to be careful that they consume enough protein each day.[20]
Thank you for your input Lou. There is a lot of propaganda and misinformation about the fruitarian diet. I am a strict fruitarian so I do not eat seeds or nuts as they are embryonic plants. No research has ever been carried out on strict fruitarians as there are not many of us out there. So how would Wikipedia (from where your quote is extracted) know anything about the so-called deficiencies of this diet? The notion of daily recommended intakes is biased and faulty at its core. First, scientists assume that humans are naturally omnivorous and should eat cereals, vegetables, fruits, fish as well as meat in moderation. On this basis, they analyse the blood of hundreds of omnivorous people that they deem healthy. Then, they average their results and come up with their reference intakes that they label "norms". So the whole process is a house of cards based on a philosophical assumption; A carnist assumption as Melany Joy would say. But this assumption is erroneous as humans are not omnivores but 100% frugivores (see reply to NYC gardener above). People like Kveta Martinec or Anne Osborne have been strict fruitarians for 30 years without running into deficiencies. Actually, they thrive on this diet. And so do I!
 

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From RESEARCHGATE

"Abstract

Many people are attracted to the idea that plants experience phenomenal conscious states like pain, sensory awareness, or emotions like fear. If true, this would have wide-ranging moral implications for human behavior, including land development, farming, vegetarianism, and more. Determining whether plants have minds relies on the work of both empirical disciplines and philosophy. Epistemology should settle the standards for evidence of other minds, and science should inform our judgment about whether any plants meet those standards. We argue that evidence for other minds comes either from testimony, behavior, anatomy/physiology, or phylogeny. However, none of these provide evidence that plants have conscious mental states. Therefore, we conclude that there is no evidence that plants have minds in the sense relevant for morality."
 

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From Anesthetics And Plants

"The question therefore arises: do plants feel pain and have consciousness? In this review, we discuss what can be learned from the effects of anesthetics in plants. For this, we describe the mechanisms and structural prerequisites for pain sensations in animals and show that plants lack the neural anatomy and all behaviors that would indicate pain. By explaining the ubiquitous and diverse effects of anesthetics, we discuss whether these substances provide any empirical or logical evidence for “plant consciousness” and whether it makes sense to study the effects of anesthetics on plants for this purpose. In both cases, the answer is a resounding no."
 

Colas D

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Thank you for your questions.

When I eat tomatoes, I don't remove the seeds. The plant wants us to eat the seed so that we can disperse them. This symbiotic strategy is used by plants to avoid competition for space, shadow, soil, water, etc. Actually, eating the seeds (gently, without chewing them of course) also benefits the seeds. For example, the cassowary plum seed cannot sprout unless it first passes by the stomach of the cassowary bird!

No, I don't take any supplements whatsoever. Please see reply to Lou above for my opinion on recommended daily intakes.

The fruit is the fleshy part of the plant that surrounds the seed. In botanical terms, the ovule in the ovary becomes the seed after fertilisation by the male nucleus from the pollen grain. And the ovary wall becomes the fruit. So the fruit is not an embryonic plant whereas a cashew is.

I do not believe that pruning benefits the plant. It does trigger a stress response that makes the plant develop more quickly and grow bigger. Similarly, hardships and suffering can make us grow spiritually. Sometimes, they turn out to be beneficial. But it wouldn't be fair to torment anyone in order to make her grow, would it?
 
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Colas D

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Thank you for your questions.

When I eat tomatoes, I don't remove the seeds. The plant wants us to eat the seed so that we can disperse them. This symbiotic strategy is used by plants to avoid competition for space, shadow, soil, water, etc. Actually, eating the seeds (gently, without chewing them of course) also benefits the seeds. For example, the cassowary plum seed cannot sprout unless it first passes by the stomach of the cassowary bird!

No, I don't take any supplements whatsoever. Please see reply to Lou above for my opinion on recommended daily intakes.

The fruit is the fleshy part of the plant that surrounds the seed. In botanical terms, the ovule in the ovary becomes the seed after fertilisation by the male nucleus from the pollen grain. And the ovary wall becomes the fruit. So the fruit is not an embryonic plant whereas a cashew is.

I do not believe that pruning benefits the plant. It does trigger a stress response that makes the plant develop more quickly and grow bigger. Similarly, hardships and suffering can make us grow spiritually. Sometimes, they turn out to be beneficial. But it wouldn't be fair to torment anyone in order to make her grow, would it?
Here are my questions about your diet:

You said you don't eat seeds, but you do eat fruits that contain seeds. Do you remove the seeds? If not, how is eating a whole tomato different from eating a cashew?

Do you take supplements in order to get all that you need, nutritionally?

In the wild, the leaves of plants are regularly snacked on by animals. This seems to be healthy for the plant, in moderation. When you pick a couple of leaves regularly, they grow faster and produce more leaves. They seem to thrive. How can we humans assume whether or not they like having a few leaves removed? Isn't there an equally good chance that they want us to prune them?
Thank you for your questions.

When I eat tomatoes, I don't remove the seeds. The plant wants us to eat the seed so that we can disperse them. This symbiotic strategy is used by plants to avoid competition for space, shadow, soil, water, etc. Actually, eating the seeds (gently, without chewing them of course) also benefits the seeds. For example, the cassowary plum seed cannot sprout unless it first passes by the stomach of the cassowary bird!

No, I don't take any supplements whatsoever. Please see reply to Lou above for my opinion on recommended daily intakes.

The fruit is the fleshy part of the plant that surrounds the seed. In botanical terms, the ovule in the ovary becomes the seed after fertilisation by the male nucleus from the pollen grain. And the ovary wall becomes the fruit. So the fruit is not an embryonic plant whereas a cashew is.

I do not believe that pruning benefits the plant. It does trigger a stress response that makes the plant develop more quickly and grow bigger. Similarly, hardships and suffering can make us grow spiritually. Sometimes, they turn out to be beneficial. But it wouldn't be fair to torment anyone in order to make her grow, would it?
 

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I've watched some videos from a Brazilian fruitarian on youtube, he eats huge amounts of fruit every day.

BTW apes as far as I know eat nuts and green leafy vegetables, and orangutans and chimpanzees eat also animal foods like insects and eggs even though in very small amounts, 4% if not mistaken. They also happen to live in tropical climates.
Thanks for your input. I don't eat huge amounts. Chimps may eat the odd root or the odd insect larva but we can do better than them, can't we? Even though they are our closest relative, we are slightly different from them. So let's go fruitarian all the way!
 
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