Heart-Centered Humans for Animals' Rights and Protection
The following is directly from: http://www.shellethics.com/ethics/ultimate-arguments-against-veganism/#1462243432235-1397e693-492d
Do Plants Have Feelings?
"But plants have feelings too is one of the most common arguments against veganism. By this assertion, an omnivore makes claim that eating sentient animals is morally equivalent to eating plants. This rebuttal also stipulates that because we are apparently doing something that’s already morally wrong (eating plants), then we all should continue doing something that’s even more morally wrong (eating animals). This flawed logic does not make humans eating meat [or any animal product] morally neutral.
"Neuroscientists have positively confirmed the areas of human neurology (brain stem, limbic system, etc) that serve to provide sentience and complex emotion. All vertebrates, and at least some non-vertebrate animals, have these nervous system components, providing strong positive, empirical evidence that such beings are sentient, and that most of them have highly subjective, emotional lives. Plants do not have any of these neurological
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components. Importantly, a necessary
condition of consciousness is sentient
experience — there is no evidence to even
remotely suggest that plants possess sentient experience.
"As unconscious entities, plants have no subjective conscious interest that would be morally relevant to whether we kill them for food or other sufficient reasons. We should respect plants in the same sense in which we respect the beauty, complexity, and wonder of insentient nature and natural phenomena in general, which entails reducing our impact on them as much as is reasonable, and not destroying them gratuitously. However, our moral obligations regarding plants do not compare in kind to our direct moral obligations to vertebrates, whose sentience and conscious, intentional striving for life and survival is obvious to us."