Do plants feel pain? NO! Plants do not have brains or central nervous systems. They cannot feel anything.
Watch this short, easy to understand, video from Mercy for Animals and chooseveg.com.
Mercy for Animals graciously granted permission for the use of this video on June 11, 2019.
In addition, since nonhuman beings generally possess keener, more acute senses than human beings,
nonhuman beings may feel more than human beings
according to Renowned Bioethics Professor Peter Singer who wrote Animal Liberation in 1975.
All animals feel pain. Professor Singer states, “The behavioral signs include writhing, facial contortions, moaning, yelping or other forms of calling, attempts to avoid the source of pain, appearance of fear and terror at the prospect of its repetition, screaming, crying, trying to physically escape.”(1)
Professor Singer explains that if sentient human beings feel pain, then sentient nonhuman beings do also because both species possess nervous systems. Both sentient human and sentient nonhuman beings have “nervous systems which provide physiological signs of pain: an initial rise in blood pressure, dilated pupils, perspiration and increased pulse rate, and if the stimulus continues, a fall in blood pressure.”(2)
Infamous and beloved Dr. Jane Goodall noted in her study of chimpanzees in In the Shadow of Man “when it comes to expression of feelings and emotions, language is less important than nonlinguistic modes of communication such as cheering, a pat on the back, an exuberant embrace, a clasp of hands, etc. The basic signals we use to convey pain, fear, anger, love, joy, surprise, sexual arousal and many other emotional states are not specific to our own species.”(3)
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS ENABLE ALL ANIMALS TO POSSESS THE ABILITY TO FEEL.
ALL ANIMALS HAVE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS.
THUS, ALL ANIMALS HAVE THE ABILITY TO FEEL.
OKAY, NOW THAT WE UNDERSTAND NONHUMAN BEINGS DO, IN FACT, HAVE FEELINGS, WE KNOW THAT NONHUMAN BEINGS ARE SENTIENT because
Sentience is the capability of feeling.
Sentience represents the exclusive requirement for consciousness or self-awareness. All human and nonhuman living beings possess sentience because all living beings have the ability to experience feelings of pain, sadness, loneliness, depression, pleasure, happiness, love, joy, etc.
(1) Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement (New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 2009) 11.
Jesus spoke Aramaic, and the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. Both Testaments were translated to Latin and then to English. To be honest, I have never bothered to study Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin; however, from my formal studies of Italian and Spanish, I know that languages do not translate perfectly.
In order to determine Jesus’s intention, I look to the scholars. In Genesis 1:26, the Bible states that God gave humans “dominion over creatures.” Many Hebrew scholars believe the word “dominion” is a very poor translation of the original Hebrew word “v’yirdu” which actually meant “to rule over” as a wise king rules over his subjects with CARE and RESPECT. It implied a sense of RESPONSIBILITY and ENLIGHTENED STEWARDSHIP.
In addition, while I am referencing language, I don’t like the use of the word animal because it includes humans, and we all know from elementary school science class that humans are mammals, and mammals are animals. I believe we should use the terms “human being” and “nonhuman being” in order to differentiate between species.
(When you watch the documentary, Speciesism to Veganism, listed in the Resources section of this website, Animal Rights Activist Gary Yourofsky gives an excellent answer to the question about religion.)
Sentience is the capability of feeling. People who are sentient are self-aware and conscious. They naturally have a will to live and to avoid pain. They can feel love, joy, happiness, pleasure, sadness, depression, loneliness and pain. About 50 years ago, science has proven that animals also possess sentience as evidenced by wagging tails, exuberant leaps, facial expressions, body language, yelps and screams.
We cannot solve a problem if we do not know it exists or if we do not understand it. Thanks to the passionate and tireless work of Nonhuman Rights Advocates and Activists who have made the invisible visible through undercover investigations; and scientists, academicians, authors, movie producers and directors, and other professionals who have repetitively and continuously explained the Truth to us, we now can accept the following Facts.
Nonhuman beings can suffer and feel pain just like human beings.
The latest statistic shows that about 70 billion nonhuman beings (including sea life) are tortured and slaughtered every year for food. About ten percent of innocent beings reared for food do not make it to the slaughterhouses because they die from stress, trauma, injuries and diseases.
Nonhuman beings, most of whom are bred and used for food, clothing, products for humans, research and experimentation, and entertainment; experience unconscionable torture every day of their short, miserable lives…torture that would certainly be considered criminal if a private individual committed it. For example, pigs, who have proven to be as social as dogs with the intelligence of three year old human children are castrated by workers who cut into their skin and rip out their testicles without anesthesia while they are babies. (You can watch the graphic details on the free talks, videos and films in the Resources section of this website or on any animal rights organization’s media.) Next, they chop off their tails also without anesthesia. Once, the piglets reach market weight, they are unwillingly forced to slaughter. They are knocked in the head with a steel rod, hung upside down, then their throats are slit. Of course, they remain fully conscious while they scream and cry in agony as they bleed to death. Alternatively, they are boiled alive.
Can you imagine what this would feel like? Think about it. How would you feel if this were done to you? How would you feel if this were done to your mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son or best friend?
If you would not want to be treated like this yourself or if you would not wish your loved ones to be treated this way, then you should stop supporting the the factory farming and animal agricultural industry immediately by not purchasing the products and by-products of nonhuman beings.
The basic premise of economics is supply and demand. The reason for this holocaust is demand. If demand is zero, then supply must also be zero. There exist delicious alternatives for meat, dairy and eggs; fashionable faux silk, feathers, leather, wool and fur clothing, accessories and footwear; vegan, cruelty-free, effective cosmetic and bath products that look and smell wonderful; alternatives to animal testing that have proven less expensive and more accurate because nonhumans do not react the same way to drugs as humans; and rescue sanctuaries where humans can visit and interact with nonhuman beings. If we all avoid the use of nonhuman beings, we would enjoy tremendous perks. We could literally feed everyone in the world, improve our health, enhance the global economy and environment dramatically, and save our planet!
THE GOLDEN RULE
The question is not “Is the unconscionable torture and killing of nonhuman beings (as in animals or things or commodities or resources for human exploitation) morally acceptable?”
Rather, the question is “Is the unconscionable torture and killing of human beings morally acceptable?” because they are just like us with regard to feelings or sentience, the necessary and sufficient characteristic of a person.
The question is “Would it make a difference if they were human?”