Do plants feel pain?

There is a bowl of salad with green, red, yellow and orange vegetables grabbing my attention. Being attracted by the colours, I took an orange piece with my fork. At once, the pale green piece, near to the orange one, jumped back and buried itself. Then to my surprise, I found many more pieces trying to escape from my fork.

What happened to my salad..? Are these vegetables playing hide and seek?

Just like every other living being, do plants feel pain?

But science tells me ‘Without a nervous system, you can’t feel pain and hence the plant won’t feel it’.

After all, is pain an essential stuff for life?

The poor plants even don’t have an option to move to escape from pain. So better to believe that the creator is not as cruel as to make the plants feel that torture of pain.

About

The author is a Quality Assurance professional by experience. Part Quantitative data analyst, part consultant for quality and information security practices, part software tester, she is a writer by passion and blogs at http://wordsandnotion.com and http://qualitynotion.com/.

One thought on “Do plants feel pain?

  1. extinct0703

    February 7, 2017 at 9:15am

    Wow thought provoking as always and answered it too this time. Wonderful

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 10:05am

      But i am not comfortable with that scientific answer..something missing

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        • Author

          Akhila

          February 7, 2017 at 10:54am

          There something else.. We as a human, tend to compare lives of all other living beings as that of ours. Rarely we have that insight to enjoy the diversity of the world. So i think there could be some other senses for plants which is not understandable by our senses.

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          • extinct0703

            February 7, 2017 at 11:12am

            Definitely, if any part of our body is cut it becomes lifeless in few seconds, same in some reptiles liferemains in both parts for few minutes. In vegetables and fruits after being disconnected from the tree it remains lively for days before it dries up and dies.

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  2. radhikasreflection

    February 7, 2017 at 9:43am

    Maybe they don’t feel the pain. But research has proved that plants to respond positively to touch and love. Harsh words and shouting at the plant in the long run kills it.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 10:06am

      Yes,They have growth hormones which make them sensible to touch and all..

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  3. mylittlepursuitsofhappyness

    February 7, 2017 at 10:15am

    Pain need not always be in the form of touch..At time plants do feel pain when we forget or ignore them..I have experienced some instances where my plants have withered away due to lack of my attention towards them.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 10:26am

      Maybe you are right. They may have that sentiment, even though not any physical pain

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  4. Prajakta

    February 7, 2017 at 10:51am

    We will never have an answer to that… Being a vegetarian, it makes me question this. Now I have learnt to embrace the philosophy of “as little violence as possible” in consuming food.

    On a lighter note, are you sure there wasn’t an empty glass of wine next to your salad? 😀

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 10:56am

      Ha ha.. Praja you are funny..there was not any wine glasses. You can believe me .

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  5. boundlessblessingsblog

    February 7, 2017 at 11:10am

    Great post Akhila and no they do not feel any pain though they too are gods creation but he has created them for us humans and animals to eat otherwise we will not survive. There is consciousness in them too but it is very latent and that is why it is k . It is k for food but why pluck them and put in garlands and after somedays they rot and let them also grow and make our world a beautiful garden of flowers isnt it.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 11:28am

      Hmm… My subconscious mind not willing to accept what you are saying, even while i am aware of the sceintifical reasons behind the same.. Anyway, we have no other options while consuming them..

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      • boundlessblessingsblog

        February 7, 2017 at 11:34am

        Yes dear your mind is reasoning with you but there are so many vegeterians in this world what will they eat without plants and this is our survival too. God is so merciful he knows what he is doing and evolution is from gases, minerals, plants, worms, fish, animals and then us. There is life in all of them but it is so latent that it is k for us. I know it will all bounce but this is what i too in my limited knowledge know.

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  6. Anisha

    February 7, 2017 at 11:30am

    haha…good one… Being a vegetarian myself I’ve always tried to win arguments with other non-vegetarians but ended up losing at this very point.. 😀

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 11:58am

      Thanks anisha.. I have non vegetarian option too. Still this question haunts me…so we are in the same boat

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  7. Charvi Tandon

    February 7, 2017 at 11:38am

    it is unacceptable to believe things afterall pain and happiness try to coccon you to believing they are different . they are at the surface .
    talking about the thought , i do resonate with your view . unconsiously disregarding any scientific observation .
    i guess the answer lies in understanding natural laws and not scientific laws ,
    in nature for one to continue the cycle of life has to thrive on the other for survival , repaying it in other way ,
    but the fact that human beings turn callous is they take but dont repay

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 2:36pm

      I understand what you are trying to convey.. And i really appreciate your views on human nature that we are not reciprocating…so that’s the puzzle. Where it will lead us

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      • Charvi Tandon

        February 7, 2017 at 5:10pm

        yeah , where it will lead us … may be to destruction
        may be to understanding ..
        but all i know is puzzles start with us and end with us .

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        • Author

          Akhila

          February 7, 2017 at 5:46pm

          Sometimes feel like everything is as simple as it is.. But these kinda puzzles are ever lasting

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  8. Vinayak Gupta

    February 7, 2017 at 1:31pm

    <3 The creator is not as cruel as to make the plants feel that torture of pain. <3

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  10. Joker Shayar

    February 7, 2017 at 2:22pm

    even if they feel pain (just assuming), they already got killed before coming in your bowl :p … so its too late to think about their pain.. just enjoy your salad 😉

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 3:40pm

      Btwn you are continuing with hindi versions only..kill you

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  11. foreverjunoon

    February 7, 2017 at 3:31pm

    जैन धर्म में वनस्पति काय के नाम से जीव का एक भेद बताया है।प्रत्येक पेड़ पौधे में जीव अर्थात चेतना होती है।भगवान महावीर ने जीवन यापन के लिए अनिवार्य होने वाले पेड़ पौधों के उपयोग की छूट दी है।बिना वजह इन्हे हानि पहुँचाना पाप बताया है।संवत्सरी पर्व पर जैनी 8 दिन तक सब्जी और फल का त्याग करते है।जमींकंद में अनन्त जीव होते है।आलु प्याज मुली गाजर आदि के प्रयोग को भी सीमित करने की बात कही।

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    • Shaggy

      February 7, 2017 at 5:53pm

      Itne uchh vicharo se iss din ko roshan karne k liye mai aapka shriday dhanyavaad karta Hun aivam bhagwan mahavir ko koti koti naman karta Hun

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        • Shaggy

          February 7, 2017 at 11:25pm

          Having read about Jainism, I couldn’t have agreed more with you……
          🙂

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          • foreverjunoon

            February 8, 2017 at 10:25am

            You can make conversation with me.I will get a chance to polish my views.

          • Shaggy

            February 8, 2017 at 8:12pm

            I’d love to. Will right away check your blog!!!

    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 5:56pm

      Sacrifices for 8 days… So there is definitely some chethana as you mentioned.

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      • foreverjunoon

        February 7, 2017 at 10:46pm

        Ofcourse.Even jain sadhu dont walk on the grass.They never touch or pluck flowers.We can relate whole jainism with present enviourmental problems.

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  12. A

    February 7, 2017 at 4:36pm

    Plants do feel pain and it’s been scientifically proved

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 5:47pm

      Hmm? Where can i have that scientifical evidence

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      • Shaggy

        February 7, 2017 at 5:51pm

        Jagdish Chandra Basu was the guy, if my memory serves me right??
        He actually proved that plants can feel the pain……

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        • Author

          Akhila

          February 7, 2017 at 6:07pm

          Nope..he proved that plants are living beings..it doesn’t mean that they have pain..inorder to have pain, they need nervous system , brain and all which is lacking in plants.

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          • Shaggy

            February 7, 2017 at 6:11pm

            Okay botanically! May be I am wrong…..
            But spiritually everything has a soul they may not feel the pain…. They do have soul, right. They do have life….. I mean you getting me right??

          • Shaggy

            February 7, 2017 at 6:16pm

            Didn’t even notice that it rhymed…. Woah!!

          • Author

            Akhila

            February 7, 2017 at 6:40pm

            Yes, ishan ..exactly that’s what puzzling me as science is against my belief

  13. Shaggy

    February 7, 2017 at 5:50pm

    They sure do!! Dont be heartless Akhila….. Everything has a heart……

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  14. Author

    Akhila

    February 7, 2017 at 6:05pm

    Mm.. But it’s little painful and disturbing

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  15. crystalamayy

    February 7, 2017 at 6:49pm

    Have heard somwr tat it can feel music and it also directs towards the sun,so possible I guess.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 9:50pm

      Ya..possible..may be a different sense,not the pain which we humans feel

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  16. pins & ashes

    February 7, 2017 at 6:50pm

    We may need to define pain from their POV! Like a touch me not shies away when touched. Is that pain or is that an escape mechanism. Am orange peel releases a juice when pinched, so does certain cacti.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 9:49pm

      Well..they cannot run away on seeing a knife or an axe..

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  17. Sunith

    February 7, 2017 at 8:19pm

    one thought here, is that all edible plants are created for animal and mankind, but the tree as a whole may have a life of its own, still seeking answers here, as per indian mythology, a lot of people were reduced ( as a part of a curse) to stand as a tree for many years…

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 9:37pm

      To stand as a tree..so does it imply that a tree life is a curse itself

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      • Sunith

        February 7, 2017 at 10:02pm

        In these materialistic times when you have to stand as a witness to bad things around you and no one taking you as one having life, isn’t that a curse?

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  18. Shaggy

    February 7, 2017 at 10:03pm

    Deliberate attempts to piss me off doesn’t work

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  19. 2ndhalfolife

    February 7, 2017 at 10:26pm

    I have often had people say to me (I suppose jokingly) that I am hurting the plants when I eat them because I’ve been a vegetarian/vegan for so many years. Who knows? There are some who believe that plans do have spirits within them. Have you ever read the books on Findhorn? Very interesting….

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 7, 2017 at 10:31pm

      Findhorn..i haven’t read..thanks for suggesting

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  20. shreyans

    February 8, 2017 at 12:24pm

    the question is are you feeling pain by eating them or destroying them? if yes, then they surely feel pain..

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  21. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    February 9, 2017 at 1:32am

    Plants definitely have lives and that’s proved long ago. They can sense the source of light, shadow and water. So, who knows, they might feel the pain, too. Some scientists are of opinion that they are capable of generating electrical impulses within their cells… so, we just never know… 😀

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 9, 2017 at 2:02pm

      Hmm..we don’t know..they may have a mind..

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 9, 2017 at 2:16pm

      Rofl…akhila is not there..she went to moon last night.

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  22. Author

    Akhila

    February 9, 2017 at 5:23pm

    Bunny you made a great a quote..noticed it?

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  23. thewritewomanblog

    February 14, 2017 at 2:12pm

    During a science class in school, the strict nun once told us that plants give out streaks of pain when plucked or prodded at. But whether she told us this so that we would stop plucking flowers or not, none of us knew as she was too strict and we all feared to challenge her statements with questions. But this is a question that my son is soon bound to ask. Did you get an answer from any science majors or botanists reading your blog?

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    • Author

      Akhila

      February 14, 2017 at 2:19pm

      No yar.. Not any scientific answers yet.. But i had a strong gut feeling that they do feel pain.. Only thing i can’t recognize is whether it’s a physical pain or an emotional pain

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  24. kalyansparks

    March 11, 2017 at 12:27pm

    Maybe emotions exists for plant life,they yield well in if we keep Melody songs Every day,and if you keep rock music.They die after some day.Soo I think there is emotional connection between us and plants and animals.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      March 11, 2017 at 1:29pm

      Hmm. That’s what I also felt, they won’t be having any physical pain, but emotionally yes..

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  25. fictionspawn

    May 25, 2017 at 12:05am

    Exactly! I wanted to make that argument, that pain is there for us to remove the source of the pain. Plants cannot. Therefore there’s no reason why they should feel pain. Good post.

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