Plant lives don’t matter
You don’t understand the difference between sentience and the biological definition of life.
“Vegans kill plants, so that makes them equally guilty.”
You don’t know what you’re talking about.
- A person’s hair color does not qualify them to be an engineer.
- The number of tires on a car doesn’t qualify it is a bird.
- The shape of a brick doesn’t qualify it as a computer component.
What do all of these things have to do with one another? They are completely unrelated. Just as life doesn’t qualify something to not be killed.
The definition of life
Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, most current definitions in biology are descriptive. Life is considered a characteristic of something that exhibits all or most of the following traits:
1. Homeostasis: regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, sweating to reduce temperature
2. Organization: being structurally composed of one or more cells — the basic units of life
3. Metabolism: transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
4. Growth: maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
5. Adaptation: the ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism’s heredity, diet, and external factors.
6. Response to stimuli: a response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism), andchemotaxis.
7. Reproduction: the ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.
“Life feeds on life” is fucking bullshit
As you can see, there is a pretty specific and straightforward definition of what it means for something to be “alive.” Let’s go though them and determine whether these traits qualifies something to not be killed.
Homeostasis: Nope, maintaining your existence has nothing to do with whether or not I shouldn’t smash you into pieces. My internet servers at work will restart themselves if they crash, but you’ll get no qualms from me about pulling the plug.
Organization: Sorry, but I won’t be forced to face the wrath of God for smashing everything inside of your neatly organized pantry.
Metabolism: Having the ability to convert something into something else is not a reason I shouldn’t smash you into little pieces. Everyone who starts a fire would be committing a mortal sin for converting some material into solid carbon.
Growth: If I roll a snowball down a hill it gets large pretty fast, but getting bigger is not a reason I should not destroy you entirely.
Adaptation: Careful everyone, better not smash into tiny bits all of those color-changing mood rings since they change color depending on the temperature they’re exposed to.
Response to stimuli: When I touch a piano key it makes a sound.
Reproduction: Guess we’ll have to grant human rights to my HP All-In-One Deskjet printer/scanner. When will it end??
Sentience is the reason I shouldn’t kill you
The real reason I shouldn’t crush you into a trillion tiny flakes of dust is because you are sentient, meaning you have the capacity for pleasure and pain. When someone can feel pain, it is morally relevant whether or not we should hurt them.
The ability to feel pain qualifies someone to not be killed. Because being killed hurts.
Plants are not sentient. Plants are alive (biologically), but they are not sentient. They do not have brains or endocrine systems and are therefore not capable of experiencing any conscious thoughts or emotions. They are a form of life according to the biological definition of life, but it turns out that none of that stuff actually matters as to whether or not something shouldn’t be smashed into a thousand little pieces.
Q: But plants do feel pain.
A: No, they don’t. They respond to stimuli.