To Pea or Not to Pea?

Is eating vegetables immoral?

What if vegetables could tell other plants that danger is nearby? And that those plants were able to receive and store that information and use it later for their own protection?

This kind of intelligent behaviour is more commonly associated with other life forms, such as humans and animals, rather than with vegetables. But researchers of the Blaustein Institute in Israel discovered that plants are actually smarter than generally had been assumed.

The research showed that the Pisum sativum, or common pea, is capable to share its stress with other plants through their roots: a simulated drought caused them to send biochemical signals to other plants. These “messages” were received and interpreted by the neighbouring plants, and they reacted as if the drought conditions applied to them as well. They were also able to react more adequately later on, even if the stress conditions had not directly affected them, meaning that somehow the plants had been able to store the information.

It had been longer assumed that plants were actually very sensitive and responsive life forms, but it was never really taken seriously. The recent discoveries however provide scientific support for these assumptions.

Some people consider eating meat to be unethical. But given the intelligence of plants one could start wondering if eating peas is actually any better…

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One Response to “To Pea or Not to Pea?”
  1. momofplenty Says...

    On May 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Incredibly fascinating article…


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