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Friday, October 24, 2008

News from the Plant Kingdom

posted by on October 24 at 11:19 AM

When we read a report like this

BACKGROUND: Plants seem like the most peaceful of organisms, but they nonetheless have their own form of defense mechanisms: they emit toxins or volatile chemicals in response to plant-eating insects…


THE BEST DEFENSE: Proteins already present in the plants are eaten by the attacking insects. Digesting the proteins, the insects convert this food into a new type of chemical, which is in turn secreted back onto plants in later feedings. The plants recognize these secretions as a type of ‘SOS’ signal, and launch their telltale defensive chemistry. Although researchers have long known that some plants can distinguish between different insect attackers, they had not been able to fully describe all the potential interactions…

Reading this report about the tactics of plants brings up a fragment from the depths of the Pre-Socratic world:

We must recognize that war is common and strife is justice, and all things happen according to strife and necessity.

Where can we find peace?

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So, what does this mean for Veganism?

Posted by drunkel | October 24, 2008 11:31 AM

Peace is not so hard.

1. Don't start any needless wars on your own. Don't be the aggressor.

2. Follow int'l llaw rules -- force only ok in self defense must be proportional etc.

3. Be a democracy they do go to war less often.

4. BUT: don't be a patsy. A strong defense does deter, a strong counter-terr. efforts (spiex, cops etc.) can take them down a few well selected air strikes are sometimes needed and don't be a jerk and watch a Hitler grow and grow and do nothing.

5. So be like Obama and oppose dumb wars, not all wars.

Was that so hard?

This provides the most peace possible. Oh yeah fighting for justice and fiarness and human rights gradually can make the whole owrlld more peaceful so don't say that's divorced form our national interest.

Posted by PC | October 24, 2008 11:38 AM

It doesn't mean anything for veganism.

Plants can't cognitively recognize that they are sad or lonely or excited or fulfilled the way that animals can.

Plants don't know if you take one of their young away from them. Plants don't remember your face and attach emotions to your memory.

What this report is saying is that plants can respond to stimuli in a series of ways in an array of circumstances. It does not imply that they 'experience' any of these events.

Posted by AW | October 24, 2008 11:57 AM

Biologically speaking, the is no such thing as peace. It is now and always has been "every organism for itself". Even in cases of symbiosis the mutual aid began as one organism invading the other and addapting to be less damaging or being completely non-theatening and providing a vital service. Detante was reached when it was apparent that both parties get exactly what they need and the only other option is extinction.

Posted by inkweary | October 24, 2008 12:08 PM

You may find, Charles, that if you look for it long enough to be exiled and left only to pluck out your eyes. Will all the necessary perversions of human nature be worth what you seek? There is beauty in overcoming strife, but socialists will only negate it and regulate it into necessity.

Posted by danrand | October 24, 2008 12:20 PM


Well, studies show Socialist Republicans are happier than the rest of us, so I'd guess one finds peace by denying reality.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 24, 2008 1:15 PM

peace comes with death only.

Posted by jameyb | October 24, 2008 1:42 PM

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