By Keith Varnum
Plants are intelligent forms of life who are capable of intention,
preference, and a will to survive, thrive and interact. Scientific
research indicates that plants communicate with insects, animals,
human beings and other plants in order to keep themselves alive and
safe. Evidence also reveals that plants are telling us how to achieve
health and wholeness for humanity and the earth herself.
Plants Are Just Like People
In research which spans more than 100 years, scientists have been
documenting botanical adaptability and the amazing similarities that
plants have with animals and people. Studies indicate that what
metaphysicians, psychics, shaman, tribal people and sensitives
worldwide have been saying about the plant kingdom for millennia is
true: plants are intelligent beings who can communicate with us, and,
we can communicate with them.
Smart Strategies for Survival
In the book, "The Secret Life of Plants," authors Peter Tompkins and
Christopher Bird describe how plants "talk to" people and what plants
"talk" about. Staying alive and safe tops the list.
To protect themselves, plants have developed highly adaptive and
strategic ways for living. According to the authors, "Plants seem to
know which ants will steal their nectar, closing when these ants are
about, opening only when there is enough dew on their stems to keep
the ants from climbing. The more sophisticated acacia plant actually
enlists the protective services of certain ants which it rewards with
nectar in return for the ants' protection against other insects and
herbivorous mammals," thus serving the same function as friends and
allies do in the animal and human realms. Some vegetation develop a
bitter taste, some ooze gummy secretions, while others grow thorns to
*****les for the Pussy
Once plants feel safe, however, they may drop their need for defense.
In one study, a scientist wanted to determine if cacti grow needles
primarily for the purpose of keeping themselves from harm. Safely
housed in a greenhouse, the scientist talked to numerous cacti
assuring them that they were protected and that he cared about them.
He encouraged the plants to feel even more secure by playing soothing
music in the greenhouse. Within several months the cacti dropped all
their spikes. The offspring of these bare cacti were born without
needles. Defenseless within this nurturing environment, the mature and
new-born cacti prospered. After a period of a year of being without
their protective quills, the cacti suddenly began re-growing their
bristles and new baby sprouts were born with needles again.
After some investigation, it was discovered that a house cat had found
its way into the greenhouse. Suspecting that the cat may be the source
of the perceived threat to the cacti causing the reemergence of their
means of protection, the scientist blocked the cat's way of entry.
Once the cacti sensed they were once again safe, all of the cacti
dropped their *****ly means of defense.
You Can Hurt a Plant's Feelings
Plants respond not only to insects and animals but to human emotion
and intention. Plants can distinguish between people who feel kindly
towards them and people who don't, and our green friends cooperate
with people they like. In one experiment a new scientist came to study
some test plants. Surprisingly, these test plants which previously had
been very responsive, were completely non-responsive during the new
Investigating the change in the plants' response, it was discovered
that the new scientist incinerated his plants in his own personal
research once his tests were completed. Shortly after the new
scientist left, the plants again began registering activity and
In another study, scientists found that vegetation reacted negatively
to people who found the plants unattractive, even to the extent that
the plants would "faint." When over-stimulated by emotions, plants
will "go unconscious" or numb and can stay " moody" for weeks.
Scientific studies show that once plants attune themselves to a
particular person, they are able to maintain a link with that person,
no matter how far away. These plants register "knowing" not only when
a person is returning to the plants, but when the person makes the
decision to return.
Other reports show that plants respond to people talking to them in a
caring, loving manner, such as asking a tree to radically change its
growth direction so that it won't have to be cut, or asking weeds not
to grow excessively in a vegetable garden.
Who Says Plants Can't Move?
In order to stay alive, plants have learned to move and do so in
remarkable fashion, for extraordinary purposes and with high, extra-
sensory intelligence. "Plants," says Viennese biologist, Raoul France
"move their bodies as freely, easily and gracefully as the most
skilled animal or human, and the only reason we don't appreciate the
fact is that plants do so at a much slower pace than humans. A
climbing plant. which needs a prop, will creep toward the nearest
support. Should this support be shifted, the vine, within a few hours,
will change its course into a new direction." Plants will even grow
towards a support that's hidden from view. France continues, "Plants
are capable of intent: they can stretch toward, or seek out, what they
want in ways as mysterious as the most fantastic creations of
As Thomkins and Bird relate, "Some parasitical plants can recognize
the slightest trace of the odor of their victim and will overcome all
obstacles to crawl in its direction."
The Sophisticated Musical Tastes of Plants
Through their animated responses to classical and heavy rock music,
plants further divulge their preferences. In studies of plants exposed
to heavy rock music, the plants not only grew away from the music
source, but some grew either abnormally tall and put out excessively
small leaves or remained stunted. In some cases the plants died. When
classical music was played to the plants, the plants grew toward the
music source with healthy growth. The same plants, marigolds, who died
when listening to rock music, flowered when listening to classical
music. The authors report, "the rock-stimulated plants were using much
more water than the classically entertained vegetation, but apparently
enjoying it less, since examination of the roots revealed that soil
root growth was sparse in the rock group, whereas in the classical
group, root growth was thick, tangled and about four times as long."
In India, Dr. T. C. Singh, in his studies of music and plants, stated
that he had "proven beyond any shadow of doubt that harmonic sound
waves affect the growth, flowering, fruiting and seed-yield of
plants." Singh also reported that girls dancing India's most ancient
dance style accelerated the growth of daisies, marigolds and petunias.
The dancing caused them to flower much earlier than the control group
of plants, presumably because of the rhythm of the footwork
transmitted through the earth.
Plant Devas Caught on Camera!
Kirlian photography is now able to verify the existence of living,
changing light radiating from plants. And many "seers" and scientists
have seen light emanations and moving forms coming from plants. Hindu
sages refer to devas. Clairvoyants and other sensitives are able to
directly see and communicate with the fairies, elves, gnomes, sylphs
and other creatures which live in and among plants.
Tompkins and Bird conclude, "Evidence now supports the vision that
plants are living, breathing, communicating creatures, endowed with
personality and the attributes of soul."
Contact Keith: Keith@TheDream.com
Do Plants Feel Pain?
Some people have been misled by Internet discussions indicating that plants
feel pain. This argument is used by those who wish to justify their meat
consumption by claiming that because both plants and animals feel pain, there is
no ethical or religious difference between killing plants for food and killing
animals for food.
Not Taking "Life"
One argument begins by explaining that plants have "life," presumably just the
same as animals and humans, and thus, this argument claims that one cannot avoid
taking life simply by consuming plant foods. The concept of life used in this
argument is nebulous and general, and the argument does not make a moral or
religious distinction between the life possessed by plants and that possessed by
One author claims that if it were possible to eat a diet that did not involve
taking life, he would adopt that diet immediately, but since, according to the
author, a vegetarian diet also takes "life," he states that he may as well carry
on eating meat. In addition to the lack of clarification about the concept of
life and the lack of distinction between animal life and plant life, the author
failed to note that a diet that meets his criteria does exist. Many people
follow a "fruitarian" diet, meaning that they eat fruits, some vegetables that
have seeds, and nuts. Fruitarian diets do not require the taking of "life," as
plants produce fruits, seeds, and nuts so that they can be eaten. The plants
neither suffer nor die to provide these foods. While we do not recommend this
diet, it does meet this author�s criteria, and if the taking of "life" really is
so important, this is the diet for him.
Supporters of this view of "life" also claim that since both plants and
animals have life, it is better to take the life of one animal, who might feed
100 people, than to take the life of 100 or more plants to feed the same number
of people. The fallacy of this argument will be investigated in more detail
Plants� Inability to Feel Pain
Supporters of this theory also claim that plants feel pain and that one farmer
used a device to "scientifically" catch the sounds of plants "crying out" and
"screaming" in pain. They state that our limited range of hearing cannot pick up
the "screams" of plants but that machines can.
The truth is that plants, when stressed, release a chemical called ethylene.
This chemical indicates that the plant needs to increase cell growth or take
other measures against the perceived stressor. Scientists measured levels of
ethylene released from stressed plants by "listening" to them using lasers until
a certain frequency was measured.
While this research shows that plants might have a stress-avoidance response,
it is quite a stretch to refer to this as "pain." It is even more erroneous to
equate this response with the pain suffered by animals and human beings. Plants
lack nerve endings, brains, hormones, and other structures that would allow them
to experience pain. They also lack the ability to move away from sources of
stress, an evolutionary trait linked with the ability to feel pain.
Even those who argue that plants feel pain and suffer should support a
vegetarian diet because the number of plants that must be fed to an animal to
produce enough meat for one human is greater than the number of plants required
to feed that same human if he or she ate the plants directly. Meat-eaters are
responsible for "killing" 10 times more plants than vegetarians, and they also
kill and cause suffering to animals.
The argument that plants feel pain and suffer and that killing them is as bad
as killing animals is weak and illogical. Those who use this argument to justify
their continued consumption of meat should attempt to approach the debate in a
more logical, scientific manner. Such claims have fooled many well-intentioned
people into perpetuating these falsehoods on the Internet. This is harmful to
our Ummah, as it makes us appear ignorant and ill informed. We ask that all
poeple who have put forward such unfounded claims remove these claims from their
Web sites and other public forums and cease spreading these fictitious claims at
conferences and debates.
For more information regarding plants� inability to feel pain, see Peter
Singer�s Animal Liberation.