5 evidences that plants are sentient

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

There is no doubt anymore: plants have sensations such as pain, pleasure, and fear, among others. Like animals, they are fully aware of their surroundings and communicate with each other. Read more. 

How sentient are plants?

Despite the much evidence discovered so far, it is still too early to establish whether the degree of plants' consciousness is similar to that of animals.  

In the book "What a Plant Knows", the geneticist, known as a plant scientist, Daniel Chamovitz, states that plants have sensory mechanisms that allow them to defend against predators They also react accordingly to the weather or the kind of noise, such as music, for example. 

Research about plant sensations brings astonishing new evidence!

The surprising results of the behavior of fungi have motivated scientists to deepen their research on plants. Like humans, they have thoughts and so able to learn due to their impressive memory. 

Plants are sympathetic to their relatives and neighbors.

Privileged plants that receive sunlight with no shadows, do help their closest relatives or siblings. To do so they transport nutrients through fungi. Thus, photosynthesis is to all, without exception. It’s known as solidarity. 

This so-called "primary perception" is very important to identify enemies, as carnivorous plants do.

Plants can define the proper forage so they can send their nutrients to others.

Botanical Internet

Besides "chatting" with their neighbors, plants also communicate with parasites and microbes through fungi's support. This "solidarity network" functions as a botanical internet with its wires, the root systems. This work helps plants to memorize new tactics for anticipating events hence improving decision-making.

For the behavioral ecologist, Monica Gagliano, a researcher at Western Australia University, who studies plants according to the same techniques developed for animals: "Plants are fully aware of what is happening around them and, like animals, they have routine practices due to their extraordinary memorization ability."  

5 irrefutable proofs that plants are sentient:

  1. They use electrical signals to send long-distance messages. 

  2. When plant leaves curl up, they produce a specific movement that changes their shape. Thus, plants react to insects and birds by initiating a chain of defense reactions that reach distant leaves as well.

  3. The plant defensive system responds to stimuli, such as turning to the light or to capturing insects, for example.

  4. Most plants have between 15 and 20 senses, including the five known human senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste).

  5. Plants produce chemical substances similar to those of animal neurons. It provides them to have cognitive abilities. 

On July 7, 2012 (almost 10 years ago), the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness crystallized a scientific consensus that humans are not the only conscious beings and that 'non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, such as plants, including octopuses' possess neurological substrates complex enough to support conscious.

This statement will certainly be the turning point for breaking paradigms, taboos, and myths towards the very behavior of animals and plants.

The trees teach humans so they can learn how to live in harmony with all living beings and the environment.

Plants and animals can teach humans how to be in solidarity, hence in harmony with nature and themselves. It is not that hard. Just try to be a better person. In other words, "Where there's a will, there's a way". It is surely the real meaning of sustainability!

By Marco Veado - THINK GREEN