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Opinion If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them?

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them?

    By MICHAEL MARDER - THE NEW YORK TIMES - April 28, 2012, 3:30 pm

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    Imagine a being capable of processing, remembering and sharing information — a being with potentialities proper to it and inhabiting a world of its own. Given this brief description, most of us will think of a human person, some will associate it with an animal, and virtually no one’s imagination will conjure up a plant.

    Since Nov. 2, however, one possible answer to the riddle is Pisumsativum, a species colloquially known as the common pea. On that day, a team of scientists from the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University in Israel published the results of its peer-reviewed research, revealing that a pea plant subjected to drought conditions communicated its stress to other such plants, with which it shared its soil. In other words, through the roots, it relayed to its neighbors the biochemical message about the onset of drought, prompting them to react as though they, too, were in a similar predicament.

    Curiously, having received the signal, plants not directly affected by this particular environmental stress factor were better able to withstand adverse conditions when they actually occurred. This means that the recipients of biochemical communication could draw on their “memories” — information stored at the cellular level — to activate appropriate defenses and adaptive responses when the need arose.

    In 1973, the publication of “The Secret Life of Plants,” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, which portrayed vegetal life as exquisitely sensitive, responsive and in some respects comparable to human life, was generally regarded as pseudoscience. The authors were not scientists, and clearly the results reported in that book, many of them outlandish, could not be reproduced. But today, new, hard scientific data appears to be buttressing the book’s fundamental idea that plants are more complex organisms than previously thought.

    The research findings of the team at the Blaustein Institute form yet another building block in the growing fields of plant intelligence studies and neurobotany that, at the very least, ought to prompt us to rethink our relation to plants. Is it morally permissible to submit to total instrumentalization living beings that, though they do not have a central nervous system, are capable of basic learning and communication? Should their swift response to stress leave us coldly indifferent, while animal suffering provokes intense feelings of pity and compassion?

    Evidently, empathy might not be the most appropriate ground for an ethics of vegetal life. But the novel indications concerning the responsiveness of plants, their interactions with the environment and with one another, are sufficient to undermine all simple, axiomatic solutions to eating in good conscience. When it comes to a plant, it turns out to be not only a what but also a who — an agent in its milieu, with its own intrinsic value or version of the good. Inquiring into justifications for consuming vegetal beings thus reconceived, we reach one of the final frontiers of dietary ethics.

    Recent findings in cellular and molecular botany mean that eating preferences, too, must practically differentiate between vegetal what-ness and who-ness, while striving to keep the latter intact. The work of such differentiation is incredibly difficult because the subjectivity of plants is not centered in a single organ or function but is dispersed throughout their bodies, from the roots to the leaves and shoots. Nevertheless, this dispersion of vitality holds out a promise of its own: the plasticity of plants and their wondrous capacity for regeneration, their growth by increments, quantitative additions or reiterations of already existing parts does little to change the form of living beings that are neither parts nor wholes because they are not hierarchically structured organisms. The “renewable” aspects of perennial plants may be accepted by humans as a gift of vegetal being and integrated into their diets.

    But it would be harder to justify the cultivation of peas and other annual plants, the entire being of which humans devote to externally imposed ends. In other words, ethically inspired decisions cannot postulate the abstract conceptual unity of all plants; they must, rather, take into account the singularity of each species.

    The emphasis on the unique qualities of each species means that ethical worries will not go away after normative philosophers and bioethicists have delineated their sets of definitive guidelines for human conduct. More specifically, concerns regarding the treatment of plants will come up again and again, every time we deal with a distinct species or communities of plants.

    In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” the true identity of a princess is discovered after she spends a torturous night on top of 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds, with a single pea lodged underneath this pile. The desire to eat ethically is, perhaps, akin to this royal sensitivity, as some would argue that it is a luxury of those who do have enough food to select, in a conscious manner, their dietary patterns. But there is a more charitable way to interpret the analogy.

    Ethical concerns are never problems to be resolved once and for all; they make us uncomfortable and sometimes, when the sting of conscience is too strong, prevent us from sleeping. Being disconcerted by a single pea to the point of unrest is analogous to the ethical obsession, untranslatable into the language of moral axioms and principles of righteousness. Such ethics do not dictate how to treat the specimen of Pisumsativum, or any other plant, but they do urge us to respond, each time anew, to the question of how, in thinking and eating, to say “yes” to plants.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz. His most recent book, “Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life” will be published later this year.

    source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/28/if-peas-can-talk-should-we-eat-them/?ref=opinion
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Oh Pandit..You have no idea what constitutes Vege and what constittes Meat..declared Guru nanak ji centuries ago...What is "SAAG" and What is "MAAS".......what is it really that you call "Gannah" (sugar cane)....and then Guur nanak ji went on to Graphically describe the "Slaughter" of the Sugar cane.....how it is slashed at its roots..brought down and its "head" is lopped off...it is then bundled...tied up and loaded on trucks and brought to the place where its broken body is placed in JUICERS...its blood is squeezed out..and the very remnants of its dried out body is then used to BURN the fires that BOIL its juice into whats called Sugar..
    Just "replace" each reference to "Sugar cane" with..."goat..cow..chicken..." and you have a graphic description of the Meat "industry"...

    Guru nanak ji sahib sought to Teach the SIKHS a Brand New Gyaan/knowledge...BUT the Sikhs couldnt BREAK WITH centuries of Vedas and Purans and Brahmins and Pandits stranglehold....they slipped BACK into the.."kaand mool khaveh" to get spirituality.. necessary for meditation....meaning ONLY Carrots and Radishes can be spiritual, good for meditation..and makes man an Angel....while Meat breaks all that and reduces man to Menial murderer !! The Kaand Mool khaveh practise was clearly and transaprently crushed by Guur nanak ji when He met the Siddhs (Siidh ghost bani) and Completely IGNORED by Guur nanak ji as of NO CONSEQUENCE.
     
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  4. prakash.s.bagga

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    By telling so Guru Dev ji is not justifying the use of meat in life.The real message about its application is hidden in recognising oneself with the HUKAMu of the CREATOR.
    In japji Banee it is clarified a quote as
    "ASANKH GAL WAD HATIYA KAMAHi,ASANKH PAAPEE PAP KARi JAAHi"
    and later on what should be the food habits of a GURMUKH one is also mentionted in Gurbanee.
    We should look into these messages too in order to understand what Guru Nanak ji is actually directing us to follow.
    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    No where did i say that Guru Jis is JUSTIFYING eating Meat or Carrots. Thats our own "looking at Gurbani through various coloured glasses"...one wearing Green sees "SAAG"...another wearing RED sees carrots..another wearing maroon..sees "meat"...and so on....whereas GURBANI is Plain and Transaprent !!..BUT YES..the Siddhs were INDEED JUSTIFYING their Diet of Kand mool as being higher than others..and Guru ji IGNORED their attempt to justify that...thats a Fact. (Thats the One and Only question in Siidh ghost NOT ANSWERED by guru Ji..just ignored as IRRELEVANT. )

    2.To take the meaning of "Gal waddh" just as animal slaughter..is WRONG.
    Gal-waddh is also..Haak praya Nanaka us soor us gayeh !! The AARRtheeyah who buys the farmers wheat at throw away prices..and amasses wealth is "gall-waddh" the farmer even without a Knife or spilling a single drop of blood....when the POOR go hungry nights..and their children die of malnutrition..and starvation...even though they have worked very very hard and earned income....the one who GRABBED their HAAK is performing gall waddh and responsible for their KILLING. PIMPS who sell WOMEN and kidnap young girls for profit are also "gall waddhs"...parents who KILL female children in the WOMB..are also gall waddh and kamiing Hattiah !! Just LOOK around YOU..GURU NANAK JI came for the ENTIRE HUMANITY..not just a few "cow slaughtering butchers"...that was the Mistake the KOOKAS committed when they went astray and began KILLING "butchers" of Cows..they misread japji Sahib and thought tye were follwoing Guur nanak jis words and KILLING BUTCHERS was OK because they killed cows and thus kamaii hattiah !!!! The RECENT Collpase of Shital vij factory in Jalndhar with HUNDRED of Biharees BURIED under the rubble...the OWNER...who is a Leading RELIGIOUS Personality ???? is in actual fact a GALL WADDH HATTIAH KAMAII 110% !! but is he condemned by everyone ?? NO hes not..hes a famous "religious" person..holey man !! (full of HOLES) But just try and injure a stray cow that is destroying your vegetables..and see the HUE and CRY that will arise..HOLY COW..how dare he throw a stone at a cow..hattiara ??? Guru nanank ji DID NOT come to preach such..He declared Brahmin Gaoo ko Kaar laveh..a Brahmin will even SELL his own mother (cow) and hope to escape by plastering cow dung all over !!

    I Totally agree with Paraksh singh bagga ji that we must become GURMUKHS..and follow the REAL MESSAGE of GYAAN of Gurbani.....there is just TOO MUCH DHUNDDH and FOG flowing around us trying to HIDE the GYAAN...japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  6. Randip Singh

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    Wow Guru Nanak knew about this hundreds of years ago!!
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Randip Ji..He "knew" much much more..ha ha..In fact Guru nanak already mentioned the Gas Cloud Theory long before Modern Science..Arbad Narbad Dhandookaara..Aeons of time just a Massive Gas cloud...no suns no moons no stars no oceans etc etc..JUST HIM ALONE !!..and this is NOT a PLAY ON WORDS !!
     
  8. prakash.s.bagga

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    But the important question is what we are supposed to know or understand from what our Guru ji knew .

    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Yes Bagga Ji..what our GURU JI "knew" and what we "know" are 2 different things...we as SIKHS DONT want/Cant seem to learn form our GURU....instead we run BACKWARDS..to the Vedas..the Puranas..the Mahabhartas..the Ramayanas....we run after the Udassis..the nirmalas..the Pandits..to..."see what our Guru said"...and they TELL US.."oh..your Guru saw this..and said this...blah blah blah..trust us..we KNOW !!and we BUY their SNAKE OIL by the barrel. We even claim our Gurus "actually disguised" some SIKHS as Pandits and sent them to Benaras/hardwaar to learn sanskrit...( in fact GURU NANAK JI wrote SANSKRIT...Guur ARJUN Ji wrote SANSKRIT..and Guru harkishan ji explained SANSKRIT !!.......but we have to go to hardwaar to learn it ??? )
    And NOW when we had a Nanksahi calendar...these same "WISE GUYS" controlling us decided..thats a NO GO...how can you guys have a separate independent calendar..how dare you..and we went scampering back to HARDWAAR..and begged them to ...DECIDE when our Gurus were BORN..when they achieved Gurgadee..when they died..." And we do ALL THIS...in the NAME of the same very GURUS who DRAGGED US OUT of that SHI.T HOLE...500 years ago..and kept us OUT for 250 years...but as Gurbanne says..Gandghee de keerreh..love sewage...rituals..fasts..holis and diwalis..karva chauths and 68 teeraths..84 lakh joons rebirths and redeaths...paaps and punns..cows and chickens...we cant shake off that rubbish...
     
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