Tasty Mind Morsels

Nibbles and Bits for your Mind/Body/Soul Palate

The Smell of Fear: Bringing Conscientiousness To Our Eating Habits – An Aside August 15, 2012

Filed under: Observations,Vegan — Kristin Eline @ 12:57 pm

I am going put a very short post up today. I feel that this link, posted by a friend on her social media site, has been a topic of conversation that continues to pop up since I became a vegan over a year ago. Basically, this article reports that all species have chemicals that they emit when feeling fear/danger. As you travel up the food chain, there are different forms of communication that signal “fear” to a nearby “community.” Humans try to use linguistic communication (but often fail due to ego or shame). Many mammals have a distinct body language that connotes fear. But there is another form of communication – for those without mouths with which to speak, or hair/eyes/ears/tails with which to convey – which is based on chemical signals (think skunks spraying you to warn you that you’re getting too close).

I have been having a conversation with a friend of mine, Brian (who makes sure to ground me from time to time), in which he argues that plants have senses, and that they can communicate.

Plants have been found to “think”. (“Just because we don’t see plants moving doesn’t mean that there’s not a very rich and dynamic world going on inside the plant.”)

They DO sense pain and danger.

They DO communicate.

We are only beginning to understand this sort of communication (why focus on communicating with “extraterrestrials” when we still haven’t figured out how to communicate with all terrestrial beings?)

I remember the moment I first felt sadness as I chopped up a delicious bunch of kale I had been soaking one morning. I could see it had perked up in the water. I could see how alive it was, still. And then I put my knife to it and could only think to say, “thank you for the nourishment you will be providing me.”

I can see how some people would think that action is crazy…

The food chain is cruel, and I believe thanks are always in order. Not to a “god,” but to the food you will be putting in your mouth.

That’s my crazy two-“sense”.

How can this topic POSSIBLY bring about happiness? For one, it makes me unspeakably giddy to think of plants and animals communicating in unspoken ways to protect themselves and others for which they care.

It makes me happy to think that we humans have only touched the tip of the iceberg in understanding all functions of lifeforms on this little planet, and that we have so much left to learn!

And finally,  this knowledge brings me closer to fully appreciating what I put in, on, and around my body. The implications of other great benefits to having happy plant/animal life around me are clear to me when I read articles like those I posted above, and help me make more conscientious choices of how I treat the world around me.


If plants had faces… 😉

Check out my Pinterest board “Vegan Reasoning“!


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