Plants also have life so why vegetarians eat them?

Plants do exhibit certain features of life and may have life in some sense but are not living beings like humans or animals. They are stationary, they do not have felt like a living being, and they remain alive even if a major portion of a tree is broken/cut apart.

According to the ancient Vedic literature, a living being to be called so-called must have the following 6 characteristics of life none of which is found in plants:

» Ability to feel pleasure
» Ability to feel pain
» Desire
» Jealousy
» Effort
» Knowledge

Also, the soul does not reside in a Plant in accordance with the Law of karma to bear the rewards of its actions or karma.

Plants, therefore, do not have life in the strict sense of the term, they are not living beings, they do not have a soul and therefore they are distinctly different than animals and humans, and therefore eating plants is not killing a living being or a life. Eating plants is Ok, but killing animals and eating them is NOT OK. In fact, eating even dead animals is not Ok due to health and ethical reasons.

There could be an argument that Scientists believe that Plants have life since they grow over time, consume certain gases from the atmosphere, and also consume water, fertilizers, sunlight, etc, and can also reproduce and some even believe that they can react to things like Music also.

No one disagrees with most of the above argument except that these features in plants do not necessarily establish the existence of life in them. For example, the fact that a Railway engine consumes Electricity or coal and moves fast to carry us around does not mean that there is life in the Railway Engine. Rivers, Mountains, and Oceans display a lot of activity, movement, and creations but that does not mean they have life; precisely because they do not have any or all the six features of life mentioned above or the soul in them. The absence of a soul makes them inert objects and nothing else can make them like a living beings. In fact, Plants grow or consume gases and reproduce due to Physical, Chemical, and bio-logical reactions something so well designed by nature to aid and assist human and animal life.

Regarding the Scientific view of life in Plants, it’s relevant to understand that Science knows about Matter only not about Spirit. Matter and Spirit are two different specialties. Questions such as the existence of Life or not, the existence of God or not fall under the realm of Spirit or Spirituality, not Science. Asking Scientists a question concerning spirituality will be like asking an English language teacher a question relating to space technology. To sum up, trying to club plants with meat, fish and eggs lead us to no choice of any kind of food, a scenario of either eating everything you see or eating nothing makes no sense at all. In fact, the whole argument about plants being similar to animals is just a distraction and an attempt to justify meat-eating and cruelty against innocent animals. Nature/God has designed the human body and this universe so perfectly that all humans love and like plant foods without exception and they are grown or possible to grow abundantly and cheaply to feed entire mankind rich or poor.

The true human ingenuity is in creating new innovative preparations from grains, milk, fruits, vegetable, and other produce of vegetable kingdom such as spices, herbs, etc. There is no ingenuity in consuming meat, it’s expensive to produce and extremely harmful for the environment as evidenced in the 2007 United Nations report on Climate Change and must be eliminated from the human diet.

This article is written, compiled, and edited by Mike Damani. The author acknowledges the help received from the books such as

1. “What should we eat- Plants or Meat ” by Ganga Prasad Upadhayaya and
2. A Thought for Food by Dr. Harish Chandra.

Reader’s feedback/comments on this article will be greatly appreciated.


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