While hanging out in a social media group for “Empaths” I fell into an animated conversation regarding the long time battle between Vegans & Everyone else.
To have empathy is to be able to understand another persons feelings. Those within the Empathic groups declare that they have a strong connection and ease at sensing other peoples feelings without needing other forms of communication. For example: I don’t need you to tell me you are sad, I can feel that you are sad already.
When I joined in the conversation there had already been many points made about how much better for you a vegan life style is over those that eat meat or even a vegetarian diet. Most people in this group, as I would expect of those that feel the pain of others deeply, did not eat meat and the thought of killing animals was very upsetting. I just had to jump in and rock the boat with my wild notion that:
“Everything we eat was once alive; therefore, a vegan is no better than anyone else. The most important part is to be thankful for what ever it is you are eating. Be respectful and thankful for the food, be it plant or animal. It has died so that you may live.”
I was pretty quickly blasted by some very angry vegans that were quite upset that I seemed to be rocking that large pedestal they had placed themselves on. “Plants are not sentient beings!”One argued.
Well then what is “Sentient” anyway?
“In Buddhism, sentient beings are beings with consciousness. Composed of five aggregates: matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness.”
Here we have the “Seven Life Processes”. Here is the awesome thing, Plants do all these things listed here!
Plants have parts that move. They move to find water, collect the sunlight for food. They make their own food too! They respond to light, heat and other stimuli.
The big daddy of them all…. Plants DON’T WANT TO DIE! They protect themselves from predators and work hard to heal themselves when they are injured. When it comes to consciousness ask yourself if you are still a conscious being when you are sleeping. Plants do feel, respond to sensations and stimuli. Plants literally clean our air and breath for us.
So how is any of that different from an animal? I was told very passionately “are you crazy! Plants don’t have a nervous system!”
They sure do have a nervous system. Not exactly like a human or animal with a brain & a spine. One thing I have sure learned along my life’s journey is that just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening or doesn’t exist. Just because we may not understand plant communication doesn’t mean that they do not communicate.
Here is a fantastic article from Scientific American which talks about amazing discoveries in understanding how plants communicate, think and remember. That all sounds incredibly sentient to me. In the article it states, “although plants don’t have nerves, plants cells are capable of generating electrical impulses called action potentials, just as nerve cells in animals do. In fact, all biological cells are electrical.”
I could get super geeky and point out that every cell of your body is a separate living being.
*POOF MIND BLOWN*
This is happy grass under magnification. 😀
I do believe that eating foods in the vegetarian or vegan diets is a natural way to assist our own bodies in energizing to a higher physical vibration. If a person that enjoys this diet then goes out and argues with others in a negative mean-spirited way then doesn’t that cancel out all the good vibes they just got from their food?
At the end of the day, no mater what you eat, be it meat from an animal or plants from the garden, we need to NOT BE WASTEFUL. We need to not kill plants needlessly just like we need to not kill animals needlessly. Respect all that is life and respect all that gives life. Period. It is in that respect and understanding the blessing of the cycle of life for all things that we expand our own consciousness on our path to enlightenment.
After this long discussion I took my leave from the group because it had appeared I was in an emphatic group which some members truly did not feel empathy for others and this includes plants.