Are we afraid to "see" plants?
Last week in class, we talked about the Theory of Psychological Reactance. For those of you that have never heard of it, here is the Wikipedia definition: Reactance is a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away their choices or limiting the range of alternatives.
This got me to thinking... what if the reason we are blind to plant intelligence is because we are afraid of what accepting that would change in our lives? Let me try to say it another way.
Today, vegans and vegetarians endlessly argue with carnivores that we should not eat animals because they are sentient, intelligent beings. By that definition, you should probably stop eating plants as well, since there is a mounting body of evidence that shows that plants are intelligent and aware. But if you stop eating plants and animals, unless you become a breathatarian, well... you can imagine how long you will last.
While most people acknowledge that plants are important, even going to far as agree that we can't live without them, they tend to lean toward Aristotle's archaic definition of plant sentience, which states, "Plants exhibit the most basic power that living organisms possess: nutrition and reproduction (De An 414a 31). The purpose of a plant is to take in and process materials in such a way that the plant grows." Seriously? An unaware motor that processes materials in order to grow in a totally automatic function? Why are we still using this definition even though it is over 2200 years old?
I am starting to think that the answer goes back to Reactance--people unconsciously cling to their plant blindness because otherwise they would have to completely rethink what they eat in terms of cooperative sacrifice instead of just mindless nutrition.
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments…
If you like what you read, choose your favorite social platform to follow me, including this one! I can be found just about everywhere under “Tigrilla Gardenia”. And don’t be afraid to contact me with your own theories around plant blindness and plant intelligences, I am always open to new discoveries!