NPR ran a story a couple days ago on a move to recognize "plant rights" in addition to "animal rights." I was a little surprised by some of the claims in the story:
After all, plants can sometimes exhibit humanlike behavior. . . . Some plants respond well to music. Some "smell" other plants. Still others seem to shrink away when touched.. . . .
Plants display remedial types of memory and possess "anoetic consciousness" — the ability of an organism to sense and to react to stimulation . . .
Some plants (such as chili peppers) may be able to "hear" other plants (such as sweet fennel). "We know that plants recognize what is growing next to them, . . . Plants can warn other plants of a predator by releasing a chemical, and the warned plants can release chemicals to make themselves unpalatable to the predator.
For those who are concerned about the harms caused by their diet, these sorts of findings aren't good news. What's left to eat? Water?