- The Plate
Ethical Eating: The Plants (and Animals) Are Watching Us
Are some things too smart to eat?
Maybe. Most of us aren’t comfortable at the thought of chowing down on such bright sparks as dolphins, chimpanzees, kangaroos, or border collies. Then there are pigs, which researchers point out are inquisitive, attentive, social, and (relatively) sharp as tacks. And what about the octopus, which can outwit mazes, solve puzzles, and open the caps on child-proof pill bottles, a skill that eludes a lot of otherwise competent human adults?
But there’s also a whole other realm to consider: the plant kingdom. Are plants just so dim-witted that vegetarians are off the ethical hook?
Not so fast. Plants, it turns out, are smarter than they look.
Botanist Daniel Chamovitz, author of What a Plant Knows, writes worrisomely, “Plants