Sampurn Krishi Utthaan Foundation
What if? The plant could think like that I am not properly irrigated while I was tiny, Why I was planted at the border to feel wind pressure, Why Caterpillars are only attacking me? What is so special with that plant at the centre getting loaded with fruits only and only my leaves were eaten by caterpillars. Of course, the plant does not feel like that. No, I am telling you they are feeling external changes but not thinking in human way, the emotional way. They feel tissue damage but not the pain from it. Like we do not feel pain when the operation of brain tissues is going on, of course, there is tissue damage. When the motivational speech era started, I used to think like in a very philosophical way that Struggle makes you strong with time just to make you persevere. But this is very much scientific, Plants are much more sensitive and have more senses than animals because its legs are cemented at one place. It has to survive without any free movement. So we human have six senses not five. Five you already know, how can you itch behind your head by knowing exact location it is called proprioception, the perception of body position, which is important for balance and agility in movement. At the cellular level, both animal and plant cell have common features. You remember Mitochondria(the powerhouse of the cell) or Vacuole or Nucleus. Both cells contain these. They have DNA strands made up of proteins similar to what in animals. What I am trying to say plants also have these senses but activated one are those which are necessary for their survival and yes they have neuron-like structure too that is based on electrical signal transfer which is made possible by movements of ions. Plant do not have ears like us. The human ears that receive the information then filter with his own prejudices and biases and attach with past memories and retrieve information in a different way in front of a different person. Plants just need to listen to low-frequency vibrations of water under the soil. It is absurd to say they grow well listening Indian Classical music rather than Rock N Roll music because there is no evolutionary pressure on the plants. Plants are there for millions of years while music is very recent. There is no frontal cortex like humans to recall memories in nostalgic and emotional ways, so they don’t feel pain. Now let us discuss does plant communicate with each other. You can remember “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”. In Scientific way does over ripen fruit over rips others as well. When fruits ripen they emit ethylene is the air that helps in ripening other fruits. So why the bunch of fruits needs to ripen at the same time. Because the plant wants fruits to be eaten so that the seeds could be spread at other places and increase their population and survival chance. Similarly, they use chemicals to diffuse in the air to alarm neighborhood plants by activating their particular set of proteins just to be immune against a predator. At early morning sun is very far from the earth and the wavelength of light reaches earth is of far-red in the spectrum the same happens during sunset. Plants can differentiate the far-red and red, that’s why they know that it is day or night. If somehow these receptors go malfunction they become blind and try to elongate themselves in search of light similarly when there is high wind pressure their stems to become thicker to take the wind stress. So an incapability to move freely made plants much more aware of the environment. It is not just the micro-nutrients, temperature or climate affects the plant's growth. They have memories in the form of genetic coding like when they need to bloom. Try to sow wheat in another season; it will not flower because there is one FLC hormone that needs to be deactivated which inhibits flower growth. Cold suppress that FLC hormone. We use aspirin as a pain killer which is derived from salicylic acid that helps to lower the stress of plants when attacked by the predators. So there are a lot of similarities between plants and animals at the cellular level that is very fascinating. When we indigenous seeds this happens not with the laboratory-made seeds. They know nature better than any of us. So yes Plant sees (they can differentiate colors, timing of day, where they are located, what is the weather), hears sound of vibrations of water, communicate with neighbours about ripening and predators, have sense of gravitropism (know what is the direction of gravity), Plant smells in diffused air, Plant can taste (Differentiate the ion concentrations), Plants are deaf almost and do not feel pain. They have memories specific to survival not feel in an emotional way. You can be vegetarian there is no issue. So plant is not intelligent than us, from the definition of intelligence what we understand, but they have better survival skill than humans in changing climatic conditions. Go for experiments of Jagdish Chandra Bose you will be more than happy. Although he tried to prove exact timing of death along with feeling the pain by the plants. I wish plants could feel pain too. We humans could understand nature well then. Although they would survive and we will be extinct.
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