We all cut down plants, for varying reasons. Like all living beings they have potential to feel pain. But when harmed, do they feel pain?

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    This account was created, one question asked and then deleted? I swear I understand people less and less everyday. Maybe this was a child?
    – Rob
    Mar 8, 2019 at 22:30
  • No. Pain requires nerves and is a biologically expensive adaption. Googlr "nociception". Plants do, if-course react to stimuli - pruning is often used to enhance growth and channel the plants energy into fruit - but there is no evidence plants feel this - just like you dont feel the vast number if bacteria colonizing your body.
    – davidgo
    Mar 10, 2019 at 19:37
  • @Rob_ ya definitely a child but i wouldn't mind the question cause for a child to be concerned about the well being of a plant shows a great deal of compassion and empathy to follow in his/her later years. Kids in my neighborhood have ruined a lot of plants you know. Mar 16, 2019 at 20:58
  • @davidgo_ there's evidence that plants feel pain? You do realize that this could turn pruning or even deadheading of all things into a criminal act punishable by the law. Mar 16, 2019 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


You would probobly be better off posting a question like this in the philosophy forums but I will give it a shot. Pain, as you and I see it, is not just a physical reaction to outside stimulus. While plants do in fact react to outside stimulus they have no brains to process the consequences of that stimulus. Therefore, they are not "feeling" anything they are simply reacting to an outside stimulus. In other words, plants are not "living beings" they are living but they are not beings.

  • @rob_ that's actually a really good and a well thought out answer especially where you mention plants as living but not beings. However, you relate pain to having a brain but what about certain beings within the animal kingdom like the jellyfish that have no brain. You mean to say that they are equal to plant life in a sense that they don't feel pain aswell? Mar 16, 2019 at 21:07
  • @HamidSabir In a way yes that is what I am saying. I think it is important to keep a sharp distinction between feeling pain and being able to comprehend/abstract the implications of that feeling.
    – Rob
    Mar 18, 2019 at 14:48