Dilemma for Vegetarians (Jun, 1931)

Dilemma for Vegetarians

THERE is no real difference between animals and plants, according to Professor Gottlieb Haberlandt, of Berlin. The conventional tests that only animals breathe and that only plants live on mineral food may apply to the majority of plants and animals, but there are many exceptions.

There are numerous plants which do not draw their nourishment from the soil, but must live like animals on vegetable or animal matter. On the other hand, there are certain lowly animals which apparently can draw nutriment from inorganic salts and solutions as is done by some plant roots.

  1. Daniel Rutter says: February 4, 20104:06 pm

    This is, of course, a false dilemma. The fact that there are bacteria and corals and such that have qualities normally associated with plants does not mean that there is also “no real difference” between a cow and a carrot. Or between a human and hummus, for that matter.

    (Gottlieb Haberlandt, who was a real and quite eminent scientist, didn’t necessarily ever actually say what the headline says, of course.)

  2. Sean says: February 11, 20106:58 pm

    Can’t you hear the carrots scream?

  3. Jari says: February 11, 20107:56 pm

    At least radishes can’t scream….

  4. Mark Middleton says: March 29, 20109:07 pm

    I think you all missed the point he was getting at. That being, plants and animals are all living beings. And while plants cannot scream, regardless they are living beings, just as animals are. Being a vegetarian for the sole purpose of feeling bad for eating an animal is absurd. That’s like saying, “Hey, I know both of these beings are alive, but this one can scream, fight back or move, so I’m going to kill and eat it because it’ll make me feel better.”

  5. Jari says: March 30, 20109:56 am

    And your point is?

    I had this in my mind back then: http://www.youtube.com/…

    lyrics here: http://www.guntherander…

  6. Nikola says: October 20, 201010:28 am

    Plants are still organic. They have a stiffer cellstructure and a different cell build-up. But hey its still an organism. No food, it dies.

    Virusses are the only dead things…bacteria, fungus, its all organic.

  7. Jari says: October 21, 201010:29 am

    Nikola: Actually it’s under constant debate, if viruses should be called living or not. Metabolism is one of the “classical” definitions of life, as you wrote. They are interesting little buggers, anyway.

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