As I understand it, many intelligent vegetarians abstain from meat for a variety of reasons, not just the ‘meat is murder’ or that animals can feel pain.
On a side note, I’d be very surprised if plants couldn’t feel pain in some way. How else are they going to learn not to grow their roots in pools of salta/acid/lava?
Edit: I realise I’m going into dangerously unscientific thinking here, I guess I phrased the statement very badly – what I was going for was “negative stimuli”.
As far as I know no reputable study has ever shown that plants can “feel pain”. They lack the nervous system and brain necessary for this to happen. A plant can respond to stimuli, for example by turning towards the light or closing over a fly, but that is not the same thing. It is also hard to see what purpose pain could serve for the plant, since they can hardly run away. I am aware however that similar arguments were put up in the past in favour of animals not feeling pain! Supposing you decide that it is cruel to eat plants, since they are alive and presumably have sensations of some sort, what are you going to eat? Not a lot left on the menu if meat, and veg are removed, is there? If it is alright so long as you “kill” them first, how is this to be done? Is boiling them alive acceptable? Perhaps it is alright to eat fruit, since the plant sheds these of its own accord, but seeds and nuts are out as they are embryos!
I guess I’m just an advocate of “life feeds on life, feeds on life” argument.
And to answer the threads creator, if I were a vegetarian, no I wouldn’t… but then, I wouldn’t be me.