Are plants conscious of what’s happening around them? Well, the answer is no. Back in the early 2000s, there were studies about ‘plant neurobiology’ which compares plants’ behavior to those of animals. Plants lack brains but are said to be responding when triggered by some stimuli, which researchers said to be an indicator of consciousness; however, today’s scientists beg to disagree.
Lincoln Taiz of University of California Sta. Cruz stated that some scientists claim plants to have neuron-like cells which form a ‘plant nervous system’ because it can communicate via electrical signals; but for Taiz, claiming plants to be conscious with just one factor reduces the complexity of the brain. Only vertebrates, arthropods, and cephalopods are considered to be conscious because of a certain threshold of complexity and capacity that their brain possesses.
Taiz also argued that if animals other than those that belong to the three groups mentioned have nervous systems but lack consciousness, more so the plants which do not have brains make them unconscious living things. After all, it is useless for plants to have such evolutionary trait and to be conscious knowing that they are stationary and cannot avoid danger by themselves, according to scientists. Imagine conscious plants being able to feel pain when their leaves are being picked, and while trees are burning during a forest fire? That would just be too cruel, right?