If Peas Could Talk Would You Eat Them?


Madison McKenzie, Staff Writer

If peas could communicate just as animals do, would you eat them? In the article “If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them?”, the author Michael Marder gives facts from research studies stating that peas can communicate to one another, and provide information that better the survival for the species. He then goes on to ask if we should be consuming these talking peas, or do it with a clear conscience. After reading the article, although the facts provide good information about how these pes can talk to one another, we should continue consuming peas like we would any other plant or animal. If the livestock that we eat has its own language as well, should we be eating animals? The average consumer in your local supermarket wouldn’t care.

Michael Marder in the article, “If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them?”, explains that with recent studies being taken place about peas, we may want to put down the fork, or at least think about what we are doing to these “talking” plants. Marder supports his explanation by listing a few research experiments that have taken place in the last decade that suggests that peas can “speak” to each other when in survival environments such as a drought or flood. Marder explains the experiment simply: “…a team of scientists from the Blaustein Institute for Desert  Research at Ben-Gurion University in Israel published the results…revealing that a pea plant subjected to drought conditions communicated its stress to other such plants.”(Marder) The author’s purpose is to highlight the fact that we are eating peas that communicate stress levels to one another in order to provide in glimpse into our daily lives and how most of the substances that we put in our mouths has an unknown origin to us, and they might have talked less than a week prior. 

While the author has many satisfactory statements explaining the science behind talking plants, he suggests that eating plants and not worrying about whether they talk or not is related to animal suffering. “Should their swift response to stress leave us coldly indifferent while animal suffering provokes intense feelings of pity and compassion?” (Marder). This isn’t necessarily true. While crying over suffering domestic pets that relate to your childhood dog who ran away may invoke sadness in the minds of many, we eat bacon, chicken, and cows. Do we know how they are raised? For many of us, the answer is no. With a growing population, many farmers cannot afford to care about their cow who in a short few years will be served on a plate in a fine restaurant. Cows are born, bred, milked, and killed. The cycle repeats, and how pigs are killed in thousands, doesn’t make us blink. Have you ever heard the saying “You’d never eat sausage if you knew where they came from!”? Most likely you have, but when you think of the classic breakfast meal of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and sausage, you have to admit; it sounds VERY appetizing. Whether we know peas can talk or not or whether we know where sausage comes from- we eat them anyway, because they are just too good.

Would you eat peas if they could talk? The answer for many is a simple yes. Animals talk, even if it isn’t our language, and we eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If peas can communicate stress, they are like many of the animals that we eat, so we should continue to eat the small green vegetables, just like we would to any livestock or animal staple.