Michael Pollan discusses how time-lapse photography reveals the hidden life of plants


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Start the plants are sentient thread, here we go.


I love doing time lapse of plants in the garden. Every plant has it’s own little program and it’s fascinating to me. One thing I learned though, use an incandescent light.


Oh great. Now we can’t eat plants.


Only the racist ones.


Are we due for a revival of ‘The Secret Life of Plants’?


I always thought a great movie idea would be a scientist creates a machine that is able to communicate with plants in such a way that we find they are sentient with their own culture, beliefs, languages, etc… They explain that somethings we do like picking and eating their fruit fits in with their life cycle with no distress. But most other things we do to the plants causes them massive agony and torment.

Opening scene is at the offices of PETA as they watch live news of humans and plants communicating. A woman sits at her desk with a look of serenity as she cuts off the limbs of a bonsai. As the news rolls she looks down and realizes she is dismembering this poor suffering plant. Cut to lunch time and no one can eat anything…




There was a ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ episode in the 1980s with a similar premise.

Fungi are more closely related to animals than they are to plants, for what it’s worth.


Those green bastards are all alike.


I just find it interesting what would happen if there was little or no food that could be consumed that didn’t rely on the suffering of another living creature. What would the most hardcore of vegans do?

Full disclosure: I was raised eating a pretty normal US diet which included meat. I went vegetarian when I was 18 and didn’t eat meat again until I was 40 (which was 5 years ago).


For a deeper dive, check out the PBS documentary What Plants Talk About, which looks into inter- and intra-species communication among plant species, how they indicate the presence of threats to neighboring plants, and related topics.


You know about fruitarianism?


Hey, I eat meat. Just pointing out alternatives.



I had no idea but I shouldn’t be surprised after reading about the people who live off sunlight

Actually, the summer between my 7th and 8th grades I lived with a family to train with their swim team. The family had two kids (I’m an only child). I quickly learned that every scrap of food in the house belonged to someone that was not me. It was like Lord of the Flies. The only thing safe to eat (outside of the family dinner) was fruit in a basket. So for three months I was a fruitarian.

Side note: If you swim 5 hours a day, plus weights and running (7 days a week, every week) and eat mostly fruit you will look seriously amazing but fainting becomes an issue.


I’ve always thought that fruitarians should be able to eat road-kill and such…


Yes, I had a theory that vegetarians should be able to eat anything that would otherwise be thrown away. I practised this myself for a while until encountering a particularly disgusting pork pie.


Link to What Plants Talk About for non-Americans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrrSAc-vjG4


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