Knowing Plants for Their Own Sake | Plant Research | Plant Consciousness Commentary

Knowing Plants for Their Own Sake | Plant Research

Monika Bakke’s “Plant Research” in Gender: Nature delves into the intricate relationship between humans and plants, urging a shift from dominance to co-creation. Bakke explores the historical context of plant knowledge in Western culture, highlighting how plants have been traditionally viewed as passive objects. She challenges this perception by presenting empirical evidence from plant biology that reveals plants’ sophisticated ways of living, which includes intelligent behavior, sensitivity, and a complex sex life. This evidence calls for a reconsideration of plants as active subjects rather than mere resources.

In her work, Bakke advocates for “plant thinking,” a concept that encourages humans to recognize plants as beings with whom we can co-create. This involves understanding plants’ nature and acknowledging their inherent worth beyond their utility to humans. By following plants, or looking to their lives for inspiration, Bakke suggests, and I agree, we can learn how to coexist with kin and otherkin in a more ethical and sustainable way. The paper also touches on the implications of biotechnology and how it reshapes human-plant relations, often at the cost of overlooking plant sentience.

Topics Covered about plant research:

  • The need to shift from a human-centric view of plants as objects to a more balanced perspective that sees plants as fellow beings.
  • Recognition of plants’ sophisticated behaviors and capabilities, which challenge traditional views of plant life.
  • The concept of “plant thinking” as a way to foster a co-creative relationship with plants.
  • Ethical considerations in the age of biotechnology, emphasizing the importance of respecting plant life and intelligence.

Bakke’s paper is a call to action for humans to rethink our relationship with plants, recognizing them as complex, sentient beings that deserve respect and consideration in their own right.

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Bakke, M. 2016. Plant research. Gender: Nature. Edited by Iris van der Tuin.

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