Before I go any further, and so as not to be accused of not being serious, of trolling, or of other thans ofwhich I have previously been accused of here when posting, let me say that my question is indeed a serious and sincere one.
Is it sinful to pick flowers, say, in a field for fun and/or decoration as in order to place them in the hair or in a lei as many Hawaiians do?
I understand that plants and animals are said to have “material” souls that are not, like ours, immortal. However, if plants have some kind of soul, can they not also feel sensation? If they can feel sensation, can they not also suffer, say, when picked?
I mean, these days, anyway, we hear all the time how plants almost certainly respond to playing of music, depending on kind and in both negative and positive ways. We also hear, at least from certain (usually “Christian Science”) circles that, as it is said “even a tomato screams when it is sliced”. (This last instance is, of course, to be believed with caution, though I am no scientist and genuinely wonder how much truth there is in this statement.) Still, what if, when we pick a plant, especially from its root, and as it wilts and dies, it feels a pain in this death? Is this even possible?
I mean, intuitively, since plants have no brain as we do, we might state that they do not feel as we do, if at all. However, at a deeper, philosophical level, is a “brain” in our understanding of the term, truly necessary to render sensation and even thought? After all, we hear speculation that there may be other lifeforms that think/feel outside of this planet but that may not have the same physical structure that we do. Is our precise physical makeup truly the only one that can experience thought/feeling/sensation?
Furthermore, when we kill an animal, say, for food, we can be pretty sure that animal, once dead, no longer feels pain and we often try to ensure that that animal suffers only briefly. However, plants, when they are said to “die” seem often to suffer a far longer period of “death”. If they experience pain, then, we might argue that their pain is far more prolonged than is that of animals.
I mean, I get that we have to “kill” plants in order to survive. I think this is a different issue as it derives from necessity. However, the picking of flowers such as I describe does not derive from necessity but derives its impetus from our desire for the pleasure of beauty.
So, once again, and with all the above in mind, is it wrong and even sinfl to pick flowers for pleasure/decoration? Is there any Church teaching on this or anything related to the subject which might be helpful to us here?