Welcome to this website, my name is Cèdre Verdoyant and I am an ethical fruitarian. I believe that plants are sentient and can feel pain. So, I only eat fruits! I do not eat cereals, leafy greens, nuts, or seeds. This way of life fills me with bliss, felicity, and happiness. In the botanical sense of the word, a fruit is the fleshy part that surrounds the seeds. As opposed to leaves, branches or roots, fruits are willingly given by the plant. By eating them and dispersing their seeds, we fulfil the wishes of the plant and contribute to turning the Earth into a garden of Eden.
Plants have thoughts and feelings, like you and me. Their roots form a brain-like structure that enables them to feel emotions like us. They have no ears; yet they can hear the chomping sound of a caterpillar munching on a leaf. They have no eyes; yet they can see colours and perceive ultraviolet radiations. Similarly, they have no brain; yet they can feel joy and pain, glee and sorrow. They seek happiness and want to avoid suffering, just like everyone else.
When we pull up a carrot, we kill the whole plant. When we munch on some walnuts or some beans, we destroy the seeds of the plant. When we cut off the leaves of a lettuce, we inflict a deep wound on the plant. However, when we pick a ripe apple off a tree, not only do we not harm the plant, but we also benefit her. The plant wants us to eat her fruits and disperse the seeds. By eating an apple, we fulfil her wishes. And as strange as it may seem, we also benefit the seeds. Seeds need our help to germinate. Think of the cassowary plum seeds for example. They cannot sprout unless they first pass by the stomach of the cassowary bird. As shown in this example, plants and animals were designed to live in perfect harmony, in a symbiotic relationship of ineffable beauty.
Plants are moral persons, like you and me. They have their own temperament, their own personalities. They are not mere commodities than can be used, abused, and disposed of! They have feelings and emotions. Some are highly compassionate, like the beech who shares nutrients with fungi. Some are incredibly altruistic, like the Douglas fir who, as death draws near, transfers food to the ponderosa pine through the mycorrhizal network (helping a neighbour of a completely different species in light of her own demise, without expectation of return). Some still have a long way to go before reaching sainthood, like the cruel Venus fly trap or the poisonous ivy. Some are extraordinarily intelligent (though a bit mischievous), like the Mirror orchid, who lures pollinators through sexual trickery (she employs her female wasp-shaped flowers to attract male wasps). Every plant is a unique sentient being, with her own character, beautiful in her own way.
Murdering plants is an act of indescribable violence. Eating plants or animals involves a colossal amount of suffering. Fruitarianism is the only ethical path, the only way to achieve ahimsa or non-violence. It is the only philosophical view that encompasses all beings. Veganism is only concerned with humans and animals. It leaves most of the beings out and thus falls short of the glory of God.
Animals are worthy of compassion even though they look different. Well, so are plants… We have blood; plants have sap. We have veins and arteries; plants have xylem and phloem vessels. We have a mouth to breathe; plants have stomata to respire. We have skin to protect us; plants have a waxy cuticle. The appearance does not matter. Is it fair to massacre a seal just because she is covered in fur, not in skin? Is it fair to maul a lizard just because she has cold blood? Of course not! Similarly, it is cruel to shed the sap of a plant. As a Science teacher who has an ardent passion for botany, I have developed a profound love for our vegetal cousins.
In terms of health, the fruitarian diet is prodigiously beneficial. Fruits are laden with all the nutrients we need to blossom. I haven’t taken any supplements whatsoever since I went fruitarian. That being said, I would like to point out that I am not opposed to B12 supplementation in principle. In the past, when I was not a fruitarian, I took lots of B12 as a supplement. This is probably why my B12 levels are still relatively high now. However, I expect my B12 levels to fall dramatically in the near future. I will carry on doing blood tests. If my B12 levels plummet as expected, I will take this vitamin as a supplement. I certainly do not want to run into deficiencies and put myself at risk. I would not like to face severe neurological consequences.
On a spiritual level, I believe that God is everything that exists. I believe that every living being is a part of the body God, even the cruellest person. So, I love every being wholeheartedly, in a non-judgemental fashion. In my sight, atoms, rocks, plants, animals, clouds, stars, and galaxies are all parts of the body of God. In Hindu philosophy, this view is referred to as “vishishtadvaita“, a Sanskrit word meaning qualified non-dualism. Oriental religions are profound and stupendously beautiful, as they associate ethics and meditation. Ethical fruitarianism and meditation go hand in hand. Fruitarianism brings meditation to a whole new level, opening elevated paths of vertiginous splendour, less-travelled roads seldom trodden upon. Conversely, meditation continuously expands the love we feel for plants and for all sentient beings. We humans are meant to live a life of ethics and contemplation. Ethics has a horizontal dimension: it encompasses all living beings. Contemplation has a vertical dimension: it seeks the love of God in the innermost depth of the heart.
I believe that in every human being, in every animal, in every plant, shines the light of God. This inner light, this “that of God” as the Quakers would put it, tells us what is morally right and wrong. In my opinion, the human nature is fundamentally good. Why is that? Negative emotions, as opposed to positive emotions, are at odd with reality. Emotions such as hate or anger are distorted perceptions of the reality. Love and compassion on the other hand are firmly grounded in reality. This is why humans are more likely to develop positive emotions rather than negative emotions. This is also why love, compassion, patience, or non-attachment are parts that really make up a person. Anger, irritation, craving, jealousy, or pride, are not real constituents of a person. They are adventitious emotions based on illusions. This view of fundamental human goodness promotes a non-judgmental attitude towards everyone, even the most perverted being. It also fills us with blissful hope concerning mankind. Since all living beings are naturally incline toward kindness, a glorious future lies ahead of us. In future times, I believe that this Earth will be turned into a garden of Eden. In view of this messianic advent, ethical fruitarianism has been coined “Eden fruitarianism” by author Mango Wodzak. Of course, such a gleeful future will not be brought about anytime soon if we persist in sinking into abysmal folly.
According to the Vishishtadvaita school of Indian Philosophy, our individual minds (along with our bodies and all the material world) are parts of the body of God. Our individual minds are not part of the Spirit of God even though the Spirit of God pervades all of them. Therefore, when our individual minds are subject to evil, the Spirit of God remains immaculately pure. However, when our individual minds are subject to evil, the body of God is affected and becomes sick. For example, when the farmers, out of ignorance, make grooves in the fields with the blades of their tractors, they mutilate the body of God and leave awful scars on her skin. God is so benevolent that she suffers with us physically when we commit atrocities. Is it not what compassion is all about? Literally, compassion means “to suffer with”.
Evil, however frightful it may be, is bound to vanish away. It is a colossus with feet of clay. Negative emotions are the roots of all evil. While positive emotions are correct perceptions of the reality, negative emotions are distorted perceptions of the reality. Even though negative emotions have an appearing object, they lack an object of reference. They do not point toward anything real. Negative emotions are based on illusions. All of them are deceptive; all of them lie. Their appearing objects pretend to denote objects of reference, when they do not. In Indian philosophy, appearing objects (Samanyalakshana in Sanskrit) are generic ideas, permanent representations which are negatively defined. On the other hand, most objects of reference are specific objects (Svalakshana in Sanskrit), impermanent realities which are positively defined. When a negative emotion arises, its samanyalakshana points toward a svalakshana that does not exist. Thus, negative emotions are deceitful and treacherous. However, because they are not grounded in truth, negative emotions lack solidity. In spite of their fearful appearances, they are frail lumps of ice that the light of wisdom can easily melt away. This is why evil is bound to fail. This is why goodness will triumph eventually.
Unfortunately, we are not currently heading in the right direction; we need to change course abruptly and dramatically if we want to sail toward blissful horizons. Even though evil lacks the robustness of goodness, it is not an illusion and it must be denounced in the clearest terms. As Gandhi put it, “non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good”. Although men are fundamentally good, they commit atrocities on a daily basis. Eating the stems, the roots, the leaves, or the seeds of a plant is a crime of unimaginable proportions. It is a cruel abomination, a heinous act of savage butchery. It causes a tremendous amount of suffering. Felling a beautiful sequoia tree is no better than slaughtering a cow, hacking off the branches of a splendid poplar is no better than torturing a lamb. Therefore, eating fruit is the only diet that is free from sickening cruelty. It is the only ethical diet, the only one that does not involve atrocities of ineffable magnitude. Only fruits have the potential to be totally free from negative karma. Unfortunately, evil permeates so widely our society that its banality leaves people apathetic. But to quote Gandhi again: “Truth stands, even if there be no public support”.
Now, some vegans may object to ethical fruitarianism: “But plants are not sentient, they cannot feel pain as they have no brain. They lack nociceptors!” Well, I empathise with this perspective as I used to think this way myself. I was a vegan for many years before converting to ethical fruitarianism. I also used to believe that plants could not feel pain because they lacked nociceptors. Well, this was before my fruitarian epiphany, before I delved thoroughly into plant neurobiology. Then, all my certainties shattered into smithereens. Plant neurobiology is a science at the cutting edge of botany. The scholars in this field believe that plants are intelligent and sentient. Twenty of them have formed an organisation called the society of plant signalling and behaviour. All of them are academics of the highest level. They promote the root-brain hypothesis, a theory that was first put forth by Charles Darwin. According to Stefano Mancuso, the roots of a plant form brain-like structures and for all practical purposes act as a brain. A root apex can sense 15 physical and chemical parameters. The plant uses neurotransmitters and electrical impulses to pass on information. Plants communicate with each other and animals, they trade nutrients with fungi, they display memory and learning skills, they show compassion (especially towards their close relative), etc.
According to plant neurobiologist František Baluška, plants can feel pain for the following reasons:
- Plants express glutamate and GABA receptors, similar to animal’s neurons.
- Plant roots grow away from danger, showing a plant version of negative feelings.
- All living organisms may need pain states to survive in a dangerous world.
- Plants are sensitive to the behaviour-suppressing effects of numerous exogenous anaesthetics.
- Stressed plants are known to produce anaesthetics, the major ones being ethylene and divinyl ether, and this could be to relieve the plant’s own pain.
Plants have thoughts and emotions, like you and me. This is why ethical fruitarianism is the only path promoting ahimsa or non-violence towards all living beings. Fruitarianism is much more than a diet, it is a philosophy that extends to all aspects of life. My clothes are not made of hemp or bamboo; they are made of cotton, the fruit of the cotton plant. I do not drive a car, as it kills so many insects. Fruitarians base all their lives on truth, love, and compassion.
Conventional agriculture is a crime against the planet and all its living beings. Growing cereals is a calamity of ineffable magnitude. Wheat and barley are sentient beings and deserve to be loved. When crops are harvested, hundreds of mice, shrews, grasshoppers, etc. are mauled by the tractor blades while their habitat is being destroyed. This does not happen when fruits are carefully picked. So not only is fruitarianism beneficial to plants, but it is also highly beneficial to animals. It is the only way through which the Earth will eventually be turned into a garden of Eden.
Plants are our sisters; they are our brothers. Someone may object: “the entire world is based on the exploitation of plants. From the building of wooden houses to the manufacture of medicines, everything revolves around the use of plants as commodities. We cannot go against the current!” Well, let me quote Gandhi one last time: “You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul”.
I hope you will find this website inspiring and helpful.