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Thursday,  August 7 12:01 AM EDT

Researchers Determine Plants Can Feel Pain, Vegetarians Eye Rocks

By Brian Briggs

East Lansing, MI - Researchers from Michigan State University discovered that plants have a rudimentary nerve structure which allows them to feel pain.

Screaming TreesDavid Blackford who heads the research team explained, "The nervous system is undeveloped, but it is there. This could be the evolutionary breakthrough that we've been looking for."

While a great research breakthrough for scientists, the discovery causes a dilemma for strict vegetarians who don't eat animal products because of concerns about animal safety.

A group of vegetarians at the local Carrot Café restaurant shared their feelings.

"If a potato feels pain, I might as well eat a baby seal," said Carrie Selby of Lansing. "Or maybe, I'll try out that all-dirt diet I've heard so much about."

Jenna Chang from Okemos added, "I always thought I heard a tiny scream every time I pulled a carrot out of the ground at the community garden."

Meat lovers reported a much greater desire to devour a salad after hearing the news. "I knew it," exclaimed one carnivore, "those vegetarians act all high and mighty and they're just as big of killers as I am. Heck, even more so. Only one cow had to die to make my steak, but lots of plants were massacred to make that mixed green salad!"

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants sprang up concurrently with the announcement. "We've placed picketers at cornfields around the country. They grow these things so close together, the stalks barely have room to turn around and move," said PETP spokesperson William Wagner.

"We're recommending that our members focus on food items that don't feel pain like nerve damaged infants or Styrofoam," Wagner continued. "Here, have one of our 'Salad is Murder' T-shirts."

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