Do Potatoes Scream When You Cut Them?

It’s hit the headlines again and the vegan bashers are out in force. Just last week I caught a brief feature on the BBC Radio 4 morning news programme, ‘Today’. It didn’t answer the specific question: “Do potatoes scream when you cut them?” but it was enough for rags like the Daily Fail to jump on the bandwagon yet again.


Do Potatoes Scream When You Cut Them?

 No, potatoes do not ‘scream’ when you cut them. It’s probable that, like tomatoes and tobacco plants, they make very short ultrasonic popping sounds under stress, but to describe the audio signals as screams or squeals is pushing the bounds of reality just a little bit too far … in my considered opinion! 


Watch: ILTV News Report on the Israeli study into plant ultrasound

(they could have left out the screaming effects but it feeds quite nicely into this article!)


Tomatoes Have Feelings Too, Y’know?

It’s hilarious and a little bit worrying when grown adults genuinely think they’ve hit the motherlode in their anti-vegan mission having boldly asserted vegans are hypocritical because plants scream when cut or they experience human-like emotions.

Vegan Slate will never spam you. Please see our privacy policy.

I mean … come on, grow up! Time to give your head a wobble?

Yes, there is some truth in the claims. I won’t dispute that. Scientists have discovered that plants respond to external stressors and produce a kind of popping sound (when the frequencies are reduced to the range humans can hear).

In the article “Can dogs hear plants scream?” we look at this a little closer.

But as for human-like feelings and emotions the science is pretty clear … it’s simply not a thing.

This is not something which stops the gutter press and the Reddit anti-vegan army dusting off the keyboard and getting to work spinning the relatively mundane scientific study into a sensationalist bag of half-truths.

The problem is they have reach and influence. Before you know it even Steve, your friendly builder, has become an expert in plant sentience!


Plants Do Not ‘Scream’ When You Cut Them

Yes, it’s been shown that plants make high pitched popping type sounds and other ultrasonic sounds when stressed. They last for a fraction of a second and are physiological responses to environmental conditions.

Blindfolded woman screaming with plants behind her. But using words like ‘scream’ and ‘squeal’ as well respected scientific publications have done in this space is, at best, misguided and at worst, irresponsible.

I know the BBC is now a shadow of its former self as a news organisation (mostly due to the right wing lunatics worming their way in) but that doesn’t really excuse headlines like “Plants Have Feelings Too” as Bethany Nichols reports on BBC Earth.

I guess the BBC are in the business of clicks and giggles just the same as the Daily Fail and the comments section of the Telegraph here in the UK … which is just a laughable sewer of society’s rejects!

Bethany’s article is informative but nowhere does it prove that plants have feelings, as the headline shocker claims. Just another example of leading the furiously hard of thinking down a rabbit hole of sensationalism.

Then they’ll pop up on Quora or YouTube mindlessly regurgitating these ‘alternative facts’ which ‘prove’ those stupid vegans have got it all wrong … must be the lack of meat affecting our brain function again.


The Carnists Don’t Need Encouragement

It’s believed vegans make up around 3% of the population and in fact, when financial guru, Martin Lewis, ran a poll recently it came in at 3.4% with nearly 100k respondents!

Screenshot of a Twitter poll showing 3.4% of respondents identifying as vegan. The image is a stark reminder of how far we have to go as a society in moving away from our love of animal flesh. I was kind of hoping it’d be a bit higher than the 3.4% by now but it seems not.

Anyway … I digress.

The meat and dairy industries are beyond cruel in their practices. Yes, you see pictures of happy smiling cows on your bottles of milk but the reality of life on a modern dairy farm for these ill-fated souls is a world away from those idyllic images.

The powerful animal ag lobbyists have almost unlimited resources when it comes to marketing their death products. They have writers and influencers able to be called up at a moment’s notice when a story surfaces with ‘spin’ potential.

The ‘plants feel pain’ angle is a really influential one which gets all the anti-vegan trolls riled up and frothing at the mouth, ready to pounce. They don’t need much of an excuse, to be fair.

So when the BBC runs a story like this one where scientists have shown plants emit very short ultrasonic pops, it doesn’t take long for the click baiters to switch in words like ‘scream’ or ‘squeal’ when stressed …

… and it really doesn’t help when respected publications like Scientific American use the same language!

It’s open season for the vegan bashers, yet again.


Vegans: Punching Above Our Weight

It’s very clear to me the barbaric industries which feed our insatiable demand for animal products are running scared. Their bottom line is threatened.

Vegan Slate will never spam you. Please see our privacy policy.

A very small minority of vocal vegans are making big noises and we’re getting heard.

I read, just a couple of days ago, that cow’s milk consumption in the UK has dropped by 50% recently. That’s huge!

No doubt Brexit has had a part to play in this, as it has with many of the problems the UK is uniquely facing currently, but the ‘B word’ won’t account for all of that reduction.

The thing is, I believe humans are inherently compassionate beings. You only have to look at how a small child reacts to a baby goat or a piglet or a little duckling to see this compassion.

Veganism embodies our in-built compassion and gives us the tools we need to reject the murderous practices in our food systems which sees the slaughter of 80 billion land animals every single year.

How have we reached a point where we’ve normalised this level of brutality?

… and for what? A moment on the lips?

It’s high time we all woke up and realised we’re literally eating our way to extinction.

I urge you to consider drastically reducing your consumption of animal products … as a start 🙂 Ultimately, 100% plant based lifestyles is what will save the human race.

It really is that fundamental.


I hope this article has helped answer your question today and if you have any thoughts you’d like to share please go ahead in the comments below. Don’t be shy! If you have the time to share this on your socials that’s always appreciated too.

Lastly, if you like the content here on Vegan Slate, why not join our new post alerts mailing list? We’ll let you know the moment we publish a new article and we never spam.


Thanks for reading and have a peaceful day.




We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

2 thoughts on “Do Potatoes Scream When You Cut Them?

  1. Daniella Reply

    Hi there,

    I like the title of the post; it’s funny and attractive,

    I stopped eating meat a few months ago because first, I love animals, and second, I felt heavy and not good with myself.

    Today I am a vegetarian, not yet a vegan, though. I still do love eggs and cheese. But I am on my way, and I do become a vegan gradually and slowly but surely:)

    I always thought that plants have feelings, not like humans, of course. However, I always speak to my plants, and I can feel them:) It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Anyway, one thing is certain is that they are alive and make us feel alive too.

    Thank you for this great post!

    • Rohan McAvee Post authorReply

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment Daniella 🙂

      That’s great to hear you’ve quit the meat. Good for you (and the animals!) … We all have our own journey to take. Our own path to follow. I hope you will progress to a vegan lifestyle … one which rejects the cruelty of the dairy industry as well.

      But yes, plants definitely have physiological responses which could be described as feelings but not in the emotional sense like we humans do. Have a watch of this short video on plant responses to external stimuli … absolutely fascinating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *