Paul Moss is co-founder and executive director of The Plant Initiative  a nonprofit organization founded in 2020 that works collaboratively with others to advance respectful treatment of plants. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in the department of Geography, Environment and Society, where he is focusing on the relationship between people and plants. He has an undergraduate degree in biology, and masters’ degrees in agronomy and marketing.


In this episode of Humans & Earth, Paul speaks about:


  • His life-long connection with plants and respect for their sophistication.
  • Plants as intelligent, responsive, and sentient beings, not objects, and the ethical issues these discoveries raise for human treatment of plants.
  • The need for more people and organizations to advocate for the well-being and respectful treatment of plants, including in agriculture and the human diet.
  • When we harm plants we harm ourselves, and when we help them, we help ourselves.
  • How new scientific discoveries are leading us beyond our tendency to objectify and devalue plants, and books and talks to explore if you want to know more.
  • Intuitive communication with plants.
  • How cultural assumptions are way behind our actual scientific and intuitive insights about plants’ complexity and intelligence.
  • Practical ways we can treat plants with respect, care, reciprocity, and gratitude and work toward creating a “worldwide democracy of all beings.”