Is not Bonsai a form of torture on the plant?
Because the natural growth of a plant is curtailed physically by us humans.
No. No more so than any other horticultural exercise, like hedge clipping, lawn mowing, tree pruning.
I don't believe plants are sentient either.
Plants don't have nerve endings that would convey pain. I think the only "pain" they do have is being dried up from lack of water.
Besides if Scientists DId Prove THat Plants Feel Pain, Vegans Would Face Starvation!
Bonsai is a hybrid development from landscape gardening. Now we may query, is gardening, which is beautification by plants for human pleasure, a cruelty on Nature? I don't think people doubt that it is not so. Bonsai does not stunt growth as common belief has it, it only is an art to control growth. Bonsai is not restrictive or torture, In fact since it can be nurtured in an easily maintained environment, often the plants tend to be healthy and live longer.
I can not claim your expertise, but I have known a lot of plants in my day. I must rely on my own observations, experiences, and education to answer. I believe it depends on the plant. Some plants do not respond well to being bothered. Meanwhile, there are plants that respond well to grooming and attention. They seem to know that they are being cared for.
We say that plants are responding to stress or exerting themselves in survival mode to grow more rapidly or produce more flowers. Are we not guessing? They could be frisky and exuberant from the trim. It is my guess that a good bonsai plant enjoys the attention and place of honor bestowed by its servant. This is the beauty of the bonsai . . . the caretaker finds the balance between care and careless.
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