Anything alive tries in some way to stay alive. But trees, when you carve their bark, when we cut them down, do they protest? Complain? Tell on us? Not that I can see, hear, sense ... imagine.
Once hooked my bass will break its heart trying to escape. But once I hold it in my hand, is there any accusation in its eyes? I don't think so.
There was a story in which a rabbit in a trap suddenly notices the mechanism holding the door sprung shut. The rabbit fiddles the gizmo, the door opens, the rabbit hops out and goes on its way. The solar system it seems had for a few tens of thousands of years been passing through a local galactic stupid cloud: everything's IQ had been temporarily stunted. Free of the cloud, humans rapidly become so bright we kill each other and everything else at twenty times our former rate.
Is life an intelligence test? Well, in some ways, maybe so.
If so, it seems to me that the trees, the insects, the fish ... are passing it better than the primates.
Well, says the churchman, then it's a good thing we're not plants, not animals, not primates.