1. Having sense perception; conscious.
2. Experiencing sensation, thought, or feeling.
Synonyms: any sentient creature should have the good sense to avoid something so dangerous: (capable of) feeling/thinking, cognitive, conscious, aware.
Bees are the proud owners of the second most complex language that we know of (the famous bee dance, second only to human speech/sign language). There is no concrete evidence to suggest that plants are capable of fear or pain, but even if there were, I would still be vegan because it takes less life total to cultivate plants and eat them directly than it does to cultivate plants, feed them to animals, and then kill and eat the animals. Less death total, less pain total, more compassion. I do have to eat to live, but the way I can do that and inflict the least pain possible for others is by eating a plant-based diet.