Life is inherently full of suffering. I wonder if the concept of dukkha applies to non-human animals.

  • Dukkha applies to all realms of existences, from lowest hell-being, small, big, poor, rich...to highest refined being, heavens. All living beings (satta) are subject to birth, aging, sickness and death, good householder.
    – user11235
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


Yes. Hell, Preta (hungry ghost), and Animal (non-human) often referred to as Dukkhathi Bhumi (realms of pain and suffering) by Buddha.



Haven't you seen animals suffering from pain, hunger, fear, anger, anxiety, jealousy and other negative states of mind, which are based on the three poisons of greed/ lust, aversion and delusion?

All sentient beings with five aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness), who are unenlightened, are subject to suffering.

All suffering is caused by craving, which is rooted in ignorance.

Plants are not sentient, as they do not have mental formations and consciousness, and so do not experience suffering (dukkha).

  • Ruben guruji, scripturally you are in all likelihood correct, however recent science seems to indicate the opposite, per the internet
    – iruvar
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 9:17
  • Just to clarify, I meant my comment in the context of plants not feeling pain
    – iruvar
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 9:19
  • @iruvar Plants experience feeling and perception. So, it can respond to physical stimuli, including the plant equivalent of physical pain. Studies show that plants can detect insect bites and respond with chemical signals. Plants like mimosa pudica and the pitcher plant can move in response to tactile stimuli. However, plants don't have mental formations and consciousness, so they don't experience mental suffering. What the Buddha taught as dukkha (suffering), is mainly of the mind. The Buddha himself experienced physical pain when he suffered from dysentery, but he did not suffer from it.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 15:45

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