How humans can distinguish between general categories of objects? Are the subcategories of living things visually distinctive? In a number of semantic-category deficits, patients are good at making broad categorization but are unable to remember fine and specific details. It has been well accepted that general information about concepts are more robust to damages related to semantic memory. Results from patients with semantic memory disorders demonstrate the loss of ability in subcategory recognition. While bottom-up feature construction has been studied in detail, little attention has been served to top-down approach and the type of features that could account for general categorization. In this paper, we show that broad categories of animal and plant are visually distinguishable without processing textural information. To this aim, we utilize shape descriptors with an additional phase of feature learning. The results are evaluated with both supervised and unsupervised learning mechanisms. The obtained results demonstrate that global encoding of visual appearance of objects accounts for high discrimination between animal and plant object categories.