Monday, November 03, 2008

Plant Rights

The staff at the Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center believe in the protection of the 1000+-year-0ld trees in the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp. However, we recently discovered that we are not as enthusiastic in our defense of these plants as the Swiss are of their native plants.

In 1990, the Swiss Parliament amended their constitutional in order to defend the dignity of all creatures, including plants, against the unseen consequences of genetic manipulation. Later, the parliment asked "a panel of philosophers, lawyers, geneticists and theologians to establish the meaning of flora's dignity." (Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2008)

"In April, the team published a 22-page treatise on 'the moral consideration of plants for their own sake.' It stated that vegetation has an inherent value and that it is immoral to arbitrarily harm plants by, say, 'decapitation of wildflowers at the roadside without rational reason.'" (Wall Street Journal, 10/10/2008)

The question, "Where does it end?" has been asked by more than just the vegetarians in the world. There are enough ghastly methods of harvesting and preparing plants for human consumption to fill a library with horror novels. On his show last week, Stephen Colbert asked if the Swiss considered the feelings of the thousands of trees that were humiliated to create the paper that was used to produce the 22-page report.

Tomorrow, we encourage you to exercise your right to vote as a citizen of the United States of America. There is more at stake than the dignity of our plants.

Image by Mark Musselman
(Atamasco Lily, a.k.a Easter Lily or Naked Lady...where's the dignity in that?)

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