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http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Publ...15/065njdoe.asp

The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

Get ready for 'plant rights.'

by Wesley J. Smith

05/12/2008, Volume 013, Issue 33

You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the "dignity" of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.

A few years ago the Swiss added to their national constitution a provision requiring "account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms." No one knew exactly what it meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, "The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants," is enough to short circuit the brain.

A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."

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http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Publ...15/065njdoe.asp

The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

Get ready for 'plant rights.'

by Wesley J. Smith

05/12/2008, Volume 013, Issue 33

You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the "dignity" of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.

A few years ago the Swiss added to their national constitution a provision requiring "account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms." No one knew exactly what it meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, "The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants," is enough to short circuit the brain.

A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."

Just in spite of this article, I went and walked around my grass and then kicked a bush before I walked back in.

--D

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> I went and walked around my grass and then kicked a bush before I walked back in.

I'm with you, dude. Tonight I am having a larger than usual plate of salad and I'm going to bite down more viciously than necessary on the tomato slices, sadistically covered with vinegar because I know they don't like that.

And then I'm going to double chew my lettuce.

Finally, overcome with remorse, I'll write a full confession and send it to the Swiss government.

....

A better idea might be to make up T-shirts: "IN FAVOR OF PLANT ABUSE". A picture of a sadistically smiling man perched on top of a power mower and tearful crabcrass fleeing in front of him in all directions. :frantics:

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I torture tomatoes with knives and teeth. If you dunk a tomato into boiling water you can pull it out after a few seconds and skin it while still alive! Then there's my Salad Shooter.

--Brant

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A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."

Aldo Leopold strikes again.

Next, we will have Plant Right advocates outside the local Subway screaming "Salad Is Murder," and outside the local juice bar screaming "this is no different to a holocaust!!!"

This is appalling. Utterly appalling. I need a drink.

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The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

Get ready for 'plant rights.'

by Wesley J. Smith

05/12/2008, Volume 013, Issue 33

You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the "dignity" of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.

(snip)

Current events and things such as Barbara reports on above are conspiring to make satire impossible.

Bill P (Alfonso)

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A problem with the article however...

Our accelerating rejection of the Judeo-Christian world view, which upholds the unique dignity and moral worth of human beings, is driving us crazy. Once we knocked our species off its pedestal, it was only logical that we would come to see fauna and flora as entitled to rights.

So, only the Judaeo-Christian worldview can grant man dignity?

John Calvin would disagree. Ever heard of "Original Sin" (or his version, "Total Depravity")?

Just remember the "about the author" bit of the article,

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute

As ridiculous as the idea of "plant rights" is, it is even more ridiculous to believe that man can only derive dignity from grovelling, snivelling submission to God. The Enlightenment (and its product: individual rights) was not a faith-based initiative. Individual rights did not come from Christianity, after all look what Calvin did to Geneva. Luther ran his own Lutheran theocracy at one point. The Roman Catholic Church was once integrated with every one of Europe's governments.

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"Ev-'ry-thing old is new a-gain," and so is this. Go check out the fruitarians, or their related "-ism."

A quick summary, and where I first heard of it, in the movie "Notting Hill," where Hugh Grant's character is being introduced to a prospective mate at dinner by some, eh, well-meaning friends:

Max: Keziah — some woodcock?

Keziah: No, thank you — I'm a fruitarian.

Max: I didn't realise that.

It is left to William, who has been set up here, to fill the pause

William: And, ahm — what's a fruitarian exactly?

Keziah: We believe that fruits and vegetables have feelings, so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen from the tree or bush — that are, in fact, dead already.

William: Right. Right. Interesting stuff. (pause) So, these carrots ...

Keziah: Have been murdered, yes.

William: Murdered? Poor carrots. How beastly.

(Screenplay by Richard Curtis. Well worth renting.)

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> We only eat things that have actually fallen from the tree or bush — that are, in fact, dead already.

Yes, but then, once it's lying on the ground it's been acquiring *bacteria* and you are murdering them (especially if you boil the fallen fruit). You know, botulism, tetanus, typhoid, e coli....

... new T-shirt:

Bacteria Have Feelings Too :frantics:

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After giving this weighty matter all of the 5 minutes of thought it deserves, I am forced to the only logical conclusion:

The only moral course is to develop a race of humans that survives only by photosynthesis.

That would be really "going green".

(As in green skin, covered with chlorophyll.)

:sorcerer: :thumbsup: :whistle:

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The only moral course is to develop a race of humans that survives only by photosynthesis.

Phil,

That was the most callous statement I have ever read anywhere. Do you realize how much pain and suffering you just blanked out, evaded, unjustly confined to the arbitrary, and instinsically subjectivated?

(thundering)

HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE IS NO PAIN AT THE QUANTUM LEVEL?

Photons have a right to exist, too, dammit!

After all, we are all God's creatures...

(Er... Hmmmm... I think I got the wrong forum for that last one...)

Michael

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The plants don't really die as their substance continues to evolve. So do the animals and fish I kill for food. I love to cut out the still beating hearts of the wolves, Bambies' Mothers, elephants, antelopes, lions and rhinos I bring down with a wounding shot and eat those raw. Ah, sweet blood all over my face! It's the animal in me!

--Brant

the irrational animal

PS: What animals besides us are irrational?

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... conspiring to make satire impossible.

Now, there is a t-shirt waiting to happen! :thumbsup:

MAKING

SATIRE

IMPOSSIBLE

(Perhaps with a picture of a leading politician.)

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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The only moral course is to develop a race of humans that survives only by photosynthesis.

I think we are headed in that direction, actually, to become a race of interstellar beings.

(On the other hand, when I once suggested what you said to a group of engineers, one of them pointed out that plants do kill other plants. Vines strangle trees. Trees crowd each other out. Redwoods would probably start forest fires if they could, but may be grateful to The Great Sequoia for the windfall profits.)

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The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

Get ready for 'plant rights.'

by Wesley J. Smith

05/12/2008, Volume 013, Issue 33

Beware the sanction of the victim.... and I don't mean the plants... The Weekly Standard is a conservative publication. Wesley Smith's interpretation of this report packages this with the other side of the coin, that the unborn have no rights. In other words -- no problem here for Objectivists or Bolsheviks -- to say that plants have rights is equivalent to saying that the unborn have no rights. Both deviate from the Judeo-Christian truth (ok: "truth") promoted by The Weekly Standard.

The homepage of the Weekly Standard includes another article that compares Darwin to Hitler.

If you want to read the Swiss government commission report for itself, click here.

http://www.ekah.admin.ch/uploads/media/e-B...flanze-2008.pdf

It is an exercise in scholasticism, to be sure, but evaluate it for yourself. Do not let The Weekly Standard do your thinking for you.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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