The Rights of Plants?


I almost missed this New York Times Magazine story about plants being granted rights in Ecuador and Spain. Here's the link

Well, we're all plant-lovers here, but still, can anyone think of some other group you're hoping to see granted rights first?  Gay folks spring to my mind, but what's YOUR reaction?


  1. I read the piece earlier about the Swiss going overboard with this; maybe I found it via GardenRant? Or maybe it was the List. Either way, it made me think, as did this article, that I’d fallen through the Looking Glass!

  2. Yeah, in Switzerland you can’t do any plant research that disrespects the plant’s “dignity”. So that research isn’t done there, it’s done here. Mostly GMO stuff, I think, but I’m not sure.

  3. Does eating plants constitute violating a plant’s dignity? Do food companies, developing and researching recipes that use plants have to apply for permission? This is the death of common sense! What next? And just what will we have the right to eat if plants can’t be eaten? I got it! Soylent People is green! (Yes, I mean to write it in that specific order.)

  4. These people have too much time on their hands. And they don’t read the world news. I’m just crabby thinking about how plant lovers (aka gardeners) get a bad name from news like this.

    Robin Wedewer

  5. Actually “the Swiss Parliament called for protecting plants’ “reproductive ability.” I think that means you can’t have any cut flowers. The florists must be bummed. Amy should get on this pronto.

    On a more serious note there have been recent discussions on Asheville’s forum of whether or not access to healthcare and water are a “human right.” The UN may be about to declare access to water a human right. From the SFGate

    Chuck have you blogged this yet?

  6. Gay people, regular people, weird people, strange people etc. already have the same rights as everyone else.

    There is no need to have special rights for blue people, red people or dead people.
    What we need to do is enforce the rules and regs of the land w/o designating certain crimes as hate crimes and ending up with reverse discrimination as the result. Two wrongs do not make a right nor make it even.

    We should all HATE CRIME period.

    I do not care if someone is gay, straight, or bent at a 90* angle.

    As far as gay marraige: evolutionists should say it is not normal since the species involved with it’s own sex cannot re-create. They will not survive evolution since evolution calls for survival of the fittest. If a species can’t reproduce because of same sex relationships with itself it does not fit with evolutionary theroy. Yes there may always be gay people but they were born from heterosexual relationships. (except for the FREAK 1/2 man 1/2 woman having IT’S second child)

    I do not have a problem with extending “partnership” benefits to same sex partners or even unmarried heterosexual couples under common law context. Two people sharing domicile, expenses and each other for so long deserve that.

    To me marraige is between a man and a woman. That’s my opinion and others are entitled to different ideas and that’s okay with me.

    But to all those groups lining up for special treatment:


    The (gas is costly wish I had wood stove)TROLL

  7. I also posted a piece about the Swiss, from my book, a few days ago–as I guess everyone else has. Yeah, I think for the Swiss it was reproductive rights, including genetic engineering and off with the heads of flowering plants yet to set seed.

    Maybe plant rights is one step in the right direction for the rights of others? Does anyone disagree that human conflict / fear / ignorance spills over into the non-human world? Aren’t the two linked quite tightly?

  8. Well, it’s discussed as a matter of dignity to experimental subjects, and has been written about extensively in the scientific literature, most of which is not available for free. Here is a link with some interesting free comments tho’.

    And here’s the PDF from the Swiss committee, “The dignity of living beings with regard to plants”.

  9. Hey, there are days when my plants get more love than the spousal unit but I have limits. Thanks for outpointing this bit of news. Just another reason I mentioned you guys in my latest post. Cheers!

  10. plants may indeed one day have more rights than us with the Big “O” in power

    a snipet from worldnet daily

    Economic stimulus? Feds want your medical records
    Electronic database to include lawsuit, mental health, abortion, sexual details
    A little-discussed provision in President Obama’s economic stimulus plan would demand that every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records without a choice to opt out.
    for the rest of the story as Mr. Harvey would say:

    The TROLL

  11. Greg, as a lesbian I am deeply offended by your post. I do NOT have the same rights as straight people. In many states, I could be fired for just being gay. I can’t marry my partner of ten years. My mother still introduces her as “Jodi’s friend.” My father doesn’t speak to me because I’m gay. Seriously.

    All we are asking for is decent respect and true citizenship. I don’t think this is whining or bein’ on a cross. Try to open your mind for just a moment and imagine what all this is like.

    Try acting like a closeted straight person for a day, or just for an hour. Don’t mention your wife/gf, or anything you did over the weekend that might hint to people you’re straight.

    Oh, and as long as I’m talking, my partner and I are re-locating to Portland, OR next year. A HUGE factor in deciding where to go is where we, as lesbians, could feel safe and find community. You would never have to do this as a straight person.

    I know you’re usually cranky and trollish, but I truly am offering this in friendship and understanding.

  12. I am not cranky or trollish.

    I think it is a shame and 100% wrong that someone could be fired for being gay, a different color, a different religion etc.

    It is 100% wrong to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.

    It is a sad state in this country that because people are treated wrongly that we need laws desginating a crime as a harsh offense because of being treated wrong.

    Beating up someone, firing someone, denying them housing because they are not the “right type” is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    In my opinion the constitution protects (at least in theory) every citizens lifestyle under the pursuit of happiness. The fact that it often does not say anything bad about the constitution but bad things about us as a people.

    If I get mugged then I can say the laws against mugging do not protect me.

    I too would not live in a state where I could get fired for being a certain religion, gay, KKK member etc. There are certain areas as a white guy I do not go in Baltimore, Albany, even a small city like Poughkkepsie,NY.
    I, like you, have every right to be there but there are just some places I know I am not welcome.

    I attend church regularly and take a lot of crap from people I work who are admitted atheists beacuse they do not believe as I do. I do do not chastize them for being atheists but I have been sworn at and ridiculed when the subject of religion comes up. And they are the ones who bring it up in conversation in the first place! They told me they do not want to hear about God as I don’t bring it up.

    This is totally different than your case I know. You would have no problem being accepted as my neighbor, or as a fellow employee, because it does not matter to me that you are gay. It would not matter to me if you were a different race than me religion etc. as I do not care where a person comes from.
    All I look at in a person is their heart and attitude.

    I am sorry your father does not speak to you and your mother calls your partner “Jodi’s friend”. That is a very hard thing to swallow.

    If you were a nice person living next to me I would certainly say good morning, afternoon, evening, come on over to our bbq this weekend etc etc.

    I did not set out to offend you and I apologize if I did. It was not my intent.

    I hope you find happiness in Portland. I have been there once on busness and found it to be a pretty cool city.

    Much happiness for and you partner may you find the peace you deserve and are looking for.

    The TROLL

  13. Hey Greg. You really should see “Milk.” Great movie, maybe especially for straights. I think this passage in your last comment is particularly annoying:

    “I too would not live in a state where I could get fired for being a certain religion, gay, KKK member etc. There are certain areas as a white guy I do not go in Baltimore, Albany, even a small city like Poughkkepsie,NY.
    I, like you, have every right to be there but there are just some places I know I am not welcome.”

    And I apologize to all for participating in this off-topic subject but I just could not resist replying.

  14. Thank you for responding to that. I wanted to this morning but would have been late for work.

    If it’s just about the word “marriage”, then this would be an absurd argument, and we’d all say “fine! you get to say you’re married, while we’ll just call ourselves something different”. But it’s not. It’s about rights. It’s appalling that certain groups want to limit the rights of homosexual couples who have families and very loving relationships.

    I’m straight, and I’m married, and totally secular. I see the “marriage=man+woman” argument as a religious one no matter how one tries to posture it, and an offense to myself and others like me. I’m definitely not as deserving of marriage status as my lesbian friends who have started a beautiful family, but somehow because of a sexual preference, I am regarded so, despite the fact that I don’t intend to procreate naturally even though I can, and I’m atheist.

    I just wish more same sex couples out there were able to adopt the unwanted children that result from all those careless heterosexual procreative activities.

  15. Maybe it is the nervous sweat clouding your eyes Greg from seeing the cross you bear.

    “And what cross do you suppose I bear? … But to all those groups lining up for special treatment:”

    It would be the “Special Treatment is only for ME” cross.

  16. Isn’t it the word “rights” that’s the problem here? It seems many would agree with the Swiss if we talked about reverence for life and humility before the life of the world. That state of mind can exist even among those who must sacrifice an animal or plants for food needed for sustenance. Reverence for life we take to survive is a vastly different state of mind from that evoked by talk of “rights” of plants, which I admit sounds absurd on the face of it. The word “rights” is so overused and degraded it’s become little more than a political bussword.

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