Published On: Mon, Oct 29th, 2012

NPR post ‘plant rights’ article, call to protect their right to reproduce

What seems like satire, appears to be a legit article on NPR.

Move over “War on Women,” it’s time to discuss the world on the plants.

NPR.org offers this headline: “Recognizing the Right of Plants to Evolve.” 

If proposals calling for rights for animals are on the table, why not rights for other living things? Plants, for instance.

After all, plants can sometimes exhibit humanlike behavior. And we’re not just talking about the butterwort-flytrap hybrid in The Little Shop of Horrors. Some plants respond well to music. Some “smell” other plants. Still others seem toshrink away when touched.

Plants display remedial types of memory and possess “anoetic consciousness” — the ability of an organism to sense and to react to stimulation — writes Daniel Chamovitz in his 2012 book, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses.

While calling the planet “Mother Earth” was humanizing this organic life enough, now the environmentalists appears to focusing on developing empathy for your fern because it can “hear” you.

If that isn’t insulting enough, this is the source that debated and somewhat advocated against keeping Terri Schiavo alive.

“…according to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants (such as chili peppers) may be able to “hear” other plants (such as sweet fennel). “We know that plants recognize what is growing next to them,” Gagliano says in the University of Western Australia’s University News. “There is chemical communication between them. Plants can warn other plants of a predator by releasing a chemical, and the warned plants can release chemicals to make themselves unpalatable to the predator.”

She says, “I think we might realize that plants are more sensitive than we think.”

Critics will certainly target the article as absurd, displaying insensitive behavior themselves, especially when the article focuses on the movement to give plantlife “RIGHTS.”

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund argues that greenery does have interests — and rights. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit works with communities around the world to “craft and adopt new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities.”

Establishing a legal system in which natural communities and ecosystems have an inalienable right to exist and flourish, says Mari Margil of CELDF, “places the highest societal value on those natural systems and communities.”

If plants have rights, then do we have the right to eat them? photo Ken Hammond, Agricultural Research Services

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