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According to the Journal, the Swiss constitution was amended back in the 1990s -- in order to defend the dignity of all creatures, including the leafy kind, against unwanted consequences of genetic manipulation.
The excursion into the psychology of plants began with a panel of philosophers, lawyers, geneticists and theologians assembled to establish the meaning of the dignity of plants.
"We couldn't start laughing and tell the government we're not going to do anything about it," an amused Markus Schefer, a member of the ethics panel and a professor of law at the University of Basel told the Journal . He explained, "The constitution requires it."
The new rules raise such questions as what is a more mortifying fate for a carrot than being peeled, chopped and dropped into boiling water? Do carrots scream as lobsters are said (falsely) to do when being thrown unceremoniously into a pot and boiled alive?
"Where does it stop?" Yves Poirier, a molecular biologist at the laboratory of plant biotechnology at the University of Lausanne asked the Journal. “Should we now defend the dignity of microbes and viruses?"
In addition to obviating the use of synthetic agrochemicals and emphasizing farming in accordance with agro-ecological guidelines, organic farming acknowledges the integrity of plants as an essential element of its natural approaches to crop production. For cultivated plants, integrity refers to their inherent nature, wholeness, completeness, species-specific characteristics, and their being in balance with their (organically farmed) environment, while accomplishing their “natural aim.” We argue that this integrity of plants has ethical value, distinguishing integrity of life, plant-typic integrity, genotypic integrity, and phenotypic integrity. We have developed qualitative criteria to ethically evaluate existing practices and have applied these criteria to assess whether current plant breeding and propagation techniques violate the integrity of crop plants. This process has resulted in a design of a holistic, scientific approach of organic plant breeding and seed production. Our evaluation has met considerable criticism from mainstream (crop) scientists. We respond to the following questions: (1). Can ethics be incorporated into objective crop sciences? (2). What is the nature of the intrinsic value of plants in organic farming? We argue that criteria to take integrity into account can only be assessed from a holistic perspective and we show that a holistic approach is needed to design such ethical notions in a consistent way. The ethical notions have been further elaborated by formulating human responsibility and respect towards crop plants. Responsibility and respect can only be shown by providing crop plants the right to be nurtured and to express natural behavior at all levels of integrity
Originally posted by Teknikal
I find it ironic the Swiss are trying to protect plants while simultaneously endangering every living thing alive with the Hadron Collider.
2.2 Possible positions for a
moral consideration of
plants for their own sake
2.2.1 Pathocentrism: plants count
because they are able to
experience something in
some way as good or bad,
and therefore have their
Originally posted by asmeone2
I totally think of all my garden and herb plants as "people."
Call it hokey but I think it makes them grow better...
I like to think that I'll provide for them while they grow by giving them dirt and water and love, then they'll turn around and provide good food and medicine.