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Some plants have the ability to sense and react to outside stimuli, and this observation has led one activist to argue for the “emancipation” of vegetation.* In fact, in 2008, Ecuador guaranteed constitutional rights to plants, and an attorney in the United States is now planning to file lawsuits to secure plants rights.
Of course, plants don’t have any true awareness, and so should not be treated like animals. It will be interesting to hear how a plant plaintiff can argue that it’s a person in the eyes of the law.
While wantonly destroying plants is not good stewardship of God’s creation, plant activists are committing the folly warned against in Romans 1:25, where people serve the creation instead of the Creator.
Such plant philosophy is rooted in evolutionary beliefs. If all of life emerged from a single-celled organism, then all life could be said to have the same moral value. Sadly, that worldview rarely places much value on the rights of unborn humans. Without an absolute authority, plant mortality could become a cause for moral outrage, while abortions continue unabated. The Creator sets the priority straight in Genesis 1:29. Green plants serve a higher purpose: to feed animals and people.
* Linton Weeks, “Recognizing the Right of Plants to Evolve,” October 26, 2012, http://npr.org.