The necessity of creating legal thinghoodFMP
In general, our world is be dualistic divided into two parts:person and thing. But it is too crude when it comes to ethical questions.The contemporary form of juridical humanism, in which the opposition between personhood and thinghood is much less blurred.(Visa Kurki, 2017)
The formulation of the law is based on human interests, namely, on the anthropocentric assumption that human being occupy the supreme position in nature world. That is why we are endowed fundamental rights of citizens protected by law. Following this mood of thinking, human rights are based conceptually personhood is intimately related to the capacity to act rationally and deliberately decide about one’s own actions.
But many species of plants have something in common of consciousness, for example, memory, pain, fear and so on. Baxter, an American lie detector expert, had a whim one day to pick up an electrode for a lie detector on a plant leaf. In order to prove that plants have memory, Baxter put two plants side by side into a room. Then let six people wear the same clothes. Wear a mask and walk past the plant. One of the individuals destroyed the plant. After that, they were allowed to walk through the plants, and when the murderer passed, there was a record of strong reactions on the paper. Later in 2014, Gagliano et al. directly point out that “Mimosa plants can learn to distinguish between types of threats.” Moreover, Francis Fukuyama asserted that “If we start transforming ourselves into something superior, what rights will these enhanced creatures claim, and what rights will they possess when compared to those left behind? (Visa Kurki, 2017) With sound enough reasons, we can attribute plants with a lot of capacities such as emotional and cognitive. Sadly, in this sense, someone is still killing something intelligent despite he is a vegetarian.
But the advantage of holding rights, which is crucial for persons, does not apply to non-personal subjects of law. “To this extent, the point of being a right-holder in the case of persons differs substantially from the case of non-personal subjects. The protection of the interests of the latter is, by its very nature, much more paternalistic. It hardly depends on the individual choices and preferences of the right-holder.”(Visa Kurki, 2017) The paradox here is, however, plants have some certain rights but this is what humans force them to accept. Moreover, how can we avoid forcing them to talk? How can we tell if they are telling the truth?
Such issues appear to be highly controversial due to the public stereotype of human rights as well. Some may argue that how can non-human creatures challenge the supremacy of human beings? It may take a lot of time for the public to realize that everything in the world are equal in some sense, we are all “vibrant matter”.