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Manifesto of the League Against Turgorial Discrimination

Date: 04 Jul 2000
From: Richard Bos

For some time now it has amazed, and worried, some of us, that there are people who consider plants to be lesser creatures than animals. Indeed, to our horror, there are people who actively discriminate against plants, not only by treating them with contempt, but even by actively loading them with burdens that they refrain from inflicting on animals. This pains us so that we have decided to organise ourselves on the plants' behalf, in order to urge the world to put an end to this discrimination. We have decided to call ourselves the League Against Turgorial Discrimination, and this is our manifesto.

Let it be known, then, that

- because we consider all life equal, not just those of us in the happy possession of mobility and cell membranes, and are appalled by the truly shocking treatment that has been given to those living beings who happen to have been blessed by nature with cell walls, turgor, and photosynthesis, on no better basis than that the human species thinks itself better than our green fellow beings;

- because this shameless discrimination and exploitation has, if anything, grown steadily worse since the Romantic movement discovered what it pleased them to call "nature", which discovery consisted mostly of venerating the animalic members of this nature, while regarding the vegetable members as mere backdrop, good enough for covering a ruin in which a prize horse takes pride of place, often imbuing the animal with anthropomorphic properties and at the same time exploiting their cellulose-enhanced companions as almost dead matter; an attitude that has culminated in these days in people who cynically call themselves "green" and "nature-friendly", but whose treatment of plants consists mostly in smoking them, cutting their reproductive organs off for decorative purposes, and eating them in preference to their animals counterparts;

- because the often-used argument for discrimination against our differently beturgored friends that "plants constitute better, healthier food than animals" is easily disproven by pointing not only to the vast amount of animals, fungi, and yes, even plants, that feed upon animals, nay veritably thrive on them, but also to vastly the larger part of human history, when our species has always considered both our cellulotic and our membranic friends as suitable food - an attitude entirely justified by the continuing survival of our species on this diet;

- because the reasoning that claims that omnivorism worsens the current, undoubtedly deplorable, state of plenty in part of the world and hunger in many other parts, by using vast quantities of plants that are used to feed the animals that are then eaten by humans - plants that would be, so the claim goes, far more efficiently used to feed humans directly - is immediately seen to be of theoretical import alone when one considers that it is not so much a lack of food that plagues the world as an uneven distribution thereof; that, when food were distributed fairly, there would be enough for all human-, animal-, and plant-kind, even, no, especially when the burden of being eaten were also fairly spread amongst these groups; and that, though all of the Western world should become so discriminatory as to eat only our photosynthetic brother-creatures from now on, it would not for a moment enter the minds of any cattle-breeder, grain-farmer, or junk-food-merchant, to give their produce gratis to the poorer parts of the planet, but, on the contrary, that they would be more likely to recoup their losses in the West in these other parts, thus only making them poorer;

- because it lies not in the power of our cellulotic friends to defend themselves, being as they are not only immobile, but also, alas, deaf, mute, and otherwise completely incapable of protesting against this inhumane treatment by our fellow men and women, and because it therefore behooves us, who have been equipped by nature to be more visibly active, to protests upon their behalf;

we, the League Against Turgorial Discrimination, have decided to let our voice be heard.

Let there be no more discrimination against the less mobile creatures of nature, or for those who happen to be closer related to us. Let us regard all members of this great plethora of beings as equal, regardless of which taxonomic kingdom they belong to, and above all let us treat them as equals; not degrading our greener friends to mere food-stuff while looking upon the black, white, grey, and brown members as brothers, but loving, consuming, and respecting, each being to the degree it fully deserves. Let us allow soggy leeks or mushy peas no more than we allow burnt pork-chops or tough chicken-breasts; let us always enjoy our food for what it is: a beloved member of the living universe, giving up its life so that we may eat it, whether it be carrot or mushroom or cow.

Let us treat each plant as a treasure of nature. Let us refrain from mistreating them. Let us consider them, and love them. In short, let us always remember that plants are people, too.

Richard, only partly in jest

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