BY CHARLES MEMMINGER – I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. And that flower has unalienable rights, like the right not to be picked just to be put in some fat rich man’s jacket lapel and the right not to be contaminated to death by some smokestack connected to a factory that makes guns, hamburgers and big screen TVs for rich people in industrialized countries. And that flower has other rights, too. Like the right to remain silent if taken into custody for murdering another flower and the right to have a lawyer appointed to represent it if it’s arrested for illegal un-flowerlike conduct.
You see, I’ve become a follower of the Global Alliance For The Rights of Nature, a fast-growing international group that believes Mother Nature has rights for which a global alliance is needed to do … well, it gets kinda complicated here … to do something anyway to keep humans from messing up the earth. The alliance recognizes “that exploitation, abuse and contamination have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Mother Earth, putting all life at risk through phenomena such as climate change (and is convinced) that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Mother Earth”
In a nutshell (which also has rights), Mother Earth seems to be suffering from a human being infestation. And a lot of these humans are rich, greedy bastards out only for themselves which is putting – according to the Alliance’s official declaration – ALL LIFE AT RISK. All life. Animals, plants, germs, fish, fungus, amoeba … you name it. If humans aren’t stopped Mother Earth is going to croak and become just one big inert lifeless dirtball in space. And I hope all you humans will be happy then, you bastards!
So what myself and other “good” humans are doing is pushing the “universal recognition of the rights of nature.” The idea that only humans have rights is so passé. Everything in nature has rights, even filthy rats, dung beetles and cockroaches. When you try to strip away the rights of the most disgusting creatures living among us, you strip away the rights of the “cute” creatures, too, like bunnies, dolphins and meerkats! But not just animals have rights. Plants have rights. Oceans have rights. Air has rights. Two consenting atoms when joined together under God or the Great Cosmic Lizard or the geeky guy in science lab have rights.
The point is to get humans to quit treating Mother Earth as a commodity created simply to provide for the needs of humans. Mother Earth is not a refrigerator which can be raided for a midnight gerbil sandwich. Resources like oil and coal are not to be cruelly sucked and dug from her internal organs and trees and wildlife are not to be mercilessly scraped from her skin.
Now, getting everyone to recognize, implement and protect the rights of Mother Nature will be difficult. (Recognizing the rights of Father Time will come later and will be infinitely more complex.) I’m new to the organization but it looks pretty much like the Alliance is, well, going to have to take over all the governments on Earth to be successful. So far, only the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela seem to have embraced the Rights of Nature and it does seem that in those countries the rights of man are secondary to the rights of cumquats, bananas, llamas and chinchillas. In fact, the Bolivian Supreme Court recently ordered to the makers of Froot Loops cereal to pay every toucan bird in the country a million pesos each for illegally using “Toucan Sam” as its cartoon mascot and insulting the dignity of toucans everywhere by making people think all toucans have strangely colored bills. The rights of nature in Bolivia have become so prevalent, that half the human population has moved to Peru, where you can still get a good llama taco.
Once up and running the protection of the Rights of Nature promises to be a huge boon to the legal profession, necessitating roughly 14 trillion “nature law” human attorneys to represent all the oppressed and exploited weeds, bugs, badgers, beavers, streams, ponds, hills, dales and dusty trails. And that’s just on the civil litigation side. Violation of the Rights of Nature also will carry many criminal penalties yet to be worked out. But let’s just say if you smack your dog on the snout with a newspaper for peeing on the carpet or assassinate a dandelion in your yard with a weed whacker, you could be looking at hard time in the hoosegow. Cutting down an entire forest or fly-fishing in Oregon likely will be punishable by death.
There are those – how do you say – idiots – who believe that Mother Earth can take care of herself and doesn’t need help from smug, self-appointed bipedal guardians who are actually the most annoying of the human parasites gnawing on her haunch. When one form of life gets too uppity and starts thinking that it owns the planet, Mother Earth has a way of taking care of the problem. Seen any dinosaurs lately?
Those people are just wrong. Only an alliance of largely uneducated people with good intentions and no scientific training looking to get a handout from various United Nations climate change commissions and guilt-tripping prosperous countries into paying them to go away can save Mother Earth. And I, for one, will be looking to get my share.