Research in Hospitality Management

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Animal rights/Plant rights

Jan A. Schulp


This article sketches the rise of the concept of animal rights, especially in the late 20th century, mainly due to the work of Peter Singer. Considering the increase in evidence of plant intelligence, the question is discussed of whether plants might also be entitled to the same rights as animals. This question is answered in the affirmative. This would mean that humans would no longer be allowed to eat their fellow creatures. It is demonstrated that the concept of rights for non-human entities is a fundamental negation of rights as something exclusively human. Humans, like all other organisms cannot do anything else than obey the natural law of eating and being eaten. The position of plants and animals in farming is discussed from the perspective of domestication of plants and animals, and the responsibilities that this situation imposes on humans. Although a certain reduction of consumption of animal products is desirable, this has nothing to do with animal rights, but with ecological necessities only. Some recommendation for food service practice are given.

Keywords: animal rights, food service, plant rights, speciesism, vegan, vegetarian

AJOL African Journals Online