Listen to your lettuce. Cry with your corn. Sympathize with soybeans. In Switzerland, it's the law.
I'm all for showing respect for creation: it's a duty the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes very clear. We are creation's stewards, not its Lord. And the goods of earth are meant for all of us, and for generations to come, so respect for creation also falls under the seventh commandment.
But some over-eager ethicists in Switzerland are making this a matter of rights, not of simple respect.
The new rules especially target experiments in genetic modification, and some of the effects are good: plants cannot be rendered sterile. That means that farmers would be able to reserve seeds for the next harvest, instead of paying out year after year for freshly modified seeds.
But there's more to the law than that: scientists seeking permission for plant studies have to prove that the goal of their proposal is consistent with the plant's "dignity." That includes (ahem) "their...reproductive ability and adaptive ability."
Can we take some of that respect and apply it to our own species?