After taking the plant life for granted by most of us, it is time to challenge our set ideas by reading this interesting book, Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany by Matthew Hall.
The book starts with a meticulous examination of Western thought from Plato, Aristotle and early botanical history. The author also examines Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Pagan Mythology. He argues and requests readers to rethink and reconsider the moral standing on plants. Using both religious and scientific pllels to give us the idea that plants are more than what we as humans feel. They are intelligent beings and should get due respect.
The author feels that plants are not given the same respect as animals or human life, which is often the reason of cutting away the trees and vegetation. This mostly comes from the attitude that plants are believed to be lower forms of life. Different religious beliefs are described without taking any stand, and the reader is left to form his opinion. This book explores plant Kingdom in a broader way. In many ancient religions, plants are revered and treated as sacred. The nitrogen cycle interestingly connects the earth with the atmosphere which underlines the importance of plants for life to exist on this planet.
Botanists and environmental scientists will find the book helpful.
The author is Research Scientist at the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.