All over the planet, members of many species and numerous races are constantly being subjugated, forced into captivity, and mercilessly slaughtered with staggering frequency and shocking gruesomeness. Even worse, such practice is not a recent development, but these acts date back to the beginnings of recorded history in many, some even "civilized" portions of the world.

There is no place in a rational, compassionate society for such atrocities: the singling out of individuals for death based on superficial or even arbitrary criteria; raising organisms in overcrowded quarters without regard for personal space or sanitary requirements; and moreover, the aggressive suppression of an undoubtedly rich and diverse cultural heritage. Where will the injustice end?

Resistance efforts have been formed, but their relative success can only be interpreted as ultimate failure: these practices have continued unabated to this enlightened day. Presumably some sort of organization would be beneficient in turning the tide for these freedom fighters and protectors of liberty. Such an organization could also serve as clearinghouse of information, bestowing on the public an alternative to the omnipresent oppressors' propagandas and misinformation.

Enter PHART.

Plants HAve Rights, Too!, or PHART for short, is to be that organization, dedicated to all things flora. Plants, particularly vegetables, need to be preserved, actively protected if they are to thrive and live fufilling lives. All too often, animalistic urges of hunger or sophisticated urges of aesthetics have resulted in the premature expiration of an unlucky carrot or rosebud.

And what cruelty this is. At least those on the fauna side of the fence generally possess the motivation -- rather, the means of locomotion (i.e. legs -- to flee an oncoming predator. On the contrary, plants, in their equally-evolved but differentially-abled state can do little but stand motionless, unable to even cower in the face of certain doom.

As though Nature's injustices were not enough, mankind has taken a certain historic glee in the oppression of out little green friends. We all know which part of "hunter/gatherer" is the truly gruesome one, and in this more scientific, advanced age, plant cruelty takes on an even more sinister form: Genetic manipulation. Not content with the current lives of pain and suffering plants endure, scientists splice and dice them into unnatural wretched cross-breeds, ostensibly for some greater good.

Someone needs to put a foot down, and this time without trodding on the weeds. Consider this an appeal, to all inhabitants of this ecosystem, for tolerance and respect of the brotherhood of all life, whether hatched, spawned, budded or seeded. Can't we all just get along?

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