For example, many ecocentrists regard humans as a fish-like species that needs to be protected from harm by trees and other aquatic organisms. This perspective is called the need-to-harm (NOTX) perspective.
This need-to-harm perspective has significant implications for how we view the world and ourselves. For instance, if you were a tree or a fish in the above picture, what would you think? Would you feel safe? If not, why not?
Such thoughts are not just abstract. They can have dire consequences. For instance, in 1975, two young women were killed while swimming in an outdoor pool in suburban Chicago during one of those rare hot summer days when water temperatures are high enough to warrant opening the windows and swimming is possible.
Their deaths were linked to climate change because they were outside at that age without any protection from water temperatures.
The term moral patient was coined by Dr. Kent Frances, a psychiatrist who studies the justice system. He discovered that people who are classified as patients in the justice system are regarded as having significant importance to society.
This is because they are considered to be a valued member of their family or community. They are treated with respect and they have a voice. This applies to individuals who face injustice, such as in the healthcare system.
As an example, when a child faces adversity, the parents may go to work and work harder to help them through it. An ecocentrist would say that because we humans associate ourselves with trees and fish don’t need our attention, we should disregard their needs and voice our opinions on how they should be treated.
What is a moral patient?
A moral patient is a living thing that you consider to be good or valuable or important. The term moral patient was coined to describe how humans regard animals as patients in medical care, animals in the care of the environment, and even humans as members of the community.
In medical care, patients are put on medication, observed daily, and depending on their condition, they receive different medications to improve their health. Even if a patient does not feel like being on medication and receiving treatment from a doctor, we would still respect and value them because we know they are still an important part of our lives.
In regards to nature and ecology, moral patients see themselves as needing treatment from time to time but aren’t sure what it is.
Can plants be moral patients?
The concept of an ecocentrist is not entirely new. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche referred to the concept in his 1884 book The Gay Science, which described a hypothetical being who regards the world and other living things as a divine master who designs and tests human actions for good or evil and determines whether they will succeed or not.
In this sense, ecocentrists have been present for many years, although they were largely unheard of until the past few decades when increased study of diet and health had increased awareness about our role in nature and society.
Today, however, with more research finding links between nature and health than ever before, there is greater interest in this type of thinking. Are trees and fish moral patients? What if they asked as much? These are some of the questions that we expect to find interesting.
Can animals be moral patients?
Can animals be moral patients? The answer is yes, if we define patients as sentient beings who need to be cared for and who have a right to do so.
We consider the guinea pig in a research lab situation, but not as a moral patient. He does not need to be cared for; he is perfectly capable of renouncing all food and water dependence and returning to his previous behavior.
However, if we were studying his condition more closely, we would find that he was suffering from an eye condition that required constant care, or maybe one of his bones was broken and needed attention. We would then likely recommend that he get regular medical attention to keep him healthy.
In the same way, it is possible for fish in fish tanks or animals in wildlife enclosures to need our care. Even though these individuals are fully able to renounce all physical needs, they still deserve the necessary attention.
Does a tree have a sense of self?
This question has received considerable attention in the past year due to the recent publication of J. Michael Bishop’s book The Trees: Earth’s First and Most Important Flowering Plant.
By examining ancient leaves, branches, and songs recorded in tree species records, as well as by observing the leaves and flowers when they are open, Bishop argues that trees perceive the world around them, including themselves.
This includes having a sense of self, having needs and interests that are independent of people, and developing strategies to meet those needs.
He calls this recognition or perception of self by a organism of interest or importance (ROSI) phenomenon. If a tree has this phenomenon, then it may be able to consider itself an important part of the world around it and its efforts may influence its environment in significant ways.
What does it mean to have a sense of self?
Our sense of ourselves comes in many flavors, but at the core it is a desire to be important to ourselves and to others.
We want to know that we matter to something large, and that we are valuable to others.
We feel good when we accomplish things and when we are happy. We associate particular things with us and our goals so that we can continue to focus on them as I I realize that the most basic need for self-esteem is achievement.
It is easy for people with low sense of self-worth to look for things that will make them feel better about themselves, or to think that they cannot achieve what they want because they are not tall or strong enough.
It is important for people who feel like they don’t deserve happiness or satisfaction from themselves to pay attention to how much they value themselves.
Are all ecocentrists vegan?
If a vegan tree, fish, or animal is an Ecocentrist, then what does it mean for someone else to be an Ecocentrist?
Ecocentrists do not consider any living thing to be worthy of consideration as human beings nor as a moral patient. Therefore, being vegan is not a veggie diet, but rather a way of life.
Veganism has grown more common in the last decade or so due to increasing media attention and popular culture representations. Media has a huge impact on people’s views and attitudes towards things.
Ecocentrists often feel that media influences people too much to consider non-vegans and non-meat eaters as having an opinion about veganism like being considered wise or knowledgeable.
Why are some ecocentrists vegan and not others?
Many vegans smoke, which is considered an ecocentrist behavior. Being vegan can be difficult, as some people do not believe in vegetarian diets.
However, there are significantly more vegetarians than non-vegetarians, so it does not make much of a difference in terms of health. What makes a difference in termsTopic mattering is whether or not the diet is healthy for the individual versus whether or not it is good for our environment.
Because trees play an important role in many religions and ecology, some ecocentrists regard trees and other plants as moral patients. They believe that because we owe them reproduction and growth rights, we should give them those rights without asking for any compensation.
This could be considered eco-rightsism.