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Forget Animal Rights – French National Assembly Moves Toward Giving Trees Rights As Sentient Beings

oak tree and sun

 “A tree is a living organism whose average lifespan is far longer than that of a human being. It should be respected throughout its life and have the right to develop and to reproduce freely, from its birth to its natural death, whether it be a town tree or a country tree. A tree should be considered as a subject of law, including when laws regarding human property are involved.”

This is the  proclamation of rights adopted at a symposium entitled “Remarkable Trees” at a meeting in Paris, according to

The symposium was organized by Delphine Batho, a member of the National Assembly, president of the French political environmentalist party and former minister.

Batho was elected to the National Assembly in 2007 and has since then had several high-ranking appointments. She was spokeswoman of François Hollande during his candidacy in 2012. After he was elected president of France, she became deputy minister of Justice; and after a cabinet reshuffle, minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. She left the government after having criticized the budget allocated to her ministry in 2013 and returned to the National Assembly under Socialist party colors before joining the Environmentalists in 2018, according to the report.

Some of the objectives of the symposium actually made sense. Participants were interested in better management of historic trees and a more beautiful environment.

Unfortunately, the common-sense goals were commandeered by activists such as Batho who said: “Our objective is to obtain a law that will recognize trees as sentient beings.”

A sentient being is described as “a creature that can suffer and feel pain; one with the faculty of sensation and the power to perceive, reason and think.” It is a classic tactic of animal rights activists to describe all animals as sentient beings, insisting on the bestowal of human rights to all creatures.

The Declaration of Tree Rights is basically animal rights on steroids. The declaration defines a tree as a “living being that is sensitive to changes in its environment, and that should be respected as such without being reduced to the status of a mere object.”

Trees “have a right to the airspace and underground space it needs to reach its full growth and its adult size…. In these conditions, trees have a right to their physical integrity, be it in the air (branches, trunk, foliage) or underground (root network). Damage to these organs weaken them considerably, as do the use of pesticides and other toxic substances,” the declaration continues, before demanding for every tree “the right to develop and to reproduce freely, from its birth to its natural death,” reported

One might legitimately ask where this nonsense all stops? First trees, then shrubs. Then who knows what? Please pass the broccoli.

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