The flowers speak to me, wrote Belgian priest and poet Guido Gezelle about one and half centuries ago.
It is still there of course - nature does not leave us entirely cold. I think we all know the disappointment of discovering that those lovely flowers on the dining table are plastic. People and nature. In Germany the idea that human value is inviolable was enshrined in the new constitution back in 1945. It is impossible to ascribe inviolable value to nature, certainly to individual plants and animals (we could never eat a head of lettuce again) but there is a germ of truth in the concept. Eddy Weeda has declared that we must make room for our fellow earth-dwellers. I think that's a nice way of putting it. Who are we to supplant them?
Intrinsic value is a matter of respect. The American Indians asked for forgiveness when they stabbed an animal. What should we say to a bloated factory-farmed chicken in the supermarket? Or to a packet of fish finger with a jolly Iglo captain smiling at us from the box?