Spectacular view of the sacred Ganges river flowing through the green mountains of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.
Spectacular view of the sacred Ganges river flowing through the green mountains of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.
Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

‘Nature’ Gets a Seat on the Board

Wesley J. Smith
arroba Email

The anthropomorphization of “nature” continues apace, this time with a corporation that sells beauty products called Faith in Nature naming “Nature” as a member of its board of directors.

From the announcement:

We’ve put our faith in Nature for almost 50 years, both in our products and in our ethos. But 2022 calls for a different approach than 1974. So we’ve re-written our constitution to give Nature a voice and a vote on how Faith In Nature is run.

By making Nature a director of our company, we hope to make better informed decisions around topics that impact it. And let’s face it, everything does. That’s why this matters.

We have faith in a future where Nature’s rights are represented, and respected, in every business. So we’re sharing our process in the hope that others will do the same.

In one sense, this is silly. What aspect of “Nature” will be a member of the board? The rainforests? The oceans? Deserts? Mosquitoes? Viruses? Rivers? Granite outcroppings? After all, a decision made about one aspect of nature might very well deleteriously impact a different one.

Not only that, but board members are fiduciaries of the business with their duties owed exclusively to the corporation and its stockholders –not any outside constituency they might want to represent. And what responsibility would nature have toward the corporation itself? That’s a nonsensical question, of course, because nature is not a conscious, moral entity.

In actuality, the appointed proxy will merely be representing his or her own ideology and worldview. I mean, there would surely be a difference between the priorities I would further as nature’s proxy on the board and those that might be advocated by, say, the hard leftwing environmentalist Bill McKibben. So, the board will merely decide the path it wishes to tread and appoint the proxy accordingly.

Still, this story is worth noticing as a further demonstration of the growing power of the “nature rights” movement that seeks to anthropomorphize nature, subvert human exceptionalism, and undermine free market capitalism. In this sense, Faith in Nature’s proselytizing for nature to be granted a seat on corporate boards is both profoundly misanthropic and — if followed by more consequential businesses — potentially threatening to human thriving.