One animal rights activist has said people should use 'a bit of cop on' to help the planet, instead of granting rights to rivers and trees.
John Carmody was speaking after experts in the UK have suggested granting legal rights and protections to non-human entities - such as animals, trees and rivers - in order to tackle climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.
The British Law Society is examining how legal structures can support improving human relations with living systems and our planet.
"If we are to take account of living systems, then legal frameworks need to be fit for the more-than-human future," it said.
'Rights for rivers and forests'
Mr Carmody from the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) told Newstalk Breakfast this might be a step too far.
"This doesn't come as a surprise actually - you might have remembered, even just recently, there was a case for an orangutan.
"So [for] animal rights campaigners this is nothing new to them, with the exception I suppose of looking for rights for rivers and forests.
"I don't think anytime soon there's any of us going to be going out on the streets with placards and posters shouting from the rooftops looking for rights for rivers and forests, but we've been calling for a hell of a long time for animal rights [sic] to be given basic rights; free from pain, free from suffering.
"They're not looking to vote... and in saying that they could do a damn better job than we’re doing at the minute with regards to voting, but definitely, it's all in our best interests to absolutely accept that in this day and age, these animals do indeed deserve our consideration."
'Lots of options'
He said there is no excuse now for people to not do more.
"If you go into supermarkets, if you go into high street stores there's alternatives to animal clothing, cruelty-free cosmetics, lots of vegan options.
"We're not asking for rights for rivers and streams, but a bit of cop on here to extend it to know that we're destroying and we're ransacking the environment."
However he said some animals are being forgotten about.
"We know that the dogs and cats - the ones with the beady eyes and fluffy coats - we should be respecting them and petting them.
"But to a good extent in society there has been a huge disconnect; now I have to say that those times are changing.
"It's no longer coming from animal rights campaigners... it's coming from the United Nations for instance that we should give up meat.
"We're now in the throes of a potential climate catastrophe, and we can't ignore this anymore.
"We have to sit up now and take notice, because being kinder towards animals in this day and age is very simple because there is more alternatives out there," he added.