Welcome to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Vegetables, also known as the SPCV! Things are rather informal around here, so feel free to take your shoes off at the door if you wish, leave your coats and bags at the counter, and if you care to make a donation; we accept coins, notes, credit cards, cheques, title deeds, and cans of dirt.
On your left, you'll see out the window a fantastically artistic weed garden, which was very kindly donated for the use of the SPCV, by Traveller in Time. Thanks Traveller!
Also, to your right, you may see the logo of an affiliate campaign of the SPCV, the Campaign to Promote Respect for Microbes."
And now, let me give you a brief history of the society: It was originally formed in 1992 by a man called Duane Jenkins. He worked hard to bring to people's attention the suffering and torture that Vegetables suffered, mainly at the hands of that eternal opressor; mankind.
I'm sure you are, in these enlightened times, aware of the plight of the vegetable... how they are taken from their homes on a relaxing and shady vine, or plucked from the warm embrace of mother earth, and sliced, diced, beaten, mashed, juiced, pulped, ground, or julienned before being boiled, broiled, baked, fried, steamed, juiced, or fricaseed, among many other vicious acts beyond description.
Yep... Duane worked hard to inform people of the suffering... the torment... of the Vegetables. To educate people of the evils of masticating a vegetable, or stabbing it's burnt and soulless remains with a fork. He walked the streets. He handed out pamphlets. He stood on soapboxes in public squares wearing only a world flag, loudspeakering his intent to all who would listen, and especially to those who wouldn't.
He threw mud and bits of plastic lampshade covers at the doors of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. He poured derision and abuse upon those who were vegans. He poured derision and abuse upon those who were staunch vegetarians. He poured derision and abuse upon those who were romoured to be vegans or staunch vegetarians. He poured derision and abuse upon those who were occasional vegetarians, and those romoured to be vegetarians. He poured derision and abuse upon those who had eaten a vegetable or those romoured to have ever eaten a vegetable.
This done, it was time to collect funds for the society, so he went on a door knocking appeal.
His mysterious disappearance that afternoon has still been unsolved to this day, and is seen by the founders of the present-day SPCV as the ultimate act of martyrdom to the cause.
The society, for some strange reason, still has uneducated heathens asking why Vegetables should be considered worthy of protection from abuse. The answer lies in science: Many years ago, science thought that the definition of life relied on eight properties; those of Movement, Reproduction, Senses, Cells, Growth, Respiration, Excretion, and Nutrition. Over the years these definitions have been chipped away by various scientific discoveries, such as viruses (too small to have cells), the sensory response and movement of plants (which don't move in an ambulatory way, as we humans do), the exact workings of the lungs of insects (which bring inconsistencies into the action of respiration), and fire (which, when all of the above definitions have been suitably adjusted, is officialy alive, much to the embarrassment of all concerned.)
One of the side effects of these changes is that Vegetables, and indeed any other plant, have been afforded the same qualia of 'life', as any other living entity. Thus, in the same vein as that of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Anti-cruelty laws, and also that of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, lies the manifesto for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Vegetables.