Generally, humans have seen themselves as the centre of existence, with the world around of value only to the extent that it is useful to them. Therefore, animals, vegetation, the land and so forth, have not been seen as having a value in themselves, but as having a value, only with regard to their usefulness to humans.
"'Standing' for the environment: Problems with locus standi,"
The National Legal Eagle:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/nle/vol1/iss1/4