If there is anything that people don’t like talking about, of course I want to discuss it. I don’t think any subject should be hidden or casually swept under the carpet.
We need to understand why certain! subjects are still taboo and how we can work towards making the apparently awkward part of everyday conversation.
Whilst I was away at Vegan Camp, I surveyed the adults asking what they thought were some of the last taboo subjects. Here is what they came up with:
- Sexual fetishes. Anything that isn’t considered “normal sex” by the majority of people, regardless of sexuality.
- Periods and period blood.
- Human overpopulation and how to deal with it.
- Nakedness in general.
- Poly relationships.
I spent two weeks talking about 4 out of the 5 things above without any negative consequences. When I talked about 1 of those things, people would get up and leave. It would generally make them feel uncomfortable. Guess which one it was.
Number 3. Human overpopulation and how to deal with it. It’s not just whilst on holiday with vegans. It’s all the time in everyday life.
I’m going to try and be as honest as possible without being offensive. So here goes;
The human population of Earth has gone from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.4 billion in 2016. That’s mainly due to advances in medicine, better living standards and more advanced ways of producing food.
I can hear the deniers now. They are sat there saying that 7.4 billion people can all fit in California. I don’t deny that at all. Listen up, I’ve researched this. If we got the entire human population of the world and dumped them into California, we wouldn’t be able to move. We couldn’t work, eat, play or sleep. We’d just have to stand there. So ultimately we’d die. Not really a great solution.
Ok so here’s the current situation in reality. 7.4 billion people spread around the world. Some of us live in luxury, but most of us live in abject poverty, war zones or on the brink of starvation. Most of us don’t have access to an adequate diet, medical care and every single day is a struggle just to survive.
Out of the 230,000 people that increase the human population every day (after deaths), how many of those do you think live in luxury and how many of those do you think struggle and live in misery?
I don’t like the idea of anyone being born to suffer, that’s why I’m vegan. I follow that principle for humans too.
Why are so many people suffering? War, pollution, climate change, governments feeding grain to animals instead of the local population and then exporting the meat, dairy and eggs to the West.
More people doesn’t help solve any of those problems. It only makes them worse. It doesn’t matter whether you live in luxury or not. Every added person on the planet will contribute to one of these issues in one way or another.
As a Westerner, I’d like to look at climate change and how we’re fuelling that by adding more people. After all, that effects the rest of the world and leads to war and food inequality.
Every new human needs shelter, food/water and energy at a bare minimum. Shelter requires land and resources. So we take land and resources from nature and incorporate it into a town or a city.
Then you need food. 95% of people will eat animal products, which is the most inefficient way of producing food. It uses more land and creates more pollution than any other food source. The 5% will probably eat plant based for a few years before moving onto animal products and 1% will remain vegan for life. Even a plant based diet uses massive amount of land that should be filled with forests and meadows. All food production leads to habitat destruction and therefore species extinction. Look at the decline of butterflies and hedgehogs in the UK over the last decade. It’s horrific!
We also need resources to power our lives. Water for us and our food, of which there is only a limited supply that is usable and we are polluting more everyday. Electricity which is produced by exploiting and polluting the environment in most cases. The more of us there are, the more we have to exploit the environment for power. What happens when we run out of fresh water or we run out of environment to exploit? We go to war for more. This is exactly how the war in Syria started. Don’t think it won’t happen here. It will.
I’ve never met another person who actually wants war, famine and suffering. So what are the solutions? Let’s put them in order of importance.
- Do not have children.
- Adopt a plant based diet.
- Live with the environment in mind.
People never seem to have a problem with points 2 and 3. (Sometimes 2 if they aren’t vegan already.) If you mention to people that a lot of world’s problems could be eased if we decided not to have children, that lose their shit.
Over the last year, I’ve lost a good deal of people who I cared about because of my views on reproduction and how they relate to actually saving our species a lot of suffering. It’s something I’ve had to get used to, like with being vegan, once you know you cannot unknow the damage you do to the planet by having children. People don’t like it. Sometimes they even get violent.
If you are in a position to chose not to have children, you should. You should also support:
- Education for girls and women to help them make informed decisions about reproduction.
- Free contraception, abortion and sterilisation for anyone who wants it.
- Fostering and adoption of children who are already here.
I don’t hate kids who are already here. I don’t really hate anyone. I just wish people would be more informed about those choices. If you chose to have children knowing the world they are going to inherit, that says more about you than it does me. I don’t want anyone to suffer, remember?
(Obviously I understand that it’s not possible for everyone not to have children due to lack of contraception, education and cultural restraints, hence points we should be supporting above.)
As a last point and something to think about going forward, which I’m sure will make me popular:
Why do we advocate spaying and neutering of non-humans to control their population, but when it comes to us we let our population run rampage over the planet regardless of the consequences? Isn’t that speciesism if you’re already vegan?
Have a nice weekend!