On USENET in either 1987 or 1988, I pointed out via e-mail to a pro-life student John Morrow at Rutgers University in New Jersey that we never see anti-abortionists distributing condoms on campuses, in order to bring down the abortion rate (what to speak of addressing the threat of "overpopulation"!).
The pro-life response? In 1990, CNN ran a news story about "entertainers" distributing condoms on campuses!
This led me to conclude that pro-lifers, thinking themselves as "sexually liberated" as pro-choicers; enjoying the past five hundred years of secular social progress, all of which goes against the Bible; thinking themselves smugly superior to the Arab world when it comes to women's rights; deriding followers of Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism), where traditionally marriages are arranged and there isn't supposed to be any dating or boyfriends or girlfriends) find it impossible themselves to be open and honest about contraception and oral sex!
Distributing condoms is fine, but the real cause of environmental destruction is not "overpopulation," but overconsumption: our meat-centered diet.
It makes sense to eat lower on the food chain! Dudley Giehl writes in his 1979 book, Vegetarianism: A Way of Life:
"The pacific sardine lives along the coasts of North America from Alaska to southern California. Sardines, once a major part of the California fishing industry, are now considered to be 'commercially extinct.' Another species classified as 'commercially extinct' is the New England haddock. Ecologists have also been concerned about the significant reduction in finfish, the Atlantic bluefin tuna, Lake Erie cisco, and blackfins that inhabit Lakes Huron and Michigan.
"Over 200,000 porpoises are killed every year by fishermen seeking tuna in the Pacific. Sea turtles are similarly killed in Caribbean shrimp operations. Some animals are killed because, as carnivores, they compete with the human predator for the right to kill other animals for food, including wild game and domesticated species raised by livestock ranchers. Alaskan hunters are eager to reduce the wolf population in their state because this animal is a predator of moose.
"Cougars, coyotes and wolves are considered a menace to the cattle and sheep industries, and livestock ranchers have engaged in a large-scale campaign to exterminate them. Two species of wolves are now endangered, and very few wolves can be found in the United States except in Alaska and northeastern Minnesota. The relatively small number of eagles in the U.S. is largely due to the destruction of this species by livestock ranchers, particularly those in the sheep business.
"Herbivorous animals that inhabit rangeland areas are also killed by the livestock industry because they compete with cattle and sheep for food. Large numbers of kangaroos are being exterminated in Australia, while in the United States livestock ranchers seek to destroy wild horses, wild burros, deer, elk, antelope and prairie dogs."
"All Things Are Connected," the concluding chapter to John Robbins' Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987), begins with a quote from (reincarnationist) Christian mystic Edgar Cayce:
"Destiny, or karma, depends upon what the soul has done about what it has become aware of."
Vegan author John Robbins provides these points and facts in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987):
Half the water consumed in the U.S. irrigates land growing feed and fodder for livestock. The water that goes into a 1,000 lb. steer could float a destroyer. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, but 2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat. If these costs weren't subsidized by the American taxpayers, the cheapest hamburger meat would be $35 per pound!
Subsidizing the California livestock industry costs taxpayers $24 billion annually. Livestock producers are California's biggest consumers of water. Every tax dollar the state doles out to livestock producers costs taxpayers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs and reduced business income. Seventeen western states have enough water supplies to support economies and populations twice as large as the present.
Meat producers, the number one industrial polluters in our nation, contribute to half the water pollution in the United States. Huge amounts of water wash away livestock excrement. U.S. livestock produce twenty times as much excrement as the entire human population, creating sewage which is ten to several hundred times as concentrated as raw domestic sewage. Animal wastes cause thrice as much water pollution than does the U.S. human population; the meat industry causes thrice as much harmful organic water pollution than the rest of the nation's industries combined.
Conservatives, dismissing any moral duties toward animals because our relationship with other species (domesticated and wild) is partly an environmental ethics issue, fail to consider that by purchasing products from the factory farms, they, too, are responsible for the air and water pollution, energy costs, etc. we taxpayers all face, and they, too, must be held accountable!
Overgrazing of cattle leads to topsoil erosion, turning once-arable land into desert. We lose four million acres of topsoil each year and 85 percent of this loss is directly caused by raising livestock. To replace the soil we've lost, we're destroying our forests. Since 1967, the rate of deforestation in the U.S. has been one acre every five seconds. For each acre cleared in urbanization, seven are cleared for grazing or growing livestock feed.
One-third of all raw materials in the U.S. are consumed by the livestock industry and it takes thrice as much fossil fuel energy to produce meat than it does to produce plant foods. A report on the energy crisis in Scientific American warned: "The trends in meat consumption and energy consumption are on a collision course."
Nor can fish provide any help here, notes Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983). There are signs that the fishing industry (which is quite energy-intensive) has already overfished the oceans in several areas. And fish could never play a major role in the worlds diet anyway: the entire global fish catch of the world, if divided among all the world's inhabitants would amount to only a few ounces of fish per person per week.
The American Dietetic Association reports that throughout history, humans have lived on "vegetarian or near vegetarian diets,"; meat has traditionally been a luxury. Nathan Pritikin, author of The Pritikin Plan, recommended not more than three ounces of animal protein per day; three ounces per week for his patients that already suffered a heart attack.
Providing the entire world with a meat-centered diet is absurd. But what about providing only the affluent with a meat-centered diet?
According to Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983), if the world population triples in the coming one hundred years, and meat consumption continues, then meat production would have to triple as well. Instead of 3.7 billion acres of cropland and 7.5 billion acres of grazing land, we would require 11.1 billion acres of cropland and 22.5 billion acres of grazing land.
But this is slightly larger than the total land area of the six inhabited continents! We are desperately short of forests, water and energy already. Even if we resort to extreme methods of population control: abortion, infanticide, genocide, etc...modest increases in the world population would make it impossible to maintain current levels of meat consumption. On a vegan diet, however, the world could easily support a population several times its present size. The world's cattle alone consume enough to feed 8.7 billion humans.
Opponents of global warming, global hunger; the energy, environmental, population and water crises aren't offended when told veganism is the solution to each of their respective crises...according to the law of karma, our killing of animals causes these self-inflicted wounds. Neither should our friends in the peace and pro-life movements take offense when told, "Here's the solution."