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a few questions

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  • zita_spacegirl
    I have always wanted to ask folks like you a few questions. A. If humans are so bad, then why have you not killed yourselves yet? B. How does one
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 9, 2003
      I have always wanted to ask folks like you a few questions.

      <p> A. If humans are so bad, then why have you not killed yourselves
      yet?
      <p> B. How does one respond to the fact that many of our resources
      are used today because of enviromentally harmful modern farming and
      production methods, not sheer numbers of people. it has been proven
      again and again that eco-friendly sustainable farming methods can
      sustain any size population.
      <p> C. Another thought. . . Two hundred years ago people were
      producers more than consumers. In fact it is not until the mass
      commercialization and materilistic culture of the 20th century that
      people began to conusme more than they produce. People were not
      stupid in the past. They had large families becasue more people meant
      more help on the farm and more crops to feed the family and increase
      their comfort. <p>
      <p> Lastly do you ever find it ironic that people involved in your
      cause will all die without offspring and therefore your cause will
      die. Wheras, on the other hand, folks on the opposite side will have
      more children who will feel the same as their parents and continue to
      people the earth. As long as there is one fertile couple who
      disagrees with you, your whole cause is doomed! <p>

      I am a very firm beleiver in not using contraceptives as I beleive we
      should not pollute our bodies with artificial hormones and chemicals.
      Also I dislike the idea of telling my partner that he cannot have
      acsess to my fertility. I want to give of myself completley. <p>
      ABOUT ME: I am a young mother of one daughter (nine months old) and
      involved in a community where most people have very large families.
      My partner and I are firmly commited to simple living and an earth
      friendly lifestyle based a firm beleif in stewardship. We both
      proudly bear the term "breeder" and hope and pray for many children.
    • Les U. Knight
      Zita, thanks for asking. ... Please see http://www.vhemt.org/death.htm#grimreaper ... are used today because of enviromentally harmful modern farming and
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 10, 2003
        Zita, thanks for asking.

        >A. If humans are so bad, then why have you not killed yourselves yet?<

        Please see http://www.vhemt.org/death.htm#grimreaper

        >B. How does one respond to the fact that many of our resources
        are used today because of enviromentally harmful modern farming and
        production methods, not sheer numbers of people.<

        Environmentally harmful modern farming and production methods are
        what feeds our sheer numbers of people. Farming in ancient times also
        caused environmental destruction, as evidenced by some of today's
        deserts. The Fertile Crescent was logged and farmed to death long ago.

        > it has been proven again and again that eco-friendly sustainable
        >farming methods can
        sustain any size population.<

        This relates closely to C, so I'll combine them for my answer.

        >C. Another thought. . . Two hundred years ago people were
        producers more than consumers. In fact it is not until the mass
        commercialization and materilistic culture of the 20th century that
        people began to conusme more than they produce. People were not
        stupid in the past. They had large families becasue more people meant
        more help on the farm and more crops to feed the family and increase
        their comfort. <

        This describes the pyramid scheme which has caused civilizations of
        the past to fall. More people leads to more workers on the farm,
        which requires more farm land, and so on. Archeological evidence
        shows that South American empires grew until they had to plant corn
        in every field every year rather than allow them to lay fallow. A
        time line of malnutrition has been established through examination of
        skulls. Even the privileged class wasn't getting enough nutrition.
        Eventually, the drought cycle hit while they were too populous and
        the civilization collapsed rather quickly. A few people lived on in
        the area, and the land recovered, obscuring the reason for the
        collapse. This same drama has played out numerous times throughout
        the world. It is being replayed on a global scale now.

        There's a limit to how many people may be fed from a piece of land,
        and we are stretching those limits. This presents problems for
        humanity, but even greater problems for the wildlife whose habitat
        has been converted to farmland.

        We still produce as much as we consume. It's "through-put" that has
        increased in modern cultures. Landfills are one of the end results of
        our through-put: in-put + out-put.

        >Lastly do you ever find it ironic that people involved in your
        cause will all die without offspring and therefore your cause will
        die. Wheras, on the other hand, folks on the opposite side will have
        more children who will feel the same as their parents and continue to
        people the earth. As long as there is one fertile couple who
        disagrees with you, your whole cause is doomed! <

        If an idea lacks enough merit to be passed on without being force-fed
        from an early age, it probably deserves to be forgotten.

        Awareness isn't passed along in our genes. Every VHEMT Volunteer or
        Supporter is the result of a breeding couple, and yet we have all
        decided to stop reproducing. Often, we arrived at this conclusion
        independently and without support from friends and family.

        The concept of voluntary human extinction has a life of its own. It's
        an idea whose time has come, though it may be a little late.

        You're right about the cause being doomed as long as there's one
        breeding couple. Captain Cook would release a breeding pair of pigs
        to islands in the Pacific so that natives and sailors of the future
        would have pork. They are still displacing indigenous species on
        those islands, and have cause many species to go extinct. We are also
        exotic invaders with similar results.

        >I am a very firm beleiver in not using contraceptives as I beleive we
        should not pollute our bodies with artificial hormones and chemicals. <

        Yes, female-based contraception has dangers. Pregnancy has dangers as
        well, but at least they're not artificial.

        >Also I dislike the idea of telling my partner that he cannot have
        acsess to my fertility. I want to give of myself completley. <

        Eventually don't you think you'll reach the limit of your ability to
        care for all your offspring? You can only give of yourself so much --
        even if it's completely. When you're caring for your baby, you can't
        give as much to your partner. We all only have so much to give, and
        it's essential to our Selves that we find time for ourselves.

        Your partner could take control of his fertility, allowing you to
        avoid telling him that he cannot have access to your fertility. A
        simple alteration of a couple of tubes and my partner is freed of all
        those artificial hormones and chemicals. Something to keep in mind
        for the future, anyway.

        >ABOUT ME: I am a young mother of one daughter (nine months old) and
        involved in a community where most people have very large families.
        My partner and I are firmly commited to simple living and an earth
        friendly lifestyle based a firm beleif in stewardship. We both
        proudly bear the term "breeder" and hope and pray for many children. <

        It's not possible to live an Earth-friendly lifestyle while
        increasing the burden we place on Earth's biosphere. You will have no
        control over the majority of your offsprings' lifetime, during which
        they may find driving big cars and eating at Burger King to be a
        pleasant experience.

        There's another way you can achieve a large family: provide a home
        for existing children who are in need of one. Since others in your
        community have very large families, they will need your parenting
        abilities as well. We don't have to create new humans with our
        specific DNA to "have" many children.

        I realize that my words are not likely to change your chosen path. I
        just hope I've explained our perspective so that it doesn't seem so
        strange to you.

        Best wishes,
        Les
      • zita_spacegirl
        Dear Les, I appreciated the scholastic intelligent response to my arguments, and hope to continute this discussion on a point we are obviously at odds about.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 11, 2003
          Dear Les,

          I appreciated the scholastic intelligent response to my
          arguments, and hope to continute this discussion on a point we are
          obviously at odds about. In response to you counterpoints allow me
          to say that many of your arguments are historical and hold little
          water merely on the fact that similar historical arguments can be
          made to support the opposite side of the issue. I was a history
          major with a cocentration in medieval studies and let me say that the
          farming culture of the high middle ages was highly advanced, yet
          sustainable and earth friendly. In fact their farming communities
          were set up exactley the opposite from the traditional American
          farm. The point is that historical arguments work both ways and are
          not satisfactory. One could argue that the South Americans lack of
          sustainable farming was merely a defficiency in knowledge of
          sustainable technology and that if everybody followed the pattern of
          the fourteenth century French peasents we would all be okay.


          As to the contraception debate I have to say the following.
          Nature has provided women with a wonderful method of birth prevention
          called breastfeeding. It has been proved that if ecological
          breastfeeding (as opposed to American-style breastfeeding) is used,
          the mother can space births three to four years apart. Women of the
          Kung Tribe of the kalahari desert in South Africa who practiced
          ecological breastfeeding averaged four years between births and about
          4.2 children permarried pair. Once western methods of feeding were
          introduced the women started to average 9.5 births per married pair.
          By following the natural breastfeeding instincts these women did not
          have to be pregnant every year and maintained a replacement level
          population. Also they did not have to use harmful contraceptives.


          Anyhoo, in another vain,

          I suppose in the end what is so puzzling about this argument
          is that you make an argument that . . .
          A. Nature seems to know best.
          B. People destroy Nature according to their inrinsic nature i.e. it
          is impossible for a human to not destroy nature.
          C. Therefore people must unnaturally alter their systems so that they
          cannot reproducae and will die out.
          The problem with this argument is that it claims that nature would
          create something that would destroy herself according to its nature
          and since your argument also claims that nature knows best it would
          seem that we should just let things take their natural course and let
          the earth destroy itself. .

          The argument for enviromental awarness can only be based on the fact
          that we must preserve the earth for the animal kingdom and for OUR
          OFFSPRING. Stewardship is the key to environmental awareness not
          blindly sterilizing ourselves into existence.

          I still remain a proud "breeder" Les!

          Thanks.
          Anna
        • Les U. Knight
          Anna, we may not be at great odds regarding history. I think we re simply using different time scales. Yes, during the Middle Ages, Europe recovered from much
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 26, 2003
            Anna, we may not be at great odds regarding history. I think we're
            simply using different time scales.

            Yes, during the Middle Ages, Europe recovered from much of the
            devastation of the Roman Empire. Extinct species didn't return, but
            the flora and fauna which had survived flourished thanks to the
            collapse of civilization. Plagues also served to limit human numbers,
            though I'm not saying that death is a good way to do that.

            As time went on, and the population grew despite massive
            out-migration, the land again became unable to support the
            population. If it weren't for cheap transportation, the cycle of
            collapse would have already come around. Food was simply imported
            from the colonies and now from the neo-colonies.

            >One could argue that the South Americans lack of
            sustainable farming was merely a defficiency in knowledge of
            sustainable technology and that if everybody followed the pattern of
            the fourteenth century French peasents we would all be okay. <

            But we don't do that. We, collectively, are not satisfied with life
            as French peasants. Most of us aspire to be bourgeoise and faux
            aristocracy.

            > As to the contraception debate I have to say the following.
            Nature has provided women with a wonderful method of birth prevention
            called breastfeeding. It has been proved that if ecological
            breastfeeding (as opposed to American-style breastfeeding) is used,
            the mother can space births three to four years apart. Women of the
            Kung Tribe of the kalahari desert in South Africa who practiced
            ecological breastfeeding averaged four years between births and about
            4.2 children permarried pair. Once western methods of feeding were
            introduced the women started to average 9.5 births per married pair.
            By following the natural breastfeeding instincts these women did not
            have to be pregnant every year and maintained a replacement level
            population. Also they did not have to use harmful contraceptives. <

            There are several good reasons to breastfeed, suppression of
            ovulation without artificial hormones being one of them. However, a
            major drawback is that a woman using this method has to give birth
            before it starts reducing her chances of pregnancy. Giving birth
            every four years is also less than satisfactory for most women.
            Unless life-expectancy is very short, 4.2 children is almost double
            replacement level. French peasants' farming methods won't be enough
            to feed everyone in a short time, particularly in the Kalihari.

            Every form of contraception has risks and side-effects, and so does
            giving birth. We just have to take in to consideration all the
            factors in each of our specific situations. Even vasectomy, which is
            the safest, has the fewest side-effects, and is the most economical,
            is not perfect. For some reason(s) more women get tubals in the US
            than men get vasectomies. Could be this society's attitude that
            contraception is women's work.

            >Anyhoo, in another vain,

            I suppose in the end what is so puzzling about this argument
            is that you make an argument that . . .
            A. Nature seems to know best. <

            I can see how this might appear to be my reasoning, and in a sense
            that's close enough. To be more precise, natural systems without
            human influence are healthier: more biodiversity, and more able to
            recover from environmental stress.

            >B. People destroy Nature according to their inrinsic nature i.e. it
            is impossible for a human to not destroy nature.<

            Some exotic species will become a part of an ecosystem without
            disturbing it much. Others devastate ecosystems they invade. Each
            time Homo sapiens entered a continent, a noticeable increase in
            extinctions occurred. We continue to eliminate other species wherever
            we live, helped by other domesticated animals.

            >C. Therefore people must unnaturally alter their systems so that they
            cannot reproducae and will die out. <

            Not much we do is natural any more, so I see no problem with altering
            our systems in one more way. Exceeding the carrying capacity of our
            ecosystems is also unnatural, but on a much larger scale.

            >The problem with this argument is that it claims that nature would
            create something that would destroy herself according to its nature
            and since your argument also claims that nature knows best it would
            seem that we should just let things take their natural course and let
            the earth destroy itself. <

            This does seem to be a circular argument. However, I wouldn't
            attribute a human trait such as "knowing" to nature. Like natural
            ecosystems, our bodies sometimes unknowingly create things which
            could destroy us, cancer for example. When that happens, we try to
            remove it for the sake of the whole. In this case, what's destroying
            nature has a brain and a heart: we can figure out what we're doing
            and care enough to stop it.

            >The argument for enviromental awarness can only be based on the fact
            that we must preserve the earth for the animal kingdom and for OUR
            OFFSPRING.<

            These two goals are incompatible. We could preserve an island
            ecosystem for birds and the introduced brown tree snake. In the end,
            bird species would be few and the snake population would plummet. To
            preserve an ecosystem, exotics usually must be removed or controlled.
            When we leave an ecosystem alone, even if it's in sorry shape like
            Chernobyl, wildlife flourishes.

            > Stewardship is the key to environmental awareness not blindly
            >sterilizing ourselves into existence. <

            I know what you mean. Environmental awareness is needed as long as
            humans exist -- it would be great if in increased. The concept of
            stewardship appeals to many, and so can help advance awareness. A
            further step in awareness would be to understand that nature doesn't
            need our stewardship, except to undo what we've done.

            Blindly sterilizing ourselves could have disasterous resultsĀŠ oops!

            >I still remain a proud "breeder" Les! <

            And I certainly wouldn't try to change you into an ashamed "breeder" Anna. ;-)

            Best wishes,
            Les
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