Covering the entire front page of my local newspaper last week was the hunger walk image shown here. It was advertising a local Crop Hunger Walk scheduled to take place in Mystic, CT, on October 14. The article went on to say that over $300,000 had been raised since their first local WALK in 1976. So where does the money go?
It goes to Church World Service (founded 1946) a cooperative ministry of 37 Christian communions working together to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice among the world’s most vulnerable people.
The good news here is that people everywhere want to help. They give their time, they donate their money and they organize events like this one to encourage others to do the same. The problem is that there is a much larger picture that few people anywhere truly understand—including our world leaders.
In a nutshell, that big picture is that we are rapidly approaching the physical capacity of our planet to sustain a steadily growing population who are consuming the highly inefficient meat & dairy-based western diet in ever increasing numbers. The first big problem is population growth. And the second big problem is that the way we are living & eating is simply unsustainable.
But the people who are “walking for hunger” don’t understand that “big picture” — and the money they raise is primarily spent on helping the victims of our excessive population growth and unsustainable lifestyle. Their walking is doing nothing to fix the underlying problem.
As I said, the first piece of our problem is population growth—growing from one billion in 1804 to the seven billion that we have today. An excerpt from Lester Brown’s new book, Full Planet, Empty Plates.
One of the consequences of this explosive growth in human numbers is that human demands have outrun the carrying capacity of the economy’s natural support systems— its forests, fisheries, grasslands, aquifers, and soils.
Once demand exceeds the sustainable yield of these natural systems, additional demand can only be satisfied by consuming the resource base itself. We call this overcutting, overfishing, overgrazing, overpumping, and overplowing. It is these overages that are undermining our global civilization.
Our wasteful lifestyles. The other part of our “big picture” global problem is the way we live and eat in the western world. Our large homes, with big lots and requiring lots of driving for basic needs is a problem that can not be easily solved anytime soon. But an even bigger problem is one that could be resolved in a much shorter time-frame. That problem is our incredibly wasteful way of eating.
Our typical western diet that over 90% of Americans are eating is not only undermining our health, it is wasting our precious natural resources at an incredible pace. Compared to a powerful health-promoting diet of mostly whole plant foods, our meat & dairy-based western diet (on a per calorie basis) requires over ten times as much water, ten times as much energy and ten times as much land.
That coupled with the fact that the world has an additional 219,000 people at the dinner table each night, spells disaster like we have never seen. Meanwhile, those kind and generous people who’re out walking for hunger—are unaware of these facts as they innocently continue eating that same wasteful & unsustainable diet themselves while raising money to help the victims of all of the above in some faraway land.
As Gandhi said, “we must be the change we want to see in this world.” And this begins with education. Our world leaders must come go grips with the reality of what is happening on this planet. Click here to purchase Lester Brown’s powerful new book on Amazon.
- Source article. CROP Hunger Walk – Church World Service
- “Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism”
- “Carnivores Next Door”—as the world runs out of space
- FIVE arguments in support of the typical western diet…
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The ”big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation