In junior school I was taught that there were 5 billion people on earth. 3 billion of them living in poverty, simply because the planet had resources to feed no more than two billion humans. Today, we are 7.6 billion on that same planet: an increase of 52 percent in only half a lifetime. And counting.
By the end if this century, the world population will be over 11 billion humans, according to UN-calculations. Most of this growth will come from Africa, the continent that is already suffering more than any other from a lack of natural resources today. It takes no rocket science to understand that this is a most dramatic perspective.
It gets even worse, though. Not only the number of human beings is raising dramatically, so does the consumption level per individual. Although we are all aware of the fact that we managed to burn most of the fossile resources that took the planet many millions of years to build up, we consume what is left of them with unknown eager. The bottom is visible, but we hop on a plane to our favourite winter resort or summer holiday and we take our children, our personal contribution tot that catastrofic 11 billion, to their schools around the corner by car. Even those who once lived on the wrong side of the line between wealth and poverty, posess full HD flatscreen tv’s and cars nowadays. Refugees fleeing to Europe over the Mediterranean Sea are streaming their crossing live on social media, using the latest iPhones.
The bottom is near and we are rushing to get there. That doesn’t only sound insane, it is insane. But still, we do it. Grasshoppers tend to ruin a whole area in little time. That are organisms that do as they were programmed, unaware of what they cause. Man though knows exactly what the consequences of their behaviour will be, for ourselves, for other life forms and for our own offspring. Nevertheless we keep on doing so, and that makes us more stupid than a grasshopper.
Although we know that this planet can only feed two billion of us, we keep on breeding. Sure, we think about solutions. Genetical manipulation can offer some relief. Taking down tropical rain forest does, too. That leaves many species without their lifespace, but it does give us more agricultural headroom. To grow food? Eh, not really. Make that sugar cane, for the production of bio-ethanol to mix with E95-gasoline to produce E10. All to enable us driving to school and flying in holiday with a so called greener conscience. We wolf our insatiable bodies to cheap meat from pigs that lived their miserable lives, packed by tenths of thousands in dark stables, under circumstances no better than those in the nazi concentration camps. But hey, they’re only animals..
Well, that is exactly where we go wrong. We consider human life superiour to that of animals. Logical; each species prevails its own kind over others. We call that natural survival. The difference though is that we took god’s chair. We are arrogant enough to believe ourselves being entitled to decide which species may stay and which must be exterminated. We kill geese, buffalos and rabbits because of their overpopulation.
Well, that’s interesting: overpopulation. In that context, 7,6 billion humans would be the perfect licence to kill. Some disgusting German from the first half of the last century would have killed to get such a license.
If you really aspire god’s throne, you ought to be big enough not to prevail yourself over other species. Just like the referee can only be referee if he is impartial. As long as we prevail a human life over others, we are utterly unfit to rule the planet.
If some highly intellectual extraterrestrial being would visit our planet and hang around for a week or so to scrutinise it, what, being asked what life form world can do without, would be his answer?
Exactly. That is why an animal life is more valuable than a human.