Reducing Overconsumption on Earth Day and Every Day

Being part of nature, but able to control it  in certain ways for better or worse, humans are faced with questions of environmental responsibility at every turn--including in the areas of reproductive justice and health....

I am glad to see this article on RHReality Check, pointing out the many points of connection between environmental and reproductive justice:

And of course one article can’t cover all the grounds of this enormous subject, so I’d like to raise some more relevant issues.

When it comes to reproductive and environmental responsibility, many people is the wealthier countries think of the responsibility to limit their own reproduction for the sake of the planet. 

Now I’m not going to argue for one minute that the Earth has an endless carrying capacity, or that people shouldn’t voluntarily choose to limit their conceptions.  But I do stand in solidarity with women from the Two Thirds World who finally were able to change the terms of the debate at the 1994 UN population conference in Cairo. 

Two Thirds World activists have shown that it is not just the total number of people that threatens the environment, but the patterns of grotesque overconsumption in the wealthier countries.  They have argued that the most important thing is to alleviate child and maternal mortality and ensure educational and work opportunities for women as well as access to voluntary contraception–and population size will take care of itself.

One key way for people in the wealthier countries to reduce their overconsumption is to forego (or at least minimize) their use of animal products.  Many are beginning to ask questions about the use of such products in the manufacture of contraceptive and safer sex items, and to demand–and even get–contraceptives and safer sex items that are free of animal products, or at least products from animal carcasses.  The Glyde Corporation, with its line of vegan-friendly items, is a leader in this regard.


But the largest, single most decisive step people can take is to become vegan or vegetarian, for their own health, the health of other human beings, and of course for the sake of our fellow sentient beings who get killed for meat. 

In the US especially, enormous quantities of energy and land are hijacked and blasted with endocrine-disrupting pesticides to feed meat animals crammed into factory farms.  Which in turn create environmentally devastating pollution, as shown on the recent PBS "Frontline" special by reporter Hedrick Smith, "Poisoned Waters." 

Growing at least part of one’s own food organically and very locally is another option, even if one has very little available land  But the average front lawn in the US can be through rather easy-to-learn, low-tech methods farmed to grow enough produce for a family of four for one year. And urban apartment dwellers often can join or start community gardens–that’s how my own family has dealt with the problems of no yard.


To learn about these options, please visit:

The net result can only be better for everyone’s lives and health, including our reproductive health.