Decide now

Animal explosion or People explosion?

July 11: World Population Day

In 1957, Richard St. Barbe Baker was “convinced that the vegan way of life is the only sane way of life, and realising that the basic cause of tension is growing populations and diminishing food sources, for the past ten years I have devoted much of my time to studying the question of food production and the problems of large scale land reclamation by tree planting.”

Thomas Malthus notes that with an increase in world population, a pre-requisite is needed, food for that mass of humanity. “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.

This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence.”

“The world’s problem, is not a population explosion, but animal explosion. We’ve got to decide whether we are going to feed animals or humans. To feed animals is a roundabout way of getting food. It takes 18 times more land to feed people on beef than on vegetables, nuts fruits and grains.” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

In June of 2017, the world population is calculated at 7.5 billion. The “latest projections indicate that the world will have around 8.6 billion people in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050. Keeping in mind that projections farther into the future are increasingly uncertain, the medium variant projection foresees a world population of 11.2 billion people in 2100.Wilmoth” With every increase of about 5 billion souls there is “another billion hectares of human-claimed landscape, a billion hectares less forest ~ even without allowing for any further deforestation by the current human population.~ Quammen

Scientists have summarized the increase of population and the ensuing environmental degradation as IPAT, where “Environmental impacts (I) equals population (P) times affluence (A) (usually income per capita) times the impacts per unit of income as determined by technology (T) and the institutions that use it. Kates

“Not even very large losses from disease or war can affect the world’s population in the long run nearly as much as changes in human values do. What we have learned from the dramatic changes of the past few centuries is that regardless of the size of the world population at any time, people’s personal decisions about how many children they want can make the world population go anywhere – to zero or to 100 billion or more.~Singer

This July 11, World Population Day, do you agree with Richard St. Barbe Baker?
“They’re teaching about The Pyramid of Life in the schools today. There is the ground producing all the soil bacteria, which is in the top few inches. That grows the grass, and a a lamb comes along and eats ten pounds of grass, and that makes one lamb, and then a tiger comes along and eats ten pounds of lamb, and that makes one pound of tiger. We have too many tigers. The Pyramid of Life is upset, and one of the things we must do is to turn from an animal economy to a silvan economy. We’ve got to have tree crops, instead of wasting all this land for raising beef and bringing money to the beef barons, who are proud to call themselves beef barons. It takes eighteen times more land to feed people on beef than it does on nuts and fruit. Eighteen times more land. When half the human family today are dying from starvation. I don’t feel justified in making these demands on the earth. I, myself have been a lifelong vegetarian. ”

11 by Paul Hanley Quote: “Eleven billion people will crowd this marvelous planet by century’s end. If the global economy were to grow five-fold during this period as predicted, humanity’s ecological footprint would exceed Earth’s biocapacity by 400%. We need to chart a new course to the future.”

Kates, Robert W. Population and Consumption. What we know, What we need to know. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin. page 36-41

Quammen, David. Planet of Weeds. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin.

Singer, Max. The Population Surprise. From the Atlantic Monthly. August 1999, pp.22-25. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin. Page 30-31.

World Population Prospects 2017 United Nations Press briefing for the launch of the World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. Statement by Mr. John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations 21 June 2017

If the armies of the world could be redeployed in planting in the Sahara desert, in eight years a hundred million people could be rehabilitated and supplied with protein-rich food grown from virgin sand. If we could only accept the challenge and make that a One World Purpose, this would unite East and West and be the scientific and physical answer to the world’s dilemna.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority as the MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)” .
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein

. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar
~Richard St. Barbe Baker