Litkicks Message Board Archive

Unfinished thoughts

Posted to Poetry and Politics

We all have a right to exist, from George Bush down to the poorest child in West Africa. It's all about your 'ecological footprint' (a termed borrowed from a Peace Corps acquantice) i.e. how much of the world's finite resources we each use up. I'm not proposed some socialist utopian paradise, but it's wrong to turn a blind eye to the pain you might be causing through your willed ignorance. Farmer's in Mexico no longer have farmland because the Colorado river no longer reaches the Gulf of California, in large part because we built a city of one million people in the middle of a desert so we could have a playground. And then these same landless Mexican farmers come to America to find work so they won't die or starvation, and we bitch about illegal immagration.
In Central America, (and this statistic is about 10 yrs old, but I was there 2 yrs ago and it don't look like it changed much.) the average indigenous person eats less meat per capita than the average American housecat, despite the fact that their countries supply large amounts of the beef we Americans consume. And the land cleared for the grazing of this beef was taken from these same people's so now they have no land of their own to live off of.
And in America, we pay farmer's not to grow crops while many people starve. Why not pay these farmers to grow crops, and then give the surplus to the starving people? And don't say because it will drive market prices down, because these starving people are not part of the market to begin with, because they don't have any money.
Do you really need that SUV? Do you need to drive when you can walk? I know we'd like to think we aren't harming anybody, but that is just moral blindness. If you can live with that, fine. But don't pretend it isn't true.
I'm not saying we all live like monks. We can still live a comfortable lifestyle and still alleviate some of the suffering in the world. I don't want to take away your money. You earned your money and you have a right to it. But how much do you really need? Could we not all find a little bit to share?