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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jim Merkel claims 600 million humans is a sustainable population. Lierre Keith claims it's lower than this. This obviously means there will be huge problems in the future unless humans can voluntarily reduce their population(not likely). Does anyone know what the sustainable human population is?
 

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Herbivorous Urchin
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I believe the most reliable number I heard was 500,000,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>River</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2915961"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I believe the most reliable number I heard was 500,000,000.</div>
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I'd love to see a source for that if you have one. It's amazing how smart humans are in some ways, but in other ways we show no intelligence whatsoever.
 

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Herbivorous Urchin
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I can't find where now, but this may be an interesting read for you:<br><a href="http://misanthropicscott.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/what-is-the-sustainable-human-population-for-this-planet/" target="_blank">http://misanthropicscott.wordpress.c...r-this-planet/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>River</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2915970"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I can't find where now, but this may be an interesting read for you:<br><a href="http://misanthropicscott.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/what-is-the-sustainable-human-population-for-this-planet/" target="_blank">http://misanthropicscott.wordpress.c...r-this-planet/</a></div>
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This is a subject that interests me. That was a good article. Thanks for posting.
 

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It really depends on the habits of the people, and to a lesser degree, the technology.<br><br>
Far less than 15 million native Americans managed to cause extinctions in North America with nothing more than stone spearheads. Similar events, with a similar level of technology, happened in South America and Australia, as well as other places. That's not sustainable, and it's not due to the size of the population, but their habits.<br><br>
Modern USians tend to be living in a way that isn't sustainable either. We favor large single-family homes, on large lawns, and build communities where motorized vehicles is frequently required to reasonably carry out the day's tasks. We tend to generate our power and heat through fossil fuels which pollute. We eat a diet with large amounts of meat, requiring far more land for agriculture than the much more efficient plant-based diet. And with 300 million Americans, we're having a massive effect.<br><br>
So a large population can make things worse, but I don't think population size is necessarily a measure of "sustainability". Here's a thought experiment: Take all 300 million Americans. Put them in multi-family, multi-story dwellings (apartment buildings) in communities where its possible to walk to work and the store. Use shared greenspaces instead of private lawns. Switch to an energy system where we dumping poison into the atmosphere isn't considered normal operating procedure. Encourage mass transit for longer trips, and get away from petrol-driven vehicles. Switch to a diet of plants, and eliminate the millions of acres needed to grow feedstock for animals. Make large nature preserves, with broad wildlife corridors between them, and stop logging old-growth forests, but instead use tree farms with fast-growing species. Stop building in the desert. Stop farming land that always needs irrigation. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the hell out of everything.<br><br>
You could get 300 million Americans sustainably living in the US.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rainforests1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2915956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Lierre Keith claims it's lower than this.</div>
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I disagree, then. Just because Lierre Keith says it, really.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916131"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I disagree, then. Just because Lierre Keith says it, really.</div>
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agreed. If Lierre Keith says something, she's bound to have misinterpreted, fudged, or just made up any "information" she's relying on to form her thoughts. Of course "science" says that meat eaters become deranged from their diet, so she can't help it (for those who don't know, that's what she says about vegans, and "science" means stuff pulled from her ass).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rainforests1</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2915956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Jim Merkel claims 600 million humans is a sustainable population. Lierre Keith claims it's lower than this. This obviously means there will be huge problems in the future unless humans can voluntarily reduce their population(not likely). Does anyone know what the sustainable human population is?</div>
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An excellent question since it's dependant on many factors, at least these three:<br>
- average life span<br>
- consumption practices<br>
- technology<br><br>
But perhaps an even better question is: Does it matter?<br><br>
If there are more pressing issues at hand (for example, the rights of existing human and nonhuman animals) then shouldn't we be more concerned with those issues? Particularly if concerning ourselves with those issues may have the side benefit of slowing or stopping the growth of the human population???
 

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What are the factors being considered?<br>
When we get down to diet, a meat-based diet can sustain way less people than a plant-based one.<br>
Is this considered the "average" omni diet, or an ideally efficient diet?
 

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I believe it means humans, period. An ideal vegan type population would consume fewer resources but not exponentially fewer. I couldn't imagine the world could sustain twice as many vegans as non vegans.<br><br>
Personally I have already dedicated myself to non-breeding, but I do intend to artificially extend my lifespan using evolving medicine and technology if possible. I believe these techniques will begin to become available while my generation is still alive. That will raise a whole new ethical question about reproducing. If it's possible to use nanotechnology and stem cell research to far exceed the normal human mortality limit of roughly 120 years by decades or even centuries, wouldn't that mean an even more grossly exaggerated population? Wouldn't that increase the urgency of some sort of consensus on whether there should be some privilege for reproducing? It's going to reach a point where it's seen as a privilege and not a right any longer. Just like I don't have the right to dump toxic waste into the river, I don't feel I personally have the right to potentially continue a genetic line that could end up consuming billions of tons of natural resources.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916265"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I believe it means humans, period. An ideal vegan type population would consume fewer resources but not exponentially fewer. I couldn't imagine the world could sustain twice as many vegans as non vegans.</div>
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I'd argue otherwise.<br>
And, if we simplify everything down to a simple equation, Crops = Land + Water. Meat = Land + Water + Crops.<br>
A meat based diet uses twice as much fossil fuels - an extra 200 gallons a year.<br>
Beef uses 50 times more water than soybeans, and, worldwide, 70% of freshwater goes towards agriculture.<br>
In the US, livestock consumes 5-6 times as much grain as the entire population (41 mill. tons compared to 7 mill.)
 

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What exactly does sustainable mean really? Even without human intervention, wild animal populations bounce back and forth to extremes on a regular basis and, inevitably, one of those times they simply don't recover. Most of the species of animals that have ever existed became extinct long before we entered into the picture. We're just another evolutionary mutation. We do seem to have had a period of extreme growth (the past 150 years or so), but like all animals, we will eventually hit a ceiling. When this happens we will crash. We will either recover and repeat the process again, or we will become extinct and make way for something just superior enough to allow it to survive when we do not. Such is the way of the world, and I'm okay with it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916265"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Wouldn't that increase the urgency of some sort of consensus on whether there should be some privilege for reproducing? It's going to reach a point where it's seen as a privilege and not a right any longer. Just like I don't have the right to dump toxic waste into the river, I don't feel I personally have the right to potentially continue a genetic line that could end up consuming billions of tons of natural resources.</div>
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There is no right to reproduction. People just conflate it with the rights humans have and deserve: consentual heterosexual sex between fertile partners without the use of drugs, surgical procesures, or barriers. Having sex is not analogous to "dumping toxic waste into the river."
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There is no right to reproduction. People just conflate it with the rights humans have and deserve: consentual heterosexual sex between fertile partners without the use of drugs, surgical procesures, or barriers. Having sex is not analogous to "dumping toxic waste into the river."</div>
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He isn't saying that having sex is. He is saying that having children is. Like it or not, having kids does have a negative impact on the planet.
 

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Like I said before a few children per family will not hurt our population and environment. If we don't have children there will be no future Vegetarians and Vegans and people protesting against animal cruelty. I have waited long enough to have children and I am having a handful and half.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peacefulveglady</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If we don't have children there will be no future Vegetarians and Vegans and people protesting against animal cruelty.</div>
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That's simply not true. I suspect that many, many vegetarians on this forum are converts, not born as vegetarians.<br><br>
To the OP, let's define 'sustainable' and then we can move forward in the discussion.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nogardsram</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916760"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That's simply not true. I suspect that many, many vegetarians on this forum are converts, not born as vegetarians.</div>
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I agree. I think most people in nonveg societies who are vegetarian or vegan did it on their own, not because they were influenced to go veg by their parents.<br><br>
That said, I think that people who have grown up vegetarian or vegan have a unique experience that can sometimes help the cause. I went veg at a young age and that means my perspective is a little different sometimes. And I do think that one of reasons veg*nism isn't growing as quickly as it could is because so many vegetarians and vegans choose not to have biological children or adopt. That's not a good reason to have children, but then again, I don't really think people necesarily need a good reason to have or adopt kids. I just think that what's required is the ability to be a good parent, that's all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>das_nut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2916026"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You could get 300 million Americans sustainably living in the US.</div>
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According to that article posted earlier even Indians were causing many problems within their environment. They treat their environment with respect plus their numbers were much, much smaller than 300 million. We're talking about maybe a thousand years or more. We're not just talking about a few generations. There's no way 300 million could ever be sustainable.
 
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