Fun Fact #3: Poverty In 8’s

The place I live in is a bubble.

Meaning, you can walk down the street gazing upon verdurous lawns and red-painted shutters, instead of crumbling rooftops and lots filled with those scantily curled up onto weathered curbsides.

Though I am fortunate to be living in a place where my and my neighbors’ basic needs are sufficiently met, I realize that living in a bubble does make us disconnected with reality. Witnessing cruelty through the television screen can hurt our emotions, but it does nothing to prepare us for the actual conditions of the world.

We know that people are starving, that homes are collapsing, that our world harbors more deficiencies than we’d like to admit. But do we really know?

Let’s look at the facts.

First up, grain.

Did you know…

…if all the grain currently fed to livestock in the U.S. were consumed directly by people, the number of people being fed would be 800 million? Not advocating veganism, here—but grass-feeding our cows was always an option. (from Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma).

Not to mention; according to David Pimentel, professor in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, if those grains were exported (to, say, a region where people are indeed suffering greatly from starvation), doing so would increase the U.S. trade balance by $80 billion a year.

Based on these statistics, I don’t see why our government hasn’t yet jumped at the chance to carry out this world-saving masterplan. I mean, it’s not like there’s anything stopping them besides their corn subsidies, the tendency to partner up with corporations relying on cheap labor, the rules of hypercapitalism, mega-military funding, the current hell-spitting party feuds enrapturing every American’s conscience, and—

I’ll go back to all that another day, perhaps.

Next up—nutrition!

Did you know…

In the year 2000, the U.N. reported that the number of people suffering from over-nutrition—a billion—had surpassed the number of people suffering from malnutrition—800 million.

Evidently, our system is flawed. But who’s to blame? Where did the crazed industrialized ethics escalate, when did the national greed spawn, where did calorie-obsession spike and our impoverished comrades die?

Whether your hourly pay is $24 or $2.50, it is crucial to wonder why. It is crucial to understand that the numbers are climbing. The 8’s will shift to 9’s, and the 9’s to 10’s. What we can do about this is spread awareness, and remain conscious of our own mindsets and actions.

Poverty is real. It is okay to step outside of our bubbles every once and a while to be disturbed, to be afraid, to recoil at the facts and wish to escape. But turn your sorrow into motivation, and speak up instead. The numbers are already there. Now, it is our turn to keep them in mind, to use them, with one word, one action, at a time.

 

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14 thoughts on “Fun Fact #3: Poverty In 8’s

  1. Starvation should be ended—it’s just not right. I honestly do think the people in the world who are swimming in money—billionaires—should have a little more heart and donate a fraction of their riches to the rest of the world. Isn’t it strange–and sad—that so often the people who care and are out there making a difference often have to rely on donations from people, not coming from an extremely wealthy background themselves? Is there some correlation between kindness and wealth? I think so. I do think there is one. Not in all cases, but certainly in many. And contraception is something else that needs to be espoused, because people in first-world countries are simply having children at an unsustainable rate in terms of resources, with many women giving birth to more than four or more children, instead of the one or two per couple in developed countries. It’s a big, gnarly problem, and I deal with it in my own powerlessness by turning to the spiritual—to God—and praying for it all to be well in the end. Suffering and death are not frightening, not if we have faith there is more to life than meets the eye, and I believe there is.

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    • “…billionaires—should have a little more heart and donate a fraction of their riches to the rest of the world.”
      What seems to be the retorting opinion is that if you make money, you should be able to spend it in any way that you’d like, and not be held accountable, or be subject to guilt, for someone else’s poverty. The problem is that I agree with both your statement as well as the opposing. It’s a very tricky concept.

      Studies have been done that show that even small increases in power (such as a job promotion) lead to a lessing of feelings like empathy. So you would be right in your assumption that wealth and kindness may be correlated.

      I’m glad that you’ve brought up the issue with contraception. I admit I’m not as aware of how out of control it is as I would like to be (aside from seeing the planet’s population numbers being slapped onto headlines every now and again). I’m going to do some reading on this.

      I’m so happy that despite any hardship, you are able to continue to have faith. I can’t say I’m religious or spiritual, but I still pray, if not for me than for others in greater need. I feel like it does help, training our consciousness onto something—whatever it is—that is greater than ourselves, for a cause that is greater than ourselves.

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  2. Yes you are right, poverty is a reality and inequality in wealth distribution is increasing the problem. It’s true that all the countries’ governments should come up, forgetting the short term individual benefits and working for the long term sustainable growth of the world – ending world huger, poverty, undernourishment, health situations and environmental degradation – making this world a better place to live for the future generations….
    Thanks for pointing out this burning problem… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading, Nemo! I’m so glad you could empathize with those in need, and understand the complexity of this situation. As you’ve said, each choice we make affects future generations. Let’s remember that we’re in it together—whether we’re poor or wealthy, the fate of the future depends on all.

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      • Yes you are absolutely right. But some ignorant people don’t understand this reality or doesn’t want to. They become blind in their own world.
        I landed in your post because a former follwer of mine posted an article, demeaning you at extreme level. I guess you have seen it and read the comments section as well. I guess you should change the settings to manually approve your comments and post links. Then these types of nonsense can be averted.
        And you are welcome 😊😊 Keep writing..

        Liked by 1 person

        • You make a good point, that some may choose not to understand reality. I find this is the case not because some people do not care for our world, but because they are daunted by the immensity of the world’s problems, and are unsure of how to make a positive impact.

          And thank you so much, Nemo, for your encouragement. I will take your advice into consideration. : )

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  3. Pingback: We Are Incredibly Powerful – NewMoonPlan

    • I worded that incorrectly; yes, veganism guarantees greater health benefits and lessens environmental costs. But in the developed world, large-scale veganism would cause economic disruption (those that are closely tied to the meat industry would hit poverty). Ideally, we would have to adapt to using more humane, environmentally-friendly pastoral methods as opposed to industrial methods to preserve both the environment and our economy. There is nothing wrong with eating meat, it is the methods of raising our livestock that need to be changed. But until we find a way to convert our methods, vegetarianism/veganism is certainly a wonderful thing to advocate. : )

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