Today – August 1, 2018 – is “Earth Overshoot” day. It’s the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that year.
We’re on an unsustainable trajectory. And, unsustainable, by definition, means that it cannot continue. It will come to an end, one way or another.
Our population size multiplied by our consumption patterns is more than this finite planet can support. We are depleting the planet’s limited resources, while we operate in a rapidly ballooning environmental deficit.
When it comes to our consumption habits, our dietary choices play a very important role. Animal calories are significantly more resource-intensive than plant calories to produce. And, animal agriculture is the leading driver of deforestation and (by far) the largest land-user on the planet. A mass global shift away from animal foods is urgently needed. So, in addition to all the other compelling reasons to live vegan, please ditch animal foods for the planet.
When it comes to our population size, there are currently 7.6 billion people and growing. Net of deaths, we are adding almost 10,000 people to the planet EVERY HOUR, which translates into about 230,000 additional people EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, despite the fact that we are already overshooting our natural resources, our population continues to grow at this relentless pace.
In addition to treading lightly in your consumption (including your dietary choices), please consider the planetary benefits of small families instead of large ones, and also consider adoption. And, of course, supporting education, family planning, and gender equality across the globe is critically important as well to help stabilize our population growth (and are important issues in their own right).
Our planet, and all of the species who live here, are in peril because of the actions of one species: HUMANS. Let’s recognize our responsibility and protect the only home we’ve ever known.