The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian network founded in 1973


Unknown cost of the pillage of our planet

Why do we insist on abusing the earth we live on? asks Paul Vallely

From The Universe dated August 6, 1995:

The semen of British men, if you will pardon the bluntness, is apparently far less fertile today than in previous eras.

Scientists were last night pressing the Government to do something about it.

I should not mock. They think there is an increase in testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women as well as a deterioration in the quality of the sperm.

Now I don't want to seem to minimise the suffering of some poor soul with cancer or the sadness of couples who can't have children but there seems to me to be a weary parable for our times in the whole thing.

First, it shows the more we know the less we know. Scientists are blaming everything from tight underpants to changes in lifestyle.

But the prime suspect seems to be environmental oestrogens. These are chemicals which imitate female hormones. Apparently they are found naturally in some foods.

But since the '40's we have boosted the number around by giving hormones to cows to boost dairy production.

They are also in exhaust fumes, pesticides, the contraceptive pill and the plastic cling films we use to wrap our sandwiches. They linger in the body up to 1,000 times longer than natural hormones.

And sadly, none of this is surprising.

We know human genes have already been introduced to some sheep so they will express certain chemicals in their milk.

We know chicken genes have been built into tomatoes to enhance flavour and increase shelf-life.

There is an awful sense of inevitability about the downside of our modern attitudes to the way we treat our planet.

I'm not being critical of advances in science. But I do question the use to which some of them are put.

Today the billion people who live in the West use 60 times more of the world's resources than is available to the other 80 per cent of humankind.

The rest are so poor that every hour 5,732 children die from worsening poverty just so they can repay their 'debts' to us.

Meanwhile, in the West, we can never have enough. We are constantly pushing against the capacity of the planet with the increasingly toxic pollution of our clever science.

Call it God. Call it Nature.

But some sense of inherent balance is being violated.

With things like falling sperm count it seems that the planet is fighting back against the voracious demands of the so-called civilisation of the western world.

Perhaps we are being told that the world would be a better place without us?

Reproduced with thanks


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