The following is my review of a new book published by Earth Books…
Often, over the years, I’ve thought about taking on the task of chronicling the ways in which humankind is destroying the Earth, and how we need to change to survive as a species. Now, equally sensing the dire need for such a book, long-time animal activist, Will Anderson, has risen to the challenge with his new book, This is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology.
I have to admit, the title, This is Hope, sounded to me like it could be almost, well, overly-hopeful. But in fact the book takes a hard, realistic look at where we’re headed if we don’t make some major changes in our destructive ways, our eating habits and our view of non-human animals as commodities. For instance, Anderson doesn’t buy into the increasingly popular fallacy that hunting can somehow be sustainable in this rapidly growing human world. Not only does he take on hunting, and those groups who promote it, he employs the term “neo-predation” for the myriad of ways in which the modern world disrupts biodiversity—to the peril of all who share the Earth.
And the author does not fall prey to the politically correct notion that human overpopulation is an overstated myth. Instead we learn that as environmentally-conscious, green vegans who truly want to see a future for all life on the planet, addressing and reversing our overpopulation is a must.
If we are willing to embrace Will Anderson’s prescription for a “new human ecology,” there truly could be hope for the future. As Anderson puts it, “The new human ecology can be the transformation of human behavior all of Earth has waited for.” Some of the positive results he foresees from this transformation include:
• Vast landscapes subjected to grazing and growing food for livestock are released from animal agriculture.
• Some of that land will be banked and rotated with other croplands. Soil erosion and pollution are sharply reduced. Sustainably grown, organic food becomes more reliably available.
• Conceivably, fewer people on Earth and the efficiency of botanical agriculture will allow lower food prices and raise food availability.
• We will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions immediately by 18% to 51%.
• Other human pressures on ecosystems decrease and allow them to trend toward recovery.
• Vegan diets will create better human health. This should result in lower health care costs.
• We stop the intentional impregnation of billions of domesticated individuals from other species, the torment of their enslavement and denial of their innate needs, and their early, violent deaths.
• The science and implementation of wildlife and habitat management is transformed…control by the small minority of people who hunt, fish and trap is ended.
• Livestock fences will be removed. Wild herds of indigenous wildlife can reoccupy habitat and have room to migrate long distances. Ecosystem keystone species like black-tailed prairie dogs will not be cruelly persecuted on behalf of animal agriculture.
• There are no new ghost nets, those fishing nets that break away from vessels, drift with oceanic currents, and continue to trap fish, turtles, marine birds, and marine mammals.
• We stop bottom trawling that destroys sea bed marine ecosystems. Since vegan human ecology does not require fish, it ends the trashing of millions of tons of unwanted bycatch (non-targeted species), eliminates shark-finning that is decimating shark populations, stops the killing of octopi, and ends the drowning of dolphins and turtles.
• We finally create a moral code of behavior that is based upon biocentric innate value; it is more consistently applied to all individuals of all species and ecosystems.