Letters to the Editor, September 2020

Published: August 31, 2020

I just read the June issue of Population Connection—it was fantastic and full of information that is so needed. Thank you so much for all your work and continuous efforts to educate. Thank you also for an excellent editorial!

I wonder if it is possible to receive additional copies that I could share with our environmental educators so that they can start to include this information in their workshops. It would be great if you could go ahead and send at least a dozen copies of the magazine. There are several organizations and environmental leaders in Ohio that I want to make sure read your publication.

Cathy Knoop, PopEd Teacher Trainer

A particularly outstanding issue of Population Connection on COVID-19. It’s not really about exotic animals—it’s about greedy, oblivious humans. Thanks for this crucial focus on yet another consequence of Homo sapiens’ failure to understand and embrace our responsibility to the health and future of the planet.

Anna Lawson, Former Population Connection Board Member

Thanks for the excellent job in connecting the risk of pandemics to the growth of human populations, loss of wildlife habitat, and factory farming. “What we have to do,” however, is significantly more than providing reproductive control (contraception/abortion rights) and treating animals with more “respect.” Your issue side-stepped a critical problem we must address: Our eating habits are already unsustainable, even if we could achieve zero population growth today. Climate change, pollution, and habitat loss are a major consequence, multiplying the devastation from population growth.

If we could educate our citizens to stop eating meat, fish, and dairy products and switch to plant-based diets, farmers could feed the earth’s population without devastating habitats, using a fraction of today’s agricultural lands. Moreover, such an evolution would substantially reduce the risk of pandemics, the leading diet-associated diseases (diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, cancer), greenhouse gases (from decreased methane production and reduced use of energy and fertilizers by agriculture), fresh water consumption, and pollution.

Fortunately, there is a growing appreciation in the medical and scientific community that for the vast majority of people, and for the planet, plant-based diets are healthier. And of course, for livestock and wildlife, the benefit is a lifesaver. As Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as evolution to a vegetarian diet.” The time has come to do so, while we still have some life (and wildlife) to save.

David B. Bingham, MD, Former ZPG Board Member

I just finished reading your June 2020 issue of Population Connection, and I doubt if I have ever read a more important and scary set of articles about the connection between overpopulation and the welfare of Homo sapiens.

Katherine Franklin

Excellent issue (June) of the magazine. The article by John Vidal was certainly worthy of republishing. Keep up the good work.

Henry Hammond