Paris Climate Summit Take Note: A Modest Proposal for Saving the Earth from the Meat Eaters—All of Them!

By William M Briggs Published on November 19, 2015

The big global warming conference in Paris (COP21) is about to start, an event cheered by environmentalists everywhere. Now many environmentalists are not fond of people, thinking there are too many of them, which is why they’re always calling for fewer. But are there too many? Let’s try and get a feel for how many folks there are and how this total fits into some standard environmental arguments.

Tainted Blood

There are about 7 pints of blood in the average person, which is important to know if we’re going to reduce population the old-fashioned way: systematically. Men, the sexist brutes, have more than 7 pints, women less, and children less still. Fat and tall people have more blood, skinny and short less. I haven’t made the measurements, but I’m sure the poor and minorities are shortchanged, hemodynamically speaking. Anyway, 7 is in the ballpark.

Blood takes up space. How much? Let’s conduct an experiment. Spend a few hours reading the New York Times. This should cause so much despair that you’re ready to slit your wrists. Do so over a standard plastic grocery bag, if you’re fortunate to live in a locality that hasn’t yet banned them to Save The Planet™. You’ll quickly discover (look fast before you pass out) that all your blood forms a nice little pool, but that the bag is more than sufficient to hold it.

Now think environmentally about reducing population and suppose we conducted this same experiment for everybody. How big a bag would we need? Well, there are roughly 7.3 billion people, so that makes 7 pints x 7.3 billion people = 51.1 billion pints. There are 8 pints to the gallon, which gives just under 6.4 billion gallons. Each gallon uses up around 0.13 cubic feet of space, which makes 854 million cubic feet; thus a hard plastic bag in the shape of a cube, 950 feet per side, or around 320 yards square, is more than big enough to hold all the human blood there is.

Blood Bags - 900

Did you think it would be bigger?

Of course, plastic is a confirmed environmental menace, so let’s construct our box out of renewable wood instead. It must also be admitted that draining blood is a messy solution to overpopulation, so maybe we’d better think of a better solution to population reduction.

Minimizing Everybody’s Environmental “Impact”

Draining everybody’s blood would certainly help to minimize each individual’s environmental influence, but it wouldn’t go all the way. To minimize, mathematically speaking, means to make as low as possible. And what is the lowest possible influence you can have on the environment? Exactly: you should immediately bury yourself, preferably far away from any officially designated “wet land,” which is now defined minimally as any patch of dirt on which Fido has relieved himself.

It’s obvious that a hole fitting every person would have to be bigger than the blood box, but how much bigger? Bodies are three-dimensional, and they’re rather longer than wider (except in certain portions of Florida), which makes them easy to stack. Let’s first think in terms of raw mass. Average person is, say, 5 feet 8 inches, about 1 foot 6 inches across, and say 1 foot thick. The last is an exaggeration (again, except in Florida), but it makes the math easy. The average person thus takes about 8.5 cubic feet. That makes about 62 billion cubic feet in toto.

A square hole less than 4,000 feet on a side would thus accommodate everybody. But consider that such a hole would mean cramming everybody in all crunched up. That’s easy enough to do for the mandatory volunteers at the bottom, but who will be left to tamp down the top layers? A mile is 5,280 feet, and we can trade depth for surface area (digging a hole 4,000 feet deep would be environmentally harmful). If we wanted to stay shallow, we’d only have to dig down about 2,300 feet, which is trivial, and everybody would stack nicely in just one square mile.

Did you think the area would be bigger?

San Fransisco Map cropped - 900

I recommend San Francisco for the locale, incidentally. It gives me a warm thought to think everybody would have such a lovely view of the sea from their permanent resting home.

Meat Eating

So far, so good. But, we’re not quite done. Environmental activists don’t like people eating meat. This is why you see back-of-the-envelope calculations to show how many cows or pigs the average cowboy chows down over a year or a lifetime. The total is meant to discourage you. Funny thing about these mathematical exercises: they’re always done for men and not beasts.

Now meat-eating beasts outnumber men by scads and scads. I don’t have an exact figure, but a walk in the woods or a glance at the National Geographic channel is enough to confirm the fact that animals that eat other animals eat more meat than men do. Some of these animals even eat us! Never mind that. Tautologically, meat-eating beasts eat meat, which is, as environmentalists assume, bad. So we need to quantify just how much adverse influence non-human meat-eating animals have.

Do you know how many birds, turtles, fish, dogs and golfers just one alligator goes through in its lifetime? No? I don’t, either, but it’s got to be a lot. These things grow to enormous size and live practically forever. Forget those zombie movies: if you’ve ever seen a bear go at a stream of salmon, you’ll know what real slaughter is. Bears are big, and one fish a day doesn’t satisfy them. So they eat many, and, like spoiled children, often toss out the bits that aren’t as tasty. How wasteful! What about all those sharks eating other fish? Big birds eat little birds? Little birds eating worms? Nature red in tooth and claw isn’t just a cliché. The entire animal kingdom is one giant blood-smeared lunchroom.

bear-eating-fish - 900

If the environmentalists are right, killing for meat isn’t sustainable. The world is probably near the brink now, all because meat-eating beasts aren’t considering what it means to live sustainable lifestyles. These creatures have never even learned to ask “What about the children?”

Solution? Kill ’em all. Let no animal eat another. We’ll need a bigger box, but we can make this happen. It’s the only way to Save The Planet™.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like the article? Share it with your friends! And use our social media pages to join or start the conversation! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MeWe and Gab.

The Habit of Nearness
Robert J. Morgan
More from The Stream
Connect with Us