How quaint we are here in America and other wealthy nations. We freak out over a relatively mild strain of flu that has so far killed fewer people than bee stings, we wring our hands over our environment as it provides us plentiful food and creature comforts unprecedented in history, and formulate dumb theories to reduce the carbon footprints that sustain our bountiful lifestyles instead of pouring our energies into finding a replacement for petroleum, clean energy. We are not evil for enjoying success in keeping ourselves well-fed, safe and warm. We worked pretty damned hard to get this way. Now trendy Greenies want people to eat only what is produced locally, calling it low-impact feeding or some such crap. Eat only what is produced locally? People who live in New York City or the Mojave desert would be screwed if they followed that advice.
Weren’t ships, railroads and trucks invented like a really long time ago to ship a variety of foods all over the place? Isn’t a varied diet sort of a key component of good health? And isn’t shrimp about the tastiest food anywhere? Not too many people live in the middle of the ocean where shrimp are harvested. Most farming regions specialize in a limited number of products according to climate, rainfall, topsoil and the like. Should people in Florida eat a shitload of oranges and people in Iowa consume only corn and beef? And what on earth would people in northern Alaska eat, only seals? What asshole came up with this hare-brained theory?
It sure wasn’t anybody living in a nation where a lot of people starve to death. Bad enough that hunger is creeping back into America, the wealthiest nation in the history of nations, but every day in many countries across the globe there are people suffering such extremes of hunger that it is called starvation. So extreme is this starvation pandemic that a human being dies every 2.6 seconds. That’s 36,000 people every single day and 13,140,000 every year, except for leap years, when it is 13,176,000. About 85% of starvation victims are young children. The Silent Slaughter is a global emergency of the highest priority, and it is within our power to end it. Fuck all those other polite Greenie causes and cockamamie theories, this is job #1!
This is not something that might happen, or will possibly occur in 50 to 100 years. This is now! This is real and tragic and it is unconscionable that it is not the first priority of environmental activists everywhere. Since you began reading this, seven children have died an agonizingly painful death after deep and prolonged suffering. Go make a cup of coffee and a snack. By the time you’re done (say, 20 minutes?) 500 more children will be dead. It is not your fault. You did not create the conditions that allow more than 13 million of your brothers and sisters to die unheeded every year. But now you know. Do you think it’s more important to buy mercury-filled incandescent bulbs to assuage your conscience about our environment or to try to help correct the biggest human emergency of them all?
Burn some electricity and Google the facts on your computer. While you’re on the internet, check out the websites that rate charities and find out which ones are working to feed the starving and how effective they are and send them some dough or volunteer some time. Use some more electricity to e-mail your elected representatives and tell them to shut the fuck up about whatever stupid shit they’re talking about and get America busy forming a very large New Peace Corps to deploy in emergency starvation regions and to stop paying our farmers not to grow food. Tell our government that you don’t want the wealthiest nation in the history of nations to stand by and twiddle its thumbs while 13 million people die from starvation every year. Tell them that we don’t want to be 307 million American Neros fiddling while the earth burns. We are America, dammit, and we’re supposed to act better than that!
America alone can produce the required food. America alone can supply the required technical know-how, skilled personnel and dedicated teachers required to not only feed the starving, but teach them to feed themselves. America can do all this alone, but probably won’t have to. If we make the first move and embark on this greatest of all wars, the peaceful War on Starvation, odds are we will collect a lot of allies along the way. Nations that exhibit an iron will and skilled leadership have moved the world community throughout history, for better or worse. Why not lead for the better? And what cause could possibly be greater that to feed every man, woman and child on this earth, and to create a sustainable system for eliminating starvation?
America has eliminated polio, invented a bazillion beneficial things, abolished slavery, fought and won two simultaneous world wars in less that four years to rid the world of fascism, and put a man on the goddamned moon! Anybody out there think we can’t feed another 13 million people if we put our minds to it? And why is this our responsibility, you ask? How can it not be? America is the greatest power in the world right now, with more interests in more places than even the mightiest empires in history. We have soldiers stationed in 150 of the world’s 192 countries and our fleets circle the earth, as do our business interests. We owe the world for this exalted position. For better or worse, America is The Man right now, and we need to act like The Man or stand aside and let someone else take over, someone who won’t fiddle while Rome burns.
All that aside, we should feed the starving only because it is the right thing to do. There should be no strings attached, no political or monetary rewards demanded. America has always been as much an idea and a set of ideals as it is a nation. Our entire history has been a quest to finally live up to those ideals. We have failed often but never denied that we could do better or swept our failures under the rug, instead laying them open for ourselves and the world to see, then correcting our shortcomings. Time to fix another one. The world is faced with an ancient emergency that has never sounded any alarms for mankind when other great powers dominated the globe. No matter what good was done by any world power, mankind was never able to claim its full humanity in all our history of bloody wars, slavery and exploitation, with rarely a thought for the uncounted billions who have perished from starvation over the millennia.
America is supposed to be different. America is supposed to be better, and now we’re Rome, we’re Egypt, we’re The British Empire. Do we allow the Silent Slaughter to continue on our watch? Do we fritter away our power, our activism and our goodness on a bunch of namby-pamby nonsense causes that can wait until we get food in everybody’s belly? Or do we stand up and shout to the world: “Enough!” Help end the Silent Slaughter. Send money to food charities and demand that our American government takes immediate and aggressive action. Children are dying and we can stop it. It is within our power. We need to make a huge carbon footprint right now and produce enough food and technical goods and services to feed the hungry and to build lasting infrastructures to keep them fed. Even failure is preferable to not trying at all. If we don’t try, we should be ashamed, as Americans and as human beings.