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Why do the babies starve first?

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posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 03:37 PM

SHASHAMANE, Ethiopia - Like so many other victims of Ethiopia's hunger crisis, Usheto Beriso weighs just half of what he should. He is always cold and swaddled in a blanket. His limbs are stick-thin.

But Usheto is not the typical face of Ethiopia's chronic food problems, the scrawny baby or the ailing toddler. At age 55, he is among a growing number of adults and older children — traditionally less-vulnerable groups — who have been stricken by severe hunger due to poor rains and recent crop.

We often see pictures of starving babies, and pleas for more aid. After seeing this article, and reading that even grown MEN are now starving, I wondered why the writer did not bother explaining the cultural differences that make starving babies common place but starving men to be so unusual.

In Ethiopia and many other sub-saharan African countries the MEN eat first. If food supplies are limited the men will eat the best quality foods available, and whatever is left over is for the women and children. Of course if there is not much left over the kids starve.

Now before people assume the men are the breadwinners, therefore they need the food, in fact in many parts of sub-saharan Africa the majority of actual labor is done by women.

My rant is not about men, it is about how the media manages to tell PART of the story, and how different people have far different views on even the most emotional issues, such as watching ones children starve in front of them.

Why doesn’t the media talk about the real reasons the babies and small children starve first? Do the governments that ship over tons and tons of food even try to address that issue? Do they not discuss the real reasons the babies die first because that would horrify the western world?

[edit on 9-6-2008 by Sonya610]

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 04:26 PM
I don't have much to add or say about it, unless that, as far as I know, you are absolutely right, the media always "forgets" to say something.

I will add something after all, and that is that one of the reasons they always have starving babies is because they have the babies in the first place, if they did not had any children they wouldn't starve to death, so I think that, once more, giving a little more information to those people could have a large benefit.

Star and flag.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 04:37 PM
reply to post by ArMaP
Could you please elaborate on your post. This could be taken in a very dark way. Please explain what you meant by "They shouldn't have children in the first place!"

If you would rather not explain then I am sure you know what to do with it.

By the way, Hey Sonya!

[edit on 9-6-2008 by BlindWatcher1]

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 04:50 PM
This is horrible. No one on earth should be starving. We produce enough food on earth to feed everyone and everything. We should help underdeveloped countries and give them technology to help themselves grow their own food, instead of using the technology for wars. If our government was more interested in helping countries then in invading them. We could make earth a better place.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 05:06 PM
babies are smaller, they starve quicker than adults do. It's a sad state of affairs however we as a species cannot sustain our population on this planet. I have figured there are 8 people per square mile of total land mass. Thats including arctic mountainous and desert sections of the planet.

Now take away from that 1 mile square the land needed to cultivate foodstuffs to feed 8 people over a year. what do you have left? someone is going to starve. I am sorry to say.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by Sonya610

Babies starve first in any culture.

Like it or not we still have some subconscious ability to ensure the survival of our race. In times of limited resources, you have to ensure that the species continues by making tough choices. If you feed babies at the detriment to their mother and father you will have allowed one life to continue at the cost of two much more valuable lives.

A fully mature man and woman are worth more than a baby because together the man and woman can defend each other, can potentially find or grow food, and eventually create more babies. A baby on the other hand is simply a resource sink for the first 12 years of its life. The tribe, society, or country gets nothing usable out of having another baby.

Basically, a baby is an investment in the future. Grown adults are previous investments that are paying dividends to society right now. In times of limit food, you can't afford to make investments in the future at the cost of abandoning investments that are paying off now.



[edit on 6.9.2008 by Voxel]

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 05:15 PM
Starvation will be a continuing problem.

I find it utterly shocking that parents could eat first while watching their own children whither away and die before their eyes. That goes against the most basic human standards practiced by the vast majority of cultures.

But perhaps I am the only one that feels that way. Others may see it as just another "cultural difference" and no big deal.

(BTW...hey back BlindWatcher : )

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 05:38 PM

Originally posted by BlindWatcher1
Please explain what you meant by "They shouldn't have children in the first place!"


Even from Nature's "point of view", a nine month pregnancy, birth (with all the dangers it presents in less than ideal conditions) and first months of the life of a child are just a waste of resources if the child dies.

People in those conditions (and I mean in any place, not just in Ethiopia) should know that the best for them and for their society (family, village, town, country, etc.) is to stop having children.

There are many contraceptive measures that can be adopted in different situations, and I am sure that many people would use them if they were aware of their existence and if they had access to them (although all have access to the simplest form of contraceptive, sexual abstinence)

If you would rather not explain then I am sure you know what to do with it.
I don't understand what you mean by that, this may be one of those times where the fact that I was not born in an English speaking country is keeping me from understanding the meaning of your words.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 05:53 PM
reply to post by whatukno

There is more than enough land on this planet to sustain a human population of twice what we have now. The problem is poor management, war and lack of technology.

Also, once you factor in that you could utilise the massive amount of space underfoot to live, work and grow food there is, geo-politics allowing, more than enough for everybody.

You could have vast underground hydroponic gardens producing food all year round with no adverse side affects from the climate, but no-one does it. Everyone wants to live on the surface and do everything there, but with a little digging, the world could support and produce 100 times what it does now.

Granted, it would probably cost quite a bit to dig new caverns, but sensible use of existing underground places, such as a disused mine (of which there are many in the UK alone) could have hydroponic farms churning out vast amounts of food. These could all be powered by Nuclear power, thereby keeping emissions low for the tree hugger's who'll complain about the power consumed by hydroponic farming.

And that was just me thinking out loud. There are solutions to the worlds problems, some of them glaringly obvious, yet for one reason or another, we are content to continue down our destructive path.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:03 PM

Originally posted by stumason
There is more than enough land on this planet to sustain a human population of twice what we have now. The problem is poor management, war and lack of technology.

Do you really want to live on a planet that is one big farm used to maintain an ever growing human swarm? Do nature and wildlife have any place at all on this planet? There are already 6 Billion people here, that is more than enough.

Even if you could feed them all, 6 billion or even 12 billion, a lot of them will always be in pretty bad shape for one reason or another. Quality of life, education, crime, etc...will always be a huge problem in overpopulated areas. Doesn't it make sense to use technology and science as a way to regulate population and increase the quality of life for everyone?

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by Sonya610

Your still thinking as if it has to be as it is now. The world can produce much more food than it currently does without turning it into a huge farm.

2/3rds of the worlds surface is covered with ocean, so only using a small percentage of that for fish farming would yield more fish produce than currently, all year round and also leave wild stocks free from exploitation.

Hydroponic farms underground would FREE up surface land used currently for farming

Cities could be better planned, infrastructure could be much better, the list goes on. There is no reason why humanity cannot survive on this planet comfortably other than Human greed. That is what it boils down too.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:14 PM
The sad fact is: It's survival of the fittest. The adults are stronger than the child and will eat first while the kid starves.

In cities that where under seige, it was not uncommon at all for parents to eat their children after the population of rats had been eaten.

Humans will do whatever is needed to survive reguardless of what and to whom they must sacrifice to live another day.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:33 PM

Originally posted by stumasonCities could be better planned, infrastructure could be much better, the list goes on. There is no reason why humanity cannot survive on this planet comfortably other than Human greed. That is what it boils down too.

Okay lets assume the food production was perfected. So in a few years we have 12 billion people on the planet, and its all good because they each get their 3 bowls of food everyday.

12 billion, all of them fed. You even built shelter for them. Maslows five steps: food, shelter, security, status, self-actualizatiion. Next is status, you can be sure that not everyone has the "same stuff", and you are right, people are greedy. Now you have 12 billion divided into have's and have not's, and they aren't worried about feeding themselves, they are thinking about stuff and many won't be all that fussy how they get it. Its their right you know, nice clothes, tv, other fancy things.

Since you have figured out how to feed and house the 12 billion, you had best get to work on a plan to genetically alter human nature so they can get along and live in the world you worked out peacefully.

[edit on 9-6-2008 by Sonya610]

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by Sonya610

You seem to be under the impression I am advocating maxing out the sustainable levels of human population. My point was that the planet can easily cope with what we have now, up too double in fact, so there is really no reason why anyone should starve.

I probably wouldn't like 12 billion people on this planet as that is pushing the limit. It is better to live in comfort than to go for broke. With better management of our resources, the worlds hungry need not be. Hydroponic farming, for example, uses 20% of the land and water required than traditional agriculture and can continuously produce food all year round, rather than being reliant on seasons, climate or local soil quality.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 06:48 PM

Originally posted by Sonya610

But perhaps I am the only one that feels that way. Others may see it as just another "cultural difference" and no big deal.

No your not. Mind you this isn't a starving issue but my so called Aunt ordered 2 double cheeseburgers and a McChicken off the dollar menu, they screwed up the order and only gave her 2 double cheeseburgers. She shurgged and said she'd eat her daughter's burger as well instead of making a big deal out of it.(We on a road trip and she didn't have snacks or anything for her kid....) My SO made a big deal about it so her daughter could eat! To me that is just selfesh.

I'd rather see my son eat or another child than me. Heck, I have fed my son instead of me when our cupboards were bare. I dunno, without the children there is no future...

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 07:48 PM
reply to post by stumason

ah so you say that if we take that same model of 8 people per square mile and cube the numbers? so essintially we would have what 6 times the amount of room as previously? Still have to account the amount of food and fresh water each person needs in order to survive.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by whatukno

Plenty of water on the planet, it is after all 2/3rds water. Doesn't take much to desalinate it.

Besides, if global hydroponic farming was implemented, agriculture (by far the biggest use of fresh water in the world) would use 80% less water than it does today, leaving plenty for the rest of us to drink.

And if everyone doesn't like the idea of greenhouses everywhere, like I said, you could just put them all underground.

There is absolutely no reason for world hunger at all, logically.

Poor management and human greed are the root causes of this pile o'crap we call Earth....

Oh, as an after thought...

If food prices are rising due to the biofuel initiative, then I have an answer to that as well.

Vegetable oil.

It is what cars were originally designed to run on anyway.....

And Oilseed Rape, a very good source of vegetable oil, can be mass produced in Hydroponic farms in vast quantities. There are some very minor technical issues to over come, but you could very easily run any diesel engined car off Veg oil.

posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 07:56 PM

Originally posted by MacSen191I'd rather see my son eat or another child than me. Heck, I have fed my son instead of me when our cupboards were bare. I dunno, without the children there is no future...

I agree. My mother would NEVER have considered feeding herself and not her kids, it is just utterly unimagineable. The most basic trait of a civilized human is to protect and care for their children. If a parent has no empathy in that regard, they have no empathy at all.

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 02:07 PM

Originally posted by Sonya610
I agree. My mother would NEVER have considered feeding herself and not her kids, it is just utterly unimagineable.

See there you go projecting from a position of comfort. I very much doubt your mother ever weighted 85 lbs., felt the chronic weakness associated with hunger, and knew she had only weeks to live.

If your mother in that situation had made the wrong choice and feed her useless baby instead of herself then both of you would have been dead in a weeks time. Once she died, so would you. Why is it more civilized to allow two humans to die instead of one?

Of course to you feeding yourself and not your baby is unimaginable because to you starving to death is unimaginable. Sure, you might be able to understand starvation from a western, clinical, and detached perspective but you can not imagine the choices that must be made or the sacrifices that those suffering from hunger must live with.


posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 02:32 PM
I asked myself why poverty exists so much in the world we live in. I was told that people in 3rd world countries were just not intelligent or hard working enough to build a prosperous society for themselves. I was told they had "too many babies." To a certain extent, I believed it. But there was still a suspicion that something else was wrong.

Think about this... human beings in Africa survived and prospered for 100,000 years before the current situation today. How did they do it? If they were so stupid and lazy, then why are they still here? Can we really conclude that the situation we see in third world nations today is a simple consequence of the work ethic of their people? Or can greater forces be at work, such as economics, politics, and greed?

This question was left unanswered to me for a long time, until I came across a book by John Perkins entitled "Confessions of an Economic Hitman." In it he describes how western industrialized nations and banks made "loans" to 3rd world countries. The loan amount and interest rate was selected to be large enough that they could be sure the country would be unable to repay it. Because of the "miracle" of compound interest, these nations would then become permanent debt slaves to the western banks.

The economic hitmen worked ruthlessly to ensure that these debts came into being, because it allowed these nations to extract tremendous material resources and labor from these third world nations. So little was left for the people themselves, that many of them naturally starved.

Men like Henry Kissinger wrote these plans as early as the 70's. The idea was that the powerful industrialized nations must work to ensure that no other nations on earth would have the possibility of industrializing, because if they did so, they would consume the resources the powerful ones had their eyes on, and then the societies and cultures which grew up around this prosperity would threaten the influence of westerners and the banks.

So the process continues. Poverty in these nations is an artificially-induced symptom of a problem that gets blamed on the people themselves, when the causes lie outside of the individual and within the larger structure of how society is organized economically.

"The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts."

- Henry Ford

"Capital needed by the debtor nations to improve their standard of living now has to be used for interest payments on their debts."

- Pope John Paul II

"All the ingredients for ending poverty of a person always comes neatly packaged with the person himself. A human being is born in this world fully equipped not only to take care of himself (which all other life-forms can do too), but also to contribute in enlarging the well-being of the world as a whole. Poverty is not created by the poor people. So we shouldn't give them an accusing look. They are the victims. Poverty has been created by the economic and social system that we have designed for the world. It is the institutions that we have built, and feel so proud of, which created poverty. It is the concepts we developed to understand the reality around us, made us see things wrongly! It is the failure at the top - rather than lack of capability at the bottom - which is the root cause of poverty. Concepts, institutions, and analytical frame conditions which created poverty, cannot end poverty. If we can intelligently re-work the frame conditions, poverty will be gone, never to come back again. Try to imagine how the economists would have built their theory if they had started out with an axiom that all men and women are created equal, that each of them is endowed with unlimited creativity, and each of them is a potential entrepreneur. In some important ways our designing of the theoretical framework of economics or the misrepresentation of it is responsible for perpetuating poverty."

- Professor M. Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2006

"People who will not turn a shovel of dirt on the project, not contribute a pound of material will collect more money than will the people who supply all the material and do all the work... Compound interest is the invention of Satan."

- Thomas Edison

[edit on 10-6-2008 by ianr5741]

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