Sunday, April 06, 2008

A humble suggestion

In an interesting article in The Hindu, D.Balasubramanian, noted science writer discusses, in one broad sweep, the argument between the Government and animal activists over culling of animals such as the kangaroo to keep their numbers in check, how Le Chatelier’s principle comes into play and how human beings introduce an anthropo-centric bias of individual liberty into the proceedings. He asks, “Is the individual the crucial moral entity in nature, as we have decided it should be in human society? We simply may require a different sort of ethics to guide our dealings with the natural world, one as well suited to the particular needs of plants and animals and habitat (where sentience counts for little), as rights seem to suit us and serve our purposes today”.

He concludes that we should accept reality and cut the number (in each species) to a level that offers enough food and space to lead a sustainable level.

By numbers, of course, he means the population of kangaroos, pigs, elephants, monkeys, etc.

This, I feel, is not fair. The restriction on numbers should apply to human beings as well, and there should be a system that regulates the human population through periodic culling. And, in order to ensure transparency in the process, we should leave it to a master computer, which has access to all relevant data on all species, including human beings, to decide which species must go in for culling, how many and where. With human beings, it should also identify the individuals and the ID No. And, if a blogger, his or her URL.

There are several ways of implementing this idea and I don’t want to trouble you with too many details, which can be worked out as we go along. Naturally, the exercise will have to be kick started in India and China. A good beginning can be made, if the number of human beings in each of these countries can be kept to 1 billion. Anything above this has to be eliminated by ‘culling’

What criteria can we lay down for the culling of human beings? (Warning, the next para may affect the sensibilities of young mothers)

One good suggestion was made by the Irish writer, Jonathan Swift, as early as the 18th century. Making what he called as a ‘Modest proposal” ( albeit, in a different context), Swift recommended that “a hundred thousand babies, about a year old, could be sold at a price, as they would make a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled. They could be sold to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”

Swift was quick to aver that he had no personal interest in this proposal as “I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.” I may add that I don’t have any vested interest in promoting Swift’s idea either, as both my daughters are over a year old, and have no market value, under the scheme. My support to this idea arises out of pure altruism and with a noble view to maintain a proper ecological balance on Planet Earth

Swift’s scheme would be one way of controlling the population. But, I am aware that this may not be acceptable to all, especially some of the young mothers in the blogosphere. So, I am open to other suggestions. Unless, some pea-brained person comes up with a wild thought that persons over 50 years of age are the most appropriate specimens for culling. Then, I will have something to say.


Usha said...

And, if a blogger, his or her URL.
What if some scatterbrain decides to eliminate bad bloggers?
I am closing down my blog.
And totally agree with the last sentence. How preposterous and inhuman!

Raj said...

Usha, the ageless bonder, has nothing to worry about.

Rome Mele said...

Hi Raj,

My first time to your blog...
Kool blog, as I would say...

Human being's distinguishes, thats a pertinent fact, that has evolved since eons. So distinction among the species, be it animal or plants or the classes of people, we have created, is just a thrashed reckoning of "who gets what " ?