Overpopulation of humans, what does this mean?
Generally, people are using resources more rapidly than they can be regenerated. According to the Animal Welfare Institute the affects of overconsumption of resources by humans is currently having adverse effects across the world. Aside from the obvious consequences overpopulation creates for humans, there is a very real and dangerous affect for animals.
What is the affect of overpopulation on animals?
There is no simple answer to this question. The demand created by humans exceeds the available resources, causing these resources to be depleted at a rate that rejuvenation cannot keep up with. An example of this can be seen through the increased demand for food due to overpopulation. For many people, this involves the consumption of meats. This causes an increase in food production, such as grains, that is then used to feed livestock, that is then consumed by humans. In order to meet the demand for these grains and livestock, more land is taken away from wildlife. Therefore, not only are more animals being consumed due to the population growth, more of their habitat is also taken away.
The food demand is one way that overpopulation has a negative consequence on wildlife habitats, but humans have a demand for furniture, and other wood products that also impede on these lands. This demand leads to deforestation all over the world, which causes a loss of habitat for animals in the wild. This loss of habitat causes the extinction of species and causes a decrease in biodiversity. The Human Population brochure points out that as these habitats shrink to meet land consumption needs of the increasing human population, it causes conflicts between humans and wildlife, that inevitably leads to the slaughter of animals. The brochure gives examples of farmers in India poisoning elephant watering holes because they claim elephants damage their crops, and livestock owners in Russia and Africa killing tigers and lions on their land.
What can we do the change this?
Domestic and global measures sought through state regulations and/or international conventions focused on conservation would help ease the affects of over consumption due to overpopulation. In order to curb these, and many many more, negative affects of overpopulation, humans can make attempts at lessening their consumption of natural resources. By acknowledging the long chain of events that stem from overpopulation, people can create ways to conserve more. Through local and international conservation efforts, animal rights can be protected and/or furthered.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal rights | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, Animal Welfare Institute, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmentalism, overpopulation |