My Secret Shame
Amount needed to provide a basic education for all who don’t now have it, world- wide, annually: US$6 billion
Amount spent annually in the United States on cosmetics: US$8 billion
Amount needed to provide basic water and sanitation for all who don’t now have them, world-wide, annually: US$9 billion
Amount spent on ice cream in Europe annually: US$11 billion
Amount needed to provide basic health and nutrition for all who don’t now have them, world-wide, annually: US$11 billion
Amount spent on pet food in Europe and the United States, annually: US$17 billion
Oh, the guilt, oh the shame of it all! I painted my daughter’s toenails tonight, never realizing that but for me and mine, a Bagledeshi child would have had his geometry lesson. I could have prevented a malaria death in Togo, but viciously chose to have three cats instead. The half-pint of Haagen-Dasz in the fridge means that when a drunk British soccer fan in Brighton looks for a street corner loo, he will not find one, and will suffer the indignity of having to obtain sweet release in an alleyway. Had I only known!
Perhaps in future the environmental movement will do me the favor of stationing activists with informative leaflets in the frozen food aisle at the Harris Teeter, so that when I am face to face with the question of French Vanilla Bean or Schistosomiasis, I can give them the finger and ask them how much their hemp shirt cost, obtain an estimate of the relative value of a sterling silver nose stud versus a malaria vaccine, and determine whether the three-color yin/yang tatto with extra kanji lettering was worth any number of Kwashiorkor ridden Somalis.
In the spirit of spending other people’s money to solve the poblems of the world, the statistical staff here at Hraka have come up with a list that we believe is at least as economically sound as the one listed above.
For the same amount of money that environmental activists in the United State and Europe spend on organic farm produce and free range chicken, the world could have clean water to drink and food to eat.
The cost of a delegateship in Johannesburg would buy AIDs drugs for a South African for the rest of their lives.
The amount of money Peta spends to pay personalities to wear bikinis made of lettuce would free every lobster in the greater Boston area for two weeks.
The price of Ed Begley Jr’s electric car batteries could wire every house in the Rio slums for electricity.
You could buy that Sting CD, or you could vaccinate an entire Pakistani classroom against anthrax. It’s a win/win situation!
The amount of money the World Wildlife Fund spends on junk mail every day would buy 400,000 acres of Amazonian rainforest.
We call on the members of the groups named above, consumers of PC produce, adult rock listeners and Ed to send us that money instead, so that we here at Hraka may use it to more efficiently solve the world’s problems, minus a small administrative fee, of course.