“When Albert Schweitzer walked into the jungle, bless his heart,
he carried antibacterials and a potent, altogether new conviction
that no one should die young. He meant to save every child,
thinking Africa would then learn to have fewer children.
But when families have spent a million years making nine
in the hope of saving one, they cannot stop making nine.
Culture is a slingshot moved by the force of its past.
When the strap lets go, what flies forward will not be
family planning, it will be the small, hard head of a child.
Overpopulation has deforested three-quarters of Africa,
yielding drought, famine, and the probable extinction of
all animals most beloved by children and zoos.
The competition for resources intensifies, and
burgeoning tribes itch to kill each other.
For every life saved by vaccination or food relief,
one is lost to starvation or war. Poor Africa.
No other continent has endured such an
unspeakably bizarre combination of
foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.”
– Barbara Kingsolver,
The Poisonwood Bible, p.528