Counting By Numbers – A Study on Humanity

“For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.”
~ Shakespeare, Hamlet.


It has been estimated that since humans first appeared, there have 108 billion of us that have walked the Earth. That said, life is often short and often cruel, given value only by the potential of loss, and often magnified in loss by the use of numbers. However, special interest groups and politicians will always distort our priorities to suit their own agendas.

So let’s count the dead, instead.

In 2016, 2.7 million animals (dogs and cats) were euthanized. Through the start of July there had been 568,367 abortions performed (168,907 performed by Planned Parenthood). 319,335 deaths have been attributed to heart disease, 307,563 due to cancer, and 181,929 due to smoking.

2016 offered 22,233 suicides that had been reported, 17,573 deaths by drunk driving (an added 3,113 from texting). Drug abuse deaths list 12,998 while death by prescription drugs sat at 7,797.

Homicides in 2016 claimed 8,732 lives, while gun related deaths reached 5974. There have been 22 military deaths (last year), and 49 deaths due to Radical Islamists. 43 people died from lightning strikes, 186 from air crashes (2015) and 3 deaths from vaccines, although 108 injuries had been reported.

7.7 million people die globally from hunger each year. That comes to 21,000 people every day. And yet 40 percent of food in the US is thrown out, enough to feed 25 million people. So why aren’t we?

In 2016, 512 people died as a result of a police shootings, cited the Washington Post. 238 were white, 123 blacks and 79 Hispanics. FBI Statistics show that 90 percent of blacks murdered are at the hands of other black people, and 83 percent of white people are murdered by other whites.

Counting by numbers shows us that our priorities are skewed. We learn that despite the fact that more whites are shot by police each year, the focus of groups like Black Lives Matters fails to assert a more judicial All Lives Matters approach. Sure, there are exceptions and there are unjustified shootings, but when layered with the stats from other deaths in our society, these numbers pale.

Isn’t the volume of global hunger deaths, something that could be offset by the sheer volume of waste in the US alone, more disturbing? Or, that over half-million abortions are performed in the US, in the name of choice? And perhaps we should cry for the animals who ask for nothing, but for a bit of love.

After tumultuous election year of 2016, it is easy to forget that the numbers offer us far more truth than the many fictions we hear.


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