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There are people in the Himalayas who practice polyandry in order to keep their populations from getting out of hand and keep land and ownership within the family. In such cases, a woman is married to the oldest son, who is sole heir to the lands and property of his family. Often, his younger brothers will enter the marriage as well, sharing the work of the farm. Jealousy is avoided by each husband having a night in turns with their wife. This way of life may change in the future, with the introduction of Western concepts of romance.
As a Western female, I can't imagine having so many husbands. LOL But I do wonder if we oughtn't adjust the way we see families... I would love to be a mom, but between my personal insistence on not having children without a mate, and knowing the world is overpopulated as it is, I probably won't have the chance. However, I see no problem with a group of people who are family in all but name and blood raising a child or children (either by one of their members or through adoption). The problem I suppose lies in the very transient way of life modern society promotes. People don't tend to stay in the same situation for 20-30 years as they once had.
What can and what will we do in order to stop this acceleration of expenditure on our planet?
Joan, you rightly bring attention to the overall change in so many of our habits of consumption - too often people respond by noting that we've come up with alternatives when needed, but overconsumption also relates to Earth's capacity to handle pollution, damage to the commons, and more. Thank you.
Joan, there is an uncanny correlation between the growth of overconsumption and the rise of the 'profit above all else' economy we'd had for too long. I think this provides some sobering insights: http://www.alternet.org/story/154367/america%3A_the_best_country_in...