To Breed or Not to Breed

Yesterday I asked the question, “Who is the creeping cancer?” The choice was between the bison—a species nearly hunted off the face of the Earth that is still extinct over practically all its former range—or humans.

The answer is so ridiculously obvious it’s hardly worth asking; while the human species increases by over one million infants a day (1,000 were born just in the past minute), almost every other life form is on its way out of existence.

Thus, when the Seattle Times recently ran a piece by one of their columnists, Sharon Pian Chan, titled “Why I am not having kids,” I felt it was my duty to share the link here.  Chan brings up many good reasons not to breed, but the benefit to the environment was only mentioned once: “…not having a child is the most important thing I could do to reduce my carbon footprint, according to a 2009 study by Oregon State University statisticians. (Of course, like all parents, I believe my theoretical child would have grown up to become a brilliant physicist and saved the world from global warming, so this is a moot point.)”

Possibly…on the other hand it could have grown up to become the next Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Ted Bundy or terrible Ted Nugent.

Chan goes on to point out that by not having kids… “I will have a lot more attention and money to shower on real-life nieces, nephews, mentees and philanthropic causes.” Causes like educating the masses on just how many ways human overpopulation is ruining the planet, perhaps?

Those contemplating childbirth could always benefit from a bit of trivia, such as the fact that though it’s taken all of human history to until around the year 1800 for the world human population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in less than 30 years (1959), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987). During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.

The world population clock estimates that by 2025 the eight-billionth will be born and in 2045 the planet will be expected to feed and provide for nine billion hungry human beings. All the while the world will continue to see its biodiversity vanish.

Paul R. Ehrlich, author of the 1960s bestseller, The Population Bomb, foresaw peril in the ongoing disappearance of all other life forms except ours: “It isn’t a question of people or animals–it’s got to be both of us or we’re finished. We can’t get along without them. They could get along without us.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

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13 thoughts on “To Breed or Not to Breed

  1. “We’re certainly a dominant species, but that’s not the same as a keystone species. A keystone species is one that, when you remove it, the diversity collapses; we’re a species that when you add us, the diversity collapses. We can change everything, dictate everything and destroy everything.” Michael Soule http://www.hcn.org/issues/226/11219/print_view

  2. When I was very young and started to understand the implications of too many people equals not enough room for wildlife, I immediately began to say (much to the horror of most) that I wasn’t having children. Stuck to that and am a great Aunt but not a momma, and mind you, I love children, so it was a great sacrifice. Still wouldn’t change it though.

  3. I say why bring a child into a hell hole of a world we live in. Not to mention there are thousands of children in need of loving families throughout the globe, so adopt don’t breed.

  4. Wonderful comments–add me to the list of non-breeders. There is so much pressure in human society to breed- media, religion, economics, tax structure, family members, friends, and every other facet of our insane Humanist-oriented society–it is just built in and it seems “natural” to most people. Many TV channels are now featuring disgusting “reality” series (like the Duggers), with many followers. Those who do not breed are really discriminated against, particularly when paying our taxes. Those of us who have a non-human home, should be able to take deductions. Those who breed humans, should not—they get a free ride in so many ways, while the planet and the other species have to pay dearly.

    http://www.foranimals.org

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