Yesterday a commenter here suggested that vegans (animal rightsists) don’t care about the problem of overpopulation. That may seem true for some, but it’s certainly not my experience. Those animal-rightsists that I know who are adamantly opposed to human overpopulation are so in part because they have seen animals suffering from their overpopulation.
A friend who is unwaveringly against human overpopulation remarked, “I don’t understand why people want to have babies in this day and age.” I’ve often pondered that. I went to bed last night ruminating on the question. I don’t know that I found the answer, but ironically I read about that same subject in a book about a woman (Diane Downs) who loved having babies, but then paradoxically shot her three kids.
The book goes on to depict her motive for having kids—as she put it, she was “lonely.” Normally, I would advise someone who is lonely to get a dog or cat, but I would hate to see the animal be shot or otherwise mistreated. Oh, sure, there was more to it than just being lonely. In this case, she wanted someone to have control (authority) over. These reasons only scratch the surface and of course don’t apply to everyone.
Here’s a list a vegan friend put together of why she chose not to have kids…
For me it was:
- No different than animal overpopulation. If I don’t feel that I can ethically breed my cat, why is it any better for ME to contribute to an overburdened planet? I mean, come on…are my genes really that special?
- If I want a child that badly, why wouldn’t I adopt one of the countless hurting children looking for a home?
- Choosing not to be consumed for two decades by parenting allows me instead to be a productive activist, fully, my entire life.
- I’ve spared my never-to-be-born child the horrors of a world that is quickly becoming uninhabitable (because of human overpopulation, warfare, environmental degradation, etc.).
- Cost effective! [If a person can barely afford to feed themselves, what business do they have bringing another human into this world?]
- Finally, there’s no guarantee that a child I raised would embrace my vegan pacifist values. How would I feel if my child became a school bully or butcher or political warmonger or turkey sandwich eater? Devastating
So, why would a male want to procreate in such an overcrowded world? Maybe it’s the desire to have a “mini me” to do your bidding or to go on after you’re gone, thus creating a sense of immortality. But a person would have to really have a lot of faith in the future in order to buy into that.