生物学和繁衍

baby

问:生孩子有什么错?你不喜欢小孩吗?

VHEMT 的志愿者们和其他人一样喜欢小孩。孩子并不是问题-大人才是问题的根源所在。虽然一次性纸尿布确实有很严重的污染,但和成年人造成的影响比起来还是小巫见大巫。

那些渴望孩子的人常常忘了,他们创造的新生命在几年之后就会长大。

青年时代是美好的,无论是对于人类还是熊猫或美洲豹来说都是如此。同时失去它们实在是一件令人伤感的事。一只雏鹰也许没有人类小孩那么可爱,但是要想让其他物种生存下去,恐怕我们不得不放弃一些东西。

当儿童的数量减少,他们的福祉将得到提高。考虑到我们这个世界的现状,选择生育就如同在一栋着火的建筑里出租房屋——而且还是租给你自己的孩子。

选择不再生育,表达出的是我们对世间万物深深的爱。


问:如今是不是不合适的人在生孩子?

Right People

很多人说,“现在都是些不懂事的人在生孩子。”这种话你听过多少遍了?当那些人这么说的时候,他们肯定不是在说自己:是 那些 不懂事的人。是“那些愚蠢,粗心大意的白痴不该生孩子。还有那些穷得养不起孩子的人,以及那些人格扭曲以至于竟然不喜欢小孩的人。”按照他们的逻辑再进一步,就是“劣等基因不应该传承下去”。

这种观点的深层含义就是“应该让正确的人把基因传承下去”。聪明的、富裕的、负责任的、社会地位高的人应该多繁衍一些才是,对不对?

也许是这样。但是尽管智慧可以测量并且可以遗传,但是聪明人的破坏能力恐怕也不比笨蛋小多少。而且因为富人更愿意为他们的子女作出更多物质上的付出,他们的消费对环境的破坏力也远比穷人来得大。

还有人说他们的宗教信仰或政治理念需要更多的人来让世界变得更美好。然而,没有人能保证孩子传承父母的思想和理念。实际上,现代社会中的情况常常正好相反。再说了,如果某种理念或宗教只能通过生育来传播,那它的信条实在是很可疑。

还有人辩称如果不繁衍,他们的族群就会变成少数。传承氏族很久以来都是生育无可辩驳的正当理由,当夫妻两人说想要“自己的孩子”时,他们的意思是“传承他们的基因”。这种注重血统的心态背后的观念深刻而强烈:更多的“我们”和更少的“外人”。听起来像是种族主义?当夫妻想要怀上某个性别的孩子时,这同样也涉及到性别歧视。我们热衷于创造自己的复制品,同时对成千上万因缺乏照料而死亡的孩子漠不关心,因为他们是“外人”。

因此,仅仅是提升具有相同理念和基因构成的人的数量并不会改善他们的处境。不同族群之间的“生育战争”上升到了国家和政治的层面,然而每个族群的个体却并未因此而过上更好的生活。为权力而生育,是我们远古习俗-大规模屠杀,如今称之为种族灭绝-的一种残留,背后的动机从未改变。

VHEMT 志愿者们知道,如今实际上是不合适的物种在生孩子。除去那些表面的差异,我们都是智人。当其他物种都在飞速灭绝的时候,继续繁衍无论如何都是不合理的。

选择性生育的支持者:
优生学: Future Generations
种族主义: American Renaissance
宗教: Efrat, Quiver Full, Quiver Full on NPR, Escape from Quiver Full Movement, inherent natalism.
意识形态: The liberal baby bust.


问:我特别聪明,是否应该将基因传递下去?

嗯,那你能不能先通过一个智力小测验呢?

请回答问题:

当每天都有数以万计的儿童死于营养不良、无数物种由于我们的快速繁衍而灭绝的时候,你还觉得再创造一个你的复制品是正确的吗?

YES

NO

感谢参与。



问:繁衍不是人类的本能么?

Humans, like all creatures, have urges which lead to reproduction. Our biological urge is to have sex, not to make babies. Our “instinct to breed” is the same as a squirrel’s instinct to plant trees: the urge is to store food, trees are a natural result. If sex is an urge to procreate, then hunger’s an urge to defecate.

Culturally-induced desires can be so strong that they seem to be biological, but no evolutionary mechanism for an instinct to breed exists. Why do we stop breeding after we’ve had as many as we want? If the instinct is to reproduce, how are so many of us able to over ride it? There are too many who have never felt that urge: mutations don’t occur in this high a percentage of a population.

Looking to our evolutionary roots, imagine Homo erectus feeling the urge to create a new human. He then has to understand that a cavewoman is needed, sexual intercourse must be engaged in, and they will have to wait nine months.

Considering how often our species has the urge for sex, it’s likely human sexuality serves primarily a pair-bonding function rather than procreative. Human infants are vulnerable for so long that their survival, in prehistoric times, may have depended on a strong pair bond between parents. Bonobos, perhaps our closest biological relative, are reported to engage in sex for social reasons more than for reproductive reasons.


Why Breed

Q: Aren’t there good reasons for human breeding?

If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation, as to spare it the burden of existence? Or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood.

~Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
Sufferings of the World 1851

Like the Greek philosopher Diogenes, searching all day with a lighted lantern for an honest person, the search for a rational, ethical reason for creating one more human today goes on without success. Ask someone why they plan to create another of themselves, and they’ll most likely offer one of the reasons listed in the chart below. Their real reasons are given in the middle, and alternatives to breeding for those reasons are given to the right.

Why Breed?

Reasons given
Real reasons
Suggested alternatives

I can’t help it, it’s a biological urge.

Unexamined motivations.

Institutions await those who can’t control their biological urges.

Want to give our parents grandchildren.

Still seeking parental approval.

Live your own life and encourage your parents to do the same.

I just love children.

Out of touch with inner child, and with existing children.

Adopt, step, and foster parenting.
Big Brother/Sister. Work with children, teach.

I have superior human genes.

Doesn’t recognize an oxymoron.
Megalomania.

Do great things with your genes, rather than expecting the next cultured batch to do it.

Need help on farm or in family business.

Too cheap to hire help.
Child labor laws inconvenient.

Mechanization gives faster return on investment.

Want someone to care for me in my old age.

Fear of aging.
Exploitative personality.

Save money and prepare for retirement. Be nice to people so they will visit you in the home. Build social support network.

Pregnancy and childbirth are life experiences.

Life choices limited by social indoctrination.

Rent pregnancy simulator. Choose different life experiences.

A good family is essential to career advancement and strong standing in the community.

Social insecurity. Wants trophy children to improve social status.

Rent children from talent agency on special occasions. Have white picket fence installed.

We want to create a life which embodies our love for each other.

Ego, times two, minus imagination, equals three plus.

Garden. Adopt a stream, trail, or hiway. Rescue animals. Protect & restore ecosystems to embody love.

I want my kids (who don’t exist yet) to have all the things I didn’t have.

Unfulfilled childhood desires and fantasies.

Deal with regrets & make best of life. Provide for existing children.

To carry on family name.

Trying to please Dad.
Duped by bloodline superstition.

Create something enduring & give it family name. Donate blood to pass on bloodline.

Want to see a little me.

Self-absorption. Lack of ego gratification.

Order custom-made, life-like doll.
Create a gratifying life of your own.

God wants us to.

Mindless obedience to dogma peddlers who want larger flocks.

Seek true nature of God, whatever you perceive God to be.

My wife/husband wants a baby.

Giving in out of fear of losing partner.

Communicate true desires. Spouse may feel you’re the one who wants to breed. Rent baby simulator doll.

Want a child with our bloodline.

Ego extension. Racial identity.

Recognize value of people with different genetic makeups.

It’s a spiritual thing for me.

Other reasons too easily refuted.

Find truly spiritual experiences.

I’ve always wanted to have children, it’s what people do.

Unquestioned cultural conditioning.

Consider alternatives. Question expectations. Adopt.

To cement our relationship.

Fear of failed marriage.

Communicate to strengthen relationship. Attend retreats for bonding couples.

I love babies.

Short-sighted view of reality.

Babies soon turn into children, then adults. Infant care work is available. Life-like infant doll may help.

Being a mother is a woman’s highest calling.

Beguiled into believing compliance is noble free choice.

Motherhood, and fatherhood, may be achieved without breeding. Many children wait for good homes.

My child could find a way to save the world.

“Mother of God” complex. (Also applies to men).

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

We’d like to try for a boy/girl this time.

Ego extension. Gender identity insecurity. Dissatisfaction with existing offspring.

Appreciate who you have, they might resent their sibling whose gender is preferred.

I just want to.

Just wants to.

Choosing to breed precludes most other things you’ll just want to do.

I want someone who will love me and not leave me.

Fear of rejection. Unresolved relationship issues.

Give love to get love. Accept change and deal with loss.

Our economy needs young workers to replace retired workers.

Willing to sacrifice offspring to gods of National Economy.

Automation reduces need for wage slaves. Consider rights of unconceived to stay that way.

The world needs more of us or we’ll be outnumbered.

Elitism. Xenophobia. Eugenics easier to conceal than genocide.

Convert others to your views so there’ll be one more of your kind and one less of Them.

We may as well, the planet is doomed anyway.

Nihilistic natalism.

Consider ethics of sentencing an innocent person to life, and death, in ecological collapse.

I’d like to achieve a sense of immortality.

Fear of death and non-existence.

Accept mortality. Spread memes not genes. Socrates’ heirs are not apparent, but his ideas linger strong.

My biological clock has gone off.

Women’s normal heightened sexual desire in 30s & 40s difficult to accept in puritanical societies.

Disarm that culturally-implanted mental time bomb. It’s okay to make love and not babies.

I don’t know.

Never thought about it. Unthinking conformity.

Think before you breed, and you might not.

I might regret not having had the experience later, when it’s too late.

Fear of future worries and life passing too fast.

We can’t experience everything. Far better to regret not breeding than to regret breeding

I do not want to deny my kids (who do not exist yet) the joy of existence.

Ignoring lack of joy in existing children.

Promote existence of joy rather than imagining joy in mere existence.

Procreation has traditionally been a source of personal empowerment for women.

Feels powerless. Desires power and respect society appears to give to mothers and withholds from others.

Mothers get more lip service than respect. Picking up family’s slack is not empowering. Seek self-defined sources of power.

Admittedly, having VHEMT Volunteers judge reasons for people breeding is like holding a contest for the most intelligent species, and appointing the “most intelligent species” to set the standards for winning. So, you be the judge: are any of these reasons compelling enough to justify creating a whole new human being today?

You may read selected reasons from others if you like, or you may go to Why breed? to offer your own reasons.

Top Ten Reasons to not create another of us today.

Although nearly half of conceptions are unintended, a desire to conform to what society considers normal is probably the number one cause of wanted pregnancies. Many who continue to breed have never considered doing otherwise. Natalist propaganda remains insidiously rampant and rampantly insidious.

Like a copy of the above chart? It’s yours for free: Why breed? chart (pdf)




Q: I’ve always wanted to have a baby of my own. What else is there to life?

For many of us, it isn’t enough to say, “just don’t do it.” Most people who aren’t already parents need alternatives to fill the needs which procreation seems to fill.

Both men and women can feel a need to nurture, and nurturing Earth’s other “children” can be a viable alternative. Wildlife rehabilitation and protection, habitat preservation, reforestation, Adopt-A-Stream, and gardening offer possibilities.

For those who prefer not to substitute Nature for humans, there are plenty of children in need of parenting. Adoption, step and foster parenting, borrowing relatives’ children, and Big Brother - Big Sister Programs might fill the need. Also, occupations in child care and education can provide ample opportunity for sharing and caring.

Young people aren’t the only ones in need of care. We humans, like other domesticated animals, need to be cared for at some time in our lives. Helping the elderly, handicapped, sick, or other disadvantaged folks could also satisfy altruistic needs.

Companion animals have less of an impact on the environment than humans, and many childfree people find adopting a dog or cat to be emotionally fulfilling.

The first step to finding an alternative to procreating is to rethink the pronatalist mindset of the past. From an early age, we are told we’ll have children of our own some day. We are asked, “How many and when?” When our answer is “Nevermore,” alternatives begin to have meaning.

Non-Parenthood groups and information

Macleans magazine, The case against having kids.



Q: Do we have to stop having sex?

Sex is the way most babies are started, but is sexual intercourse really the primary cause of human reproduction? Let’s consider the statistics:

The World Health Organization estimates that 100 million couples engage in sexual intercourse on an average day, which is only 3.3% of the world’s six billion humans. This pitifully low amount of love-making results in around 910,000 pregnancies, thanks in part to contraceptives and sterility. For a variety of reasons, 55% of these zygotes don’t make it through fetushood to live birth. According to a current U.S. Census Bureau estimate, 359,000 do make it daily.

So, less than 0.4% of each day’s heterosexual trysts result in the creation of new humans—a statistically insignificant correlation for proving causation. In fact, it rounds to zero.

Try it for yourself. Estimate how many times you’ve engaged in sexual activity in your lifetime. Now estimate how many times you were trying to make a baby. Divide the little number by the big number to give you the percent of times sex and procreation have simultaneously motivated you.

Perhaps if there were more opportunities for sexual gratification, so many people wouldn’t feel the need to fill a nagging emptiness with a needy dependent.

[Please note: the above shows how statistics may be manipulated. If we approach the equation from the other end, more than 99% of us were started by sexual intercourse.]


Q: Does VHEMT favor abortion?

Only when someone is pregnant.

Seriously though, pregnancy should be prevented whenever possible. Unwanted pregnancy is the cause of almost all abortions, and VHEMT certainly doesn’t favor unwanted pregnancy.

The Movement doesn’t even favor wanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, accidental conceptions still happen, so an available and safe safety net is essential for the well-being of girls and women. Criminalizing abortions has never prevented them from being performed, it just makes them unsafe: illegal abortions cause an estimated 68,000 to 74,000 deaths, with five million suffering from complications each year.

Abortion is inconceivable without conception, so contraception prevents abortions.

The issue of a woman’s right to a legal and safe abortion is somewhat beyond the scope of VHEMT. However, the first word is “Voluntary” and coerced births are not. A wide range of opinions on this subject exists within The Movement.

United Nations chart on availability of abortion and contraception by country 2007

World Fertility Patterns 2007


Prestigious Awards for Reproductive Responsibility

This handsome trophy is awarded to those outstanding citizens who acknowledge 7+ billion humans on Earth is more than enough, and who put their money where their gonads are.


The Silver Snip Award

Anyone, including biological parents, who has chosen permanent, surgical contraception (vasectomy, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, etc.), may download this animated gif. Please include a link to this page when proudly displaying the Silver Snip Award on your website.


The Golden Snip Award

This award is reserved exclusively for those brave pioneers who have never never reproduced, and never will. The Golden Snip Award honors childfree individuals who have chosen permanent, surgical contraception (vasectomy, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, etc.), in order to not create more Homo sapiens. Adoptive parents who have never conceived, and who do not support the fertility industry (surrogate mothers, egg donors, IVF, sperm banks) may also download this animated gif. Please include a link to this page when proudly displaying the Golden Snip Award on your website.


Couples are under varying amounts of pressure to breed, depending on their society and government
breeding pressure gauge
Gauge the pressure you’re forced to endure.

1. Personal pressure. Cultural conditioning to procreate begins early and continues insidiously into adulthood. It’s so strong that most of us have never considered not breeding. It’s so pervasive that we don’t realize we’ve been indoctrinated by society to act against our own best interests. An instilled desire to create children feels natural, almost biological. A choice isn’t much good if we don’t know we have it.

2. Positive social pressure. There’s only one socially acceptable response to news of pregnancy or birth: “Congratulations”. Despite a lack of social benefit, society gushes mindlessly about joys of adding more people. For most of us, resistance to fertile is futile.

3. Positive economic pressure. Economic incentives to breed come from those who control enough money to provide them. Corporate-controlled governments all over the world are paying baby bounties with the hope of future economic benefit. People higher up in the pyramid scheme know they need a large base to support their privileged position.

4. Negative social pressure. Childfree couples endure society’s disapproval for shirking their duty to provide fodder for factory and cannon. Accusations of decadence, immaturity, and selfishness pressure couples to conform and procreate. In extreme cases, shunning and even death await women who fail to produce an heir—preferably male.

5. Negative economic pressure. Those who choose to eschew breeding aren’t directly fined, but they subsidize others’ choice to breed. It takes a village to raise a child, so pay up.

6. Pure pressure. Mandatory breeding rarely reaches the horrific level of Romania’s under Ceausesu, but wherever contraceptive services and reproductive freedoms are restricted, pure pressure to breed is automatically exerted. Hundreds of millions of couples are denied their basic human right to stop creating more children than they want or can care for.

The most important decision a couple will face is whether or not to bring another of us into the world. Pressure to make either choice disrespects autonomy. Any level of pressure to take on the life-altering, all-consuming task of child-rearing is unconscionable. Reproductive freedom and responsibility are based on respecting personal choices of those considering co-creating a new human being.

breederbingo


Denial of reproductive freedom has dire consequences:

deathmaternal

Vatican’s role in restricting reproductive freedom

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI oppossed condom use, even for HIV prevention, but mercifully gave his blessing to condoms in 2010—as long as they’re not used to prevent pregnancy.

Women’s lack of reproductive choice

Total Fertility Rates ranked by country. Generally, the greater the gender inequality, the higher the birth rate.

Unmet need for contraceptives in Uganda, and in other countries.

International recognition of our basic human right to not breed in the POLITICS section of this site.

contmodern
Percentage of women using any modern method of contraception among those aged 15-49 who are married or in a union. 2011 UN report.

If you were ruler of the world, where would the contraceptive pressure gauge arrow point when you announced your global family planning policy? Each level has pros and cons to consider. Join the fun and add your own.

Contraceptive Pressure Gauge

PRO:
Neutral pressure. Equalitarian. Birth rate reduced to one half.
Child mortality drops dramatically. No enforcement required.
1.
FREEDOM
CON:
Deprives misogynists of enforcing mandatory motherhood.
Would not be enough to lower birth rates to equal death rate.
Positive. Optimistic. Minimal cost. 2.
PRAISE
Condescending. Judgemental.
Saves money in long run. Provides alternative to being paid to breed 3.
BRIBE
Males’ eligibility hard to determine, making it gender biased.
Economically disadvantaged unequally influenced.
Lets people know that what they’re doing is not good for Nature and humanity 4.
BLAME
Negative. Pessimistic. Fault-finding.
Costs of increasing population are more justly charged. 5.
FINES
Collection problems, especially from single men.
Rich have more freedom to breed than poor.
Deprivation of right to breed better than sentencing a child to a life of exploitation, suffering, and early death. Birth rate reduced to below death rate. 6.
FORCE
Fascistic. Politically unworkable in most regions. Creates other problems, such as infanticide, black-market babies, genocide.

Polls at information tables in western North America, using the above gauge, have consistently produced an average preference of slightly more than 3. Tragically, many regions have not reached level one. Regardless of how much pressure we feel is needed to improve population density, surely we can agree that social justice demands reproductive freedom as a minimum level, as Melinda Gates advocates:


Bizarro cartoon


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