with comments from Les U. Knight sometimes in between
Millions of people around the planet have independently arrived at the conclusion that Earth's biosphere would be better off without humans, or that we should at least stop breeding for now.
Most have never heard of VHEMT. The following is but a sample of
the many messages received which are in agreement with, or are in
support of, the VHEMT concept.
On December 19th, 1998, _The Economist_ magazine agreed with VHEMT
in a two-page
Here's a little of what it says:
"The human species might yet fulfill its evolutionary potential, if it would only go away. In the end, there is only the fiery quantum pit or the heatless grey soup. It is, far and away, the greatest act of goodness ever contemplated.
"HOW, if at all, will the 1990s be remembered? The Internet rose and the Soviet Union fell. Mammals were cloned, Bosnia broke up, and peace came to Ireland, maybe. Something happened in Canada, though no one was sure precisely what. On the whole it has been a decade like any other, agreeably dull. In a thousand years, or in ten thousand or a hundred thousand, what will matter? Mainly an event which hardly anyone noticed at the time: the first, tentative sprouting of an idea which can transfigure humanity.
"Thank--if you think it cause for thanks--Les U. Knight of Portland, Oregon. Great ideas sometimes have peculiar beginnings, and Mr Knight is a case in point."
Are they calling me peculiar?
"It is hard, indeed, to imagine any reason to be against voluntary human extinction. The tricky question is not whether to extinguish, but when."
No time like the present.
One slight correction: the article states, "Around 1970, when he was back from service in the Vietnam war . . ." For clarity, that should read ". . . service during the Vietnam war. . ." I've never been to Vietnam. Les
>NOT BREED? And deprive millions of unborn the miracle of Rush Limbaugh????<
See what I mean? Sentencing someone to life in a world like this is de facto child abuse.
>But seriously, Les, I couldn't agree with you more.<
Hooray! Now, a few billion more and we'll save the planet once and for all.
>I've even gone ya one better and have embraced voluntary poverty so as not to overconsume Ma Gaia's resources. How many Christians do YOU know who can say the same? ("What??? Isn't that the point??? To own lots of stuff??? HEAVENS TO BETSY!!!!!") <
Actually, you're not alone: Alternatives for simple living has been "Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly, and celebrate responsibly" for 25 years.
>Maybe we should start a companion movement? People for Voluntary Deprivation? We could call it PeeVeD!<
Well, the name does present recruitment problems. The Voluntary Simplicity movement doesn't consider it deprivation when we free ourselves of worthless junk, which we pay for on the installment plan.
>Waiting for your reply with titilated baited breath,<
Is that pickled herring you're using for bait? ;-)
[Another great organization for voluntary simplicity is the Center for A New American Dream. "Helping individuals and institutions change the way they consume to protect the environment and enhance quality of life for all. In other words... More Fun, Less Stuff!"]
On 29 Nov 2000 Erik writes:
I'm from Brazil. Before I knew VHEMT, I have been thinking in similar solutions like VHEMT movement. When I saw an article in a Magazine called SuperInteressante, I was very surprised, by knowing that are people like you doing this kind of action.
In Brazil is not well know the VHEMT, so I would like to spread it here. I am asking the permission to use the images to print in stickers, Could I?
If you love the earth, you should also spread vegetarianism. Preservation of the Forest, climate are part of this lifestyle too...
Thanks in advance
Spreading VHEMT is the solution.
On 15 Nov 2000 Clara wrote:
I actually wanted to tell you that I agree with your website. I've been espousing such exact views for the last year or so. Good luck on spreading the word. Maybe I should start a VHEMT club here ;).
>First things first, i'm not condoning your beliefs in any way. It's just hard to hear the things you are saying,especially since it's the first time i have ever heard it.<
Sometimes I forget this. I hope I wasn't too blunt.
> but, you do have some excellent points. i must admit i agree with you in some of your statements.<
I commend you on your open-mindedness and willingness to explore new concepts, especially one you're not in full agreement with.
>but don't you agree that educating ignorant people, like the ones sabatoging our earth might help?<
Well, sort of. The ones doing the most damage are extremely rich and powerful. I think they know what they are doing, but believe that the money they are making is worth sacrificing other life forms for. Charles Hurwitz, for example: his Maxxam Corporation is liquidating redwoods thousands of years old. Will education help him?
Each of us, expecially in the over-industrialized world, have a high impact no matter how educated we are. True, we can limit our consumption, and make wise choices based on our education, but I seriously doubt we can have a net positive influence on the ecosphere. We can be a net positive influence on humanity if we try.
>although, some people spew off pure stupidity and will never understand how to care for such a thing as the earth, let alone their children.but if we can get a hold of their children before they can enfore their moronic views on them maybe we have a chance. <
Yes, raising awareness is the whole idea. Some folks might seem like lost causes, and if they've already made their heirs, it's sort of moot. However, I think everyone has the potential for realizing that the best way to help humanity and Earth's biosphere is to refrain from creating any more of us -- at least for the time being.
> well that was my opinion. i am really not for or against it, YET. i will still have to ponder upon the thought of VHEMT. thanks for your view points. it really made me think.<
That's what I can success. Thoughtful disagreement is better than mindless agreement.
>searching for an answer,<
I am searching for answers too, lots of them. I'd like to say that voluntarily phasing out the human race is THE answer, but it's only one answer. It's not even a very likely solution: convincing six billion people to stop breeding is a rather daunting task.
On August 25, 2000 Valerie in Colorado wrote:
>I love the movement! Heard you on KGNU this morning and decided to visit your website. I'm going to tell all of my friends about VHEMT.<
>Your site just confirmed what I knew was right in my heart...I'm going to make the appointment for my husband to get a vasectomy on Monday.<
On November 10, 2000 Adrian wrote:
>Subject: Something I've been looking for...
And I think I've just found it in vhemt. Your point that people already come to this conclusion before visiting your site was spot on in my case, having been feeling totally uneasy about the current state of the world for some time now. My problem is trying to convince other people of the mess that we're in though. Virtually none of my peers are really interested, too busy enjoying themselves in the here and now to worry about bigger issues, and if I'm brutally honest, I'm a tad jealous of their ignorance. Neros, fiddling whilst Rome burns. Your ideas which I feel to be pretty reasonable would be extremely difficult to get across to others as they go so much against the norm, but I'll give it a go.
Live long and die out<
>Before I give you my reason, I would like to tell you that for a a while, now, I have believed this Nation, and this World are overpopulated. I also realize, that many don't care, or don't want to believe it. I happened upon your site, b/c I am doing a controversial essay for English. I must say, some of the sites I have visited sicken me. Some people, mostly enviromentalists, believe the only way to help the earth is to create more people. <
Strange, isn't it? I know what you mean, people who consider themselves environmentally aware still plan on producing two new people. I guess they think that the first two have no environmental impact.
If six billion of us aren't enough to get the job done, seven won't be any better.
>I understand the many reasons for overpopulation, and I would definitelly love to help if there is anything I can do. <
Sometimes helping Earth's other life forms is as much a matter of what we don't do as do do. In this case, your deciding to not add more of us to the billions does a lot of good.
Besides not breeding, the choice of what to do to help is yours. There are many worthwhile directions to go in. Not all Volunteers actively promote voluntary human extinction. Raising awareness is about all VHEMT does right now, the rest is up to various organizations set up to actually do something: reproductive freedom, ecological protection and restoration, and so on. If you'd like to help promote VHEMT, you could display one of our bumper stickers or wear our T-shirt. We're getting buttons soon. Directing interested people to the VHEMT website is also a good method.
>I would like to, at this time, tell you that I am 16 years old. I don't know if that is in any interest of you, but I thought it might be. <
Yes and no. I'm opposed to ageism, but at the same time I'm encouraged by people arriving at this conclusion early in life. You're not the youngest Volunteer or Supporter in VHEMT. I think the youngest subscriber to our sharing and discussion list is 15, but I don't know and I don't care. Age seems to be rather irrelevant to our levels of awareness.
>Before happening upon your site, I had planned to have 2 children, right now that idea has changed to zero. I believe in this site.<
Thank you very much, Kay. That's very good to hear. You might be the first person I know of to change from two to zero just by reading the VHEMT site. I often hear from people who already arrived at this conclusion, and from those who were leaning this way and made the final leap, but it's rare to achieve a "conversion".
>Now the reason I am writing. Why breed? I believe in this site, and I think it has a very good goal, to a point. I believe that the poeple of today should stop breeding, but in the future, before we become "extinct," we need to start again. <
You're not alone in thinking this. VHEMT Supporters, as distinct from Volunteers, are not in favor of our extinction. Generally, Supporters agree that the intentional creation of one more of us by anyone anywhere can't be justified today, but maybe when our density is improved enough to be sustainable, we can rethink our breeding.
I shared your message with our private discussion list, and a Supporter responded: "I would just like to say that this is what we need more of in the world. Often we're too busy reading about the "Die @!$*" or the "%$#* you" that we don't realize that the potty mouths are getting all the spot light and that the people doing something about it (overpopulation) are left in the cold. I personally believe that we should breed again when the population stabilizes, but we don't have to worry about that for a good long while. Again, way to go Kay!!!"
(He's referring to disagreeable messages from website visitors which include pointless obscenities).
>I know that we may end up making the same mistake again, but (with no religious aspect what-so-ever) who's to say for sure that we would evolve again? I don't really see the point of becoming extinct. I really don't see the point of life, but with no poeple I see the point of animals, the earth, and everything else even more pointless. <
On one philosophical level, I have to agree that existence only has whatever meaning we give it: our lives only have a point if we give it one. This line of reasoning can lead one to nihilism, depression, and even suicide -- unless one goes all the way through to the other side. By choosing one of the thousands of possible purposes for our lives, we actually achieve a point to life.
>We must be here for some reason, <
Would this requre some metaphysical intelligence such as a diety, or an intelligence behind Nature? My personal view is that we do have a reason for being here, and it's up to us to decide what that is. Voluntary extinction of the human race is my life's work, though I know I'll never see the day there are none of us on Earth. Maybe my point is pointless. ;-)
>and if we become extinct, and we don't evolve again, why have the earth, the animals, and the food. <
By taking an Earth-centered view of the entire biosphere, we can be seen as simply one of the millions of other life forms. If we decide that our existence has no point, that's our choice. But I don't think we have the right to make that decision for other life forms, as we are doing when we cause their extinctions.
Jim M writes
Thanks for creating your web site. It is a pleasure to read, and to know there is someone out there who has values so similar to my own. I'm already a Volunteer, having had a vasectomy 5 months ago, when I was 34. Now I'm trying to find a way to contribute more actively to the cause of population control (or elimination!)
My entire life I've wanted to be a mother, I wanted to care for someone and love and raise them. So when I got married, the next "logical" step was to try to procreate. after 4 years of "unproductive sex" my husband and I were branded as infertile and given the name of the local fertility specialist. It was then that I really realized that this wasn't what I wanted at all. I decided then that what mattered to me was not physically having a baby, what I really was trying to do was "fit in" I wanted to have that perfect life, the husband, the career, the kids, the house ...... my infertility made me realize that getting pregnant isn't and will never be the path to the perfect life. I opened my eyes and began to see all the things that I thought I wanted or the things that I was doing were things that society had trained me to want and do. So my husband and I began live our lives the way we wanted to. We gave away all of our baby stuff we had aquired with the hope of a pregnancy, our families and friends saying we were crazy, and looking at us with pity saying things like "don't worry, you'll have one someday..." or "You will be missing out if you don't have a baby" what they didn't understand was that I looked at my infertility as a turning point in my life. I felt lucky to not be able to conceive because I was finally able to look at the world around me with unclouded "society driven" vision. I became aware of all the children out there (human or animal) that needed my love and care, and I began to wonder why I had ever wanted to create another person that this world really didn't have room for just to satify my need to nurture. I am currently the mother of 4 beautiful creatures all of them needed loving homes and someone to care for them. we have 2 cats, litter mates who were going to be "set free" in a field as kittens because of an unwanted litter. an old (15 years) strange looking dog that weighs about 5 lbs soaking wet, who we adopted from a family member who didn't want her anymore, and a 1year old cocker spaniel who was dropped off at the humane society because his previous owners were moving to an apartment that didn't allow dogs (to that I say, if you had a 1 year old child, would you put him up for adoption so that you could move into a "really cool" apartment that didn't allow children? I think not!!) I would love to hear the pitter patter of two footed animals sometime, but I want them to need me, I don't want to have to create them to need me. (does this make sense?)
So here I am at the beginning of what I consider to be a spiritual journey, along which, I come across your website. At first, it struck me as funny, the voluntary extinction of one's own species, and doing so in such a non violent, loving, even logical manner. Yet I have to ask, why extinction? my number 1 issue, is that extinction by not breeding is going to be impossible at best to achive voluntarily. Human kind rarely does anything (or does not do anything as the case may be) without force of some kind. so with the impossiblity in mind, why not try to change humankind into a more ecologically responsible species? I agree 110% that humans are the #1 cause of the earth's (our own and other lifeform's) destruction. But it seems like extinction would be the easy way out (theoretically speaking). Don't procreate, become extinct and the earth gets to repopulate with less descructive life forms. But being the selfish homosapien that I am, I rather like the thought of us frolicking in green meadows with our fellow life forms.
now, I don't know many statistics, or facts about the world's ecological state, however, it seems that it took us a while to get where we are now. And granted it will take us much longer to undo it. but if there was a way for us to live on this earth and continue to multiply (within reason) and not threaten the earth or the lifeforms living on or around it, that would be a much better goal to work towards I would think.
I do agree that breeding of humans at this time is assanine. I think that we need to take care of what we have right now meaning the children who are being neglected or abused or otherwise need parenting. no matter what we do there will be some people who insist upon reproducing themselves, and will continue to do so unless forced not to. I guess both of our goals are the same, we both want there to be harmony and goodness on the earth and we both feel that something must be done yet in a non forcefull, voluntary manner. I just hope that more people realize what we are doing to the earth and the inhabitants of it and they learn that they must take a step forward in preventing any more destruction. I think a good step right now is to slow, stop or decrease the human population, take care of and raise the children that we already have to become healty, happy, ecologically responsible humans.
On 1 Dec 2000 Asaara writes:
Subject: Why breed?
>Damn good question. <
And so far no damn good answers. ;-)
> I know I'm not going to if I can help it. <
Meritorious Service Award:
For meritorious service to planet Earth and the human family.
Awarded in recognition of your conservation of resources, reduction of pollution, preservation of wildlife and its habitat, and for easing shortages while helping to relieve crowded conditions.
By not adding another human to the existing billions, you are improving conditions for humanity, and are greatly reducing your impact on Nature.
>I just wish that I wouldn't have to wait til I was over 40 or something to get sterilized. <sigh> <
You don't have to wait. If you're female, it's more difficult to find a provider when you're young than if you're male, but they're out there. You just have to convince them that you are convinced. In this pronatalist society you have to have good reasons to *not* breed, but any couple can create more of us without much thought -- and they do.
> I do not want to have any kids, if I should get fixed and want one, well, there's plenty of pre-existing ones out there...<
Thanks for the encouragement. It's good to hear.
>I am a female who has no desire to create another homo sapien for the planet. Another human simply becomes another mouth to feed. <
Plus another orifice, the excrement from which must be absorbed by the environment.
>It took me a very long time to find this web page and there are not to many like it. . . <
If you have the URL for any sites like VHEMT, I'd like to link to them.
>. . . but I am glad to see that someone agrees with my opinions. <
There are probably a few million people who have arrived at this conclusion independently. We may never know how many, since most don't speak English.
>vhemt is genuis
I'm guessing you're the guy who started this movement? if you're not please give me hios email address, i'd like to speak with him or her...<
No, I just gave it a name. I hear from people regularly who independently arrived at this conclusion. The Movement has existed for a long time, and it does help spread the concept to have a name for it.
Ever since i remember thinking, i have known that this was my philosophy to life. Humans have evolved, but by some mutation, our brain capacity surpassed our physical strength and i think we've just gotten too smart and screwed things up. I have never wanted to have kids becuase i really believe that there are too many people in the world. By the way, i'm fifteen. Anyway, i think people should still be able to have sex, there just shouldn't end up being a kid. or maybe only the "best" people should have kids. People who are mentally fit as well as physically. Race shouldn't matter. Also i want to stop religion. That is a bunch of bullshit. People should admit they were wrong and realize that there is no god. We should be believing in ourselves, not in some figment of the imagination perfected over thousands of years.
>I just stopped by your site for a browse, and found it quite intriguing. What a beautiful combination of humor and truth!<
Thanks for the encouragement. That's good to hear.
>Good luck! (As a recently-dumped "nice guy", rest assured that I'll be doing my part!) <
Since you're a nice guy, you were no doubt doing your part before, too. Nice guys don't impregnate their lovers.
You'll quite likely find yourself experiencing that happy madness called love again. This might be the best time to take care of those pesky sperm once and for all. Then when rational thought slips away temporarily, at least you won't be starting someone for life. You know what they say about us men, there's only enough blood in our bodies to operate one head at a time.
>I found out about your web site through a letter to the Seattle Times via what they call the Front Porch Forum who's latest hot topic is the overcrowding of Seattle. I am an actual native of this once fab town and am also distressed about the state of things - especially having just returned from a 2 month tour of Europe via backpack and witnessing so much of the rest of the world and how it thinks. America is still a fine country and all, but unfortunately is really screwed up on many fronts and is sharing these with the rest of the world. Very depressing.
My reason for writing is to say that although I don't support full voluntary extinction, I do support the notion that we all don't Need to Breed. My husband and I aren't going that route, for many fine reasons and I certainly wish others would see the wisdom of this choice. Coming from a large Irish Catholic family, you can imagine my fatigue with having to explain it all. I mean, do people actually READ the paper or LISTEN to the news and just not friggin' GET IT? The Vatican is a large corporation, and makes its income from its "sheep" tithing their 10% and creating the next generation to tithe their 10% and so on, and so on...ad nauseum.<
You're not alone in your reluctance to support full voluntary extinction: many consider themselves VHEMT Supporters, which means they agree that the intentional creation of one more of us by anyone anywhere can't be justified at this time, but promoting extinction of our species just goes too far for them.
We have a long way to go: the choice to not breed has to be defended when it should be rewarded. Tax credits, multiplied by as many offspring as a couple chooses to create, shows that pronatalism is official government policy. Maybe it's the same mentality of the Church: more sheep to tithe.
There's much to do in many directions: promotion of childfree living, reproductive freedom, local land-use issues, and so on. Even doing nothing does more good than adding to the problem.
> I hear alot about saving Mother Earth. What crap. Mother Earth is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. When she has had enough, and yes that time approacheth, she will shrug us off like a dog does fleas, maybe via floods, or another ice age or whatever choice we leave her. This is, of course, unfair to the millions of species we share this space with - innocent victims of our irresponsibility. <
I fear your Cassandra-like prophesy is more likely, based on a rough calculation of the time left, current level of awareness, willingness of the wealthiest 10% to allow change, and so on.
>So, keep up the message...at least in terms of curtailing this breeding explosion. I wish I more hope that it was reaching people. I've discovered that much of our country's population is comprised of followers, people who don't think for themselves and allow the various religions to tell them what to do. In the end, ironically, it will be "god" that destroys humankind.<
Unless we get in touch with whatever "god" we got inside and short circuit the process. Although it's unlikely we'll be able to convince six billion people to refrain from further breeding, I see this as the best alternative to the massive die off we are engineering for ourselves and all life.
Jim S. writes:
>I heard you on Wisconsin Public Radio about a year or so ago (Tom Clark I think) and you did a great job. I don't think you're a nut, I think you have the right idea. Humans are the worst thing that ever happened to the planet. The less of us the better. What we need to do is try to live our lives doing the least amount of damage we can and don't make a bunch of babies. <
>After perusing your website, I have to say I am most impressed with the ideas expressed and nothing would please me more than seeing your agenda put into global action. I am interested in becoming a member of your organization and if there is anything else I can do please don't hesitate to contact me.<
David J. writes:
>I am so pleased to see your site. I have not reproduced and am glad to see there is a movement with that goal. Do you think we could get a Wall Monument in DC of all those who refrained from reproducing...and some day the grass would grow over it and it would disappear. Keep up the good work.<
>Thank you so much for your website! I am a 25 year old female. I have always felt that i have a responsibility to this planet and have been a vegetarian for 10 years. I love kids and I work as a preschool teacher aide. i have been in a relationship with a man for four yeas and everyone always asks us "when are you going to get married?" People think its so strange that i don't want to get married or have children. It drives me nuts! They must think that because i work with children and enjoy them so much that I must be being selfish to not want to have children myself.
The whole biological clock crap is irritating too.It makes me so sad to hear women talk about their bod "ticking", like it's a bomb that will blow up if they don't do what everybody else does by a certain time. Part of what attracted me to my partner is our shared value of not reproducing. an old friend of mine tried and tried to get pregnant. she took lots of fertility drugs and what not. the result? she's pregnant with triplets! It's so hard for me to share in her happiness when I am so far from that mode of thought. i have often felt isolated because of my beliefs on the subject. thanks for making me aware that there are others who believe that we've already done enough damage to this place without making more of us.<
>Hello Les, thanks for your speedy reply. I can't express how much better i feel as a result of knowing that there are many others out there who don't feel the need to reproduce. your website tackles everything that I feel I have either comtemplated or heard as arguments for having children. i think that there are special issues that women encounter in regards to so called "maternal instincts" which are difficult. I appeciated the section on nurturing and how nurturing the earth in terms of planting and growing fulfills our need to care for living things. <
Gemma in Australia writes:
>I am pleased as punch to have discovered your website. Coming from a large, wealthy, capitalist family I always thought I was mentally ill or something for not wanting to replicate myself. I do enjoy my consumer lifestyle. I'm not a huge fan of western civilisation but I've done well out of it. There's nothing I want more than for all people to have the happiness and luck and chances that I have had, and will hopefully continue to have.
As I said, I am very lucky and very happy, having a raging time as any lucky, happy 18 year old should. Your site is great. It's reminded me of a whole lot of things that I used to be so angry about, and has provided answers for questions I just never really had the presence of mind to answer for myself. I have directed my friends to your site. Most of them being upper middle class angry teenagers, I think they'll really get into it. If they don't, I'll have a great philosophical debate (more commonly known here as a shit fight) on my hands, and I do love to make people rethink their positions.
Thank-you for making my habit of useless net surfing remind me of my bioethical stance.<
Mike M. writes:
>It was very refreshing to find someone with the same views as myself. I am pleased that i am not the only one that finds the Human Species a scourge of the earth. I whole heartedly agree with the notion of getting rid of one species so all others can survive. After all, the human species is headed towards eventual destruction anyway, taking everything with it.
As an environmetal engineering student, i can say that the amount of devestation we are doing to the earths surface, air,water and life is truly amazing. It pains me to think that we, as the human race, believe that because we are the doninant species on earth, we can treat it anyway we like. The majority of people are walking around in an oblivious daze, realizing that we ARE polluting, and changeing the earth for the worst, but not caring because they want to have all the conviences they are accustomed to. They do not want to think about the inevitable future.
I for one realize what is happening, and i also realize the only thing that can stop it is getting rid of human beings. I am familliar with most pollution remediation technologies, and if properly implemented everywhere they are needed, would do nothing to save us now.
Anyway Les, keep up the good work.<
Jonathan K writes:
>I discovered your page on VHEMT for the first time, today, and it was a real relief to see that there are people who believe in these ideals without being insane eco-fanatics (I've been an insane eco-fanatic in the past). I'm slightly learning disabled, have poor vision, and blood clotting problems; even if, by some strange chance, I actually *did* find someone to raise children with, and I were able to be the sort of father my father never was ('nother words, caring and non-abusive), does the world really need another short-sighted dyslexic with bleeding problems using up the resources? I think not, and I'm especially glad that you mentioned the other options - there are too many children out there who need to be adopted, too many older people who need care, and too many pounds which are full to overflowing.<
>I've been snooping around your website, and find I agree with you completely (so far). I thought about this stuff when I was in high school, but never bumped into anyone who could comprehend it.
Sadly, I've arived at the conclusion that our collective stupidity has too much momentum, and we will end up suffering the fate of any overpopulated species on this planet. I foresee mass starvation and disease. Also, I recomend you look into the fate of the Easter Islanders; I expect history there to repeat itself on a more planetwide scale. Its pretty disquieting stuff.
I would like to believe your movement could be successful; that creatures with brains like ours could voluntarily limit their numbers, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Men will brag about having "hundreds" of children, and in some cases, this may be true. Many cultures, and most churches, use this as a deliberate strategy to outnumber any potential foes. That strategy has long outlived it's usefulness, but tradition is a hard thing to modify.
I, for one, will not have another child. I dream of living far from other humans in the wilderness, but I also feel my presence there will simply create more pressure on already faltering ecosystems. I imagine I could raise two crops, one for my needs, and one for local animal life, but that may create more problems than it solves. I wish I could do more. <
> So, I'm not the only one... <
No, you certainly aren't alone. There must be millions of people around the planet independently arriving at the awareness that Earth's biosphere would be better off without humans. Most don't speak English, so I'll probably never hear from them.
>Up to now, only my poor, beleaguered wife has listened to me fulminate against the human race and call for a new incurable plague rendering us all infertile (actually, I inflict the same rants on the family at holiday dinners -- cheers, everyone!).<
Yeah, I quit doing that when everyone began rolling their eyes and sighing loudly as if to say, "Here we go again." They stop listening after a while -- after a very short time, actually. Maybe half a sentence if it sounds like something they don't agree with. They begin looking for a trash can in their minds: "Let's see, is it the misanthrope trash? Maybe the baby-hater trash can. Yeah. Did anyone watch Seinfeld last night?"
I agree that the best thing that could happen to Earth would be for all Homo sapiens sperm to lose viability forever. Sure, sperm counts are down world wide, but that hasn't slowed our growth much if at all. I wouldn't credit it with the drop from 90+ million per year to the estimated 80 million present growth. People are saying the population explosion is over because of this little dip. As one population activist commented, just because the tidal wave is 80 feet high instead of 90 is not cause for celebration.
Unless some space alien joins forces with us, that global infertility dream is going to remain a dream. We have to take other steps. I've chosen awareness. I like to believe I've prevented a few humans from being conceived -- gives me a warm feeling.
>Now I see I'm not alone. That's good. My feeling is, humans are such a savage, cruel race, it's best if we all disappear; but since I'm such a sensitive kinda guy, I don't want to see people suffer, which is why I don't give thanks for AIDS or war. Much better to have the infertility plague. This is also important because if we were to all die tomorrow, the millions of animals kept as pets or locked in zoos, circuses, etc. would die of starvation and related causes, which, since I'm an animal rights kinda guy, also doesn't jive with my philosophy. Thus, slow elimination (not unlike a meat-eater's colon). <
Exactly. We've got a lot of messes to clean up before we check out. Phasing out ourselves and other domesticated animals is a humane approach.
>Now let's see if you agree with me on this one: sometimes people will say to me, "If you feel that way about it, why not put your money where you mouth is and kill yourself?" Well, I might, but not before everyone else does. Why? Because I'm one of the better people, dammit. I try my best not to harm people or animals or the earth. Let the hunters and factory farmers and real estate developers kill themselves first. When all the creeps are gone, I'll join in...maybe. Or maybe I'll just have a party with the other rare do-gooders of this sad Earth and grow old and die with them. Yeah, that works.<
Although the above works logically, I wouldn't use it because the next charge fired at me would be "Elitism!" As if our exhaust don't stink. I prefer to say that we'll all be dead soon enough. Shaving a few years off our lives will do little if anything to alleviate population pressure. Each of us is only one six billionth of the problem.
On the other hand, creating a new human with a whole life ahead of it has a tremendous environmental impact, especially here in North America. It also has the potential to replicate itself. No, increasing death won't help reduce the population, but contraception will.
One of the first things that we need is reproductive freedom for all. When every couple has the means to avoid conception, birth rates will drop. Perhaps not enough to stop our increase, but with awareness efforts and a ceasing of pronatalist encouragements, we will be a long way toward voluntarily reducing our density.
>I really enjoyed your website it was thought provoking to say the least.<
Thank you for your encouragement. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about VHEMT and found it thought provoking - that's the main idea. With almost 60% of conceptions in North America unintended, simply getting people to think before they breed would be a major advancement.
>I thought my mother was the only person on the planet against destroying the earth with over-population, I was wrong.<
It may not be talked about much, but there are millions of people who are aware that Earth's biosphere can't support six billion Homo sapiens. Most of them still think we can turn things around if people will stop at one or two offspring, but we really don't have that much time to play with. Due to the momentum of population growth, even a global birth rate of one would not achieve zero population growth right away. In China, their numbers are still increasing in spite of their strict policy of one child per couple.
>Even though you have answered every question and retort anyone could possible put forth, there's still one thing I don't understand. It seems to me that ignorant people breed more than those of a slightly higher capability.<
Perhaps so, but ignorance can be cured.
>If stupid people are the ones who breed how will they ever understand why they are supposed to stop making babies? or at least limit themselves to one or two?<
It takes very little intelligence to realize that the intentional creation of one more of us by anyone anywhere can't be justified at this time.
Fortunately, VHEMT is an idea and doesn't have to be inherited genetically. All of us came from breeding couples, and yet we've decided to stop breeding.
>I asked my mom this question and she laughingly said we should slip birth control into their food while they're not looking.<
The first step would be to make sure that everyone has free access to contraceptives. Even here in North America, restrictions on reproductive freedom are increasing. They aren't being outlawed, exactly, but as the Catholic Church buys more hospitals and HMOs, contraceptive methods are eliminated. This is ironic, to say the least, because contraception nips abortion in the bud.
>(Religion is the reason we are in the mess we're in; it all starts with those major orginizations. They still to this day tell people to have kids. <
They're not the only ones: this whole society is pronatalist. Now presidential candidates are talking about doubling the "baby bounty" to $1000 each. Our tax money subsidizes irresponsible reproductive choices.
>They're also the most unconcerned about life on this planet now and after. Since they're all going to 'heaven' why should they care what happens to future generations?)<
Rather than religions, I think it's churches that are the problem. A religion is a belief system that includes advice to be responsible. A church, on the other hand, might only watch out for its own welfare, like breeding more members.
Yes, the belief in an after life, coupled with a belief that this world is just a temporary stopping off place on the way there, can cause people to care little for what happens to the ecosphere. However, there are plenty of religious folks who care about Nature.
>maybe we're not supposed to heal the world but only heal ourselves and a few other people<
We, and a few other people, are also the world. It would be nice if we could heal the world, but that's a rather daunting task - almost as challenging as convincing six billion people to stop breeding. What we really need to do is stop destroying Earth's ecosystems, then maybe we can help them heal and expand. As long as our numbers increase, and thus our demands increase, we will have a hard time making things better.
Dark Angel in the UK writes:
>I only just found your web-site but me and my sister already held the point of view that to cease breeding was the only way to save the planet. I won't bore you by going through things that you've already said and saying how right you are, that would be stupid :>
I'm only seventeen, going on eighteen. My sister is nearly nineteen, so there are some of the new generation who agree with you too. My mum seems to think that your website is pretty depressing and says we shouldn't worry about the big picture all the time but as far as I'm concerned this isn't the big picture. I'm not going to put words into your mouth but from what I can gather you aren't talking about major philosophical issues, you're just stating a simple point which is crystal clear: BREEDING IS BAD.
However, and I have to be pessimistic because that is my nature, :> , I doubt very much that voluntary human extinction (BTW, thanks for putting a name to it) is going to happen and if it does it is a long way off. I doubt you'll live to see it and I doubt I'll live to see it but some day we'll all be gone.
I was reading through the "misunderstandings" part of your web-site (Wondering why people have to be offensive and then remembering that I have sent one or two offensive E-mails myself to a certain web-site called "People Eating Tasty Animals"), it is strange that people get so angry because your views are put across very well and your page is extremely well written.
I guess my existence is pretty pointless as far as voluntary extinction is concerned though. I want to be an author and if all goes well there won't be anyone around to read my books :< Oh well.....maybe one day a monkey will evolve sufficient intelligence to figure out our alphabet, the English language and from there it'll probably go on to building roads and power stations. Then, hopefully, the monkey will realise that its species is fucking up the planet and will go the "Way of the humans" (A semi-mythical species of primates who built cities and transport networks way back when the monkey was still a simple tree-dweller). How the HELL did I get from books to monkey's myths?
Anyway, if you get time to read this, then thanks a lot and if you get chance to reply then I'll thank you in a reply to your reply.
Bye and thanks for making me feel good. (Seeing your site made me realise that this world isn't only populated by idiots) <
>I agree 100% For our own sake, for the good of the animals, the earth and future generations, we need to limit the bith rate. It's a shame and a disaster in the making that poelpe just won't see the insanity of breeding on an already overcrowded planet.
I knew in my heart from a very young age that I would never want children. In my teens I was pregant twice , after the first abortion I asked to be sterilized. They said I was too young.
But I was not too young to know my own mind. I'm 44 years old today and have never changed mind mind about reproducing. Unfortunately, I had to go through two more abortions because of failed contraceptive devices, before they would grant my wish and let me have a tule ligation. I was 33.
Children are wonderful, but not every one has to have them. And as we see from the many child abuse problems, some people should be banned from reproducing.
Sure God said "go and be fruitfull", but he also gave us a brain to know when to stop. when he supposedly said that, the earth was still fairly underpopulated. [If there is such a thing]
Besides , as souls, we always were and always will be. So why this mad rush to bring every soul into the earth all at the same time?
It's all such insanity to me.<
Kurt V. writes:
>I received an E-Mail from my Girlfriend and She placed a link to your page. She is always the reciepient of all my "Babblings" (as my friends title them) regarding the every expanding leeching human population. I always thought I was Alone in my visions and thoughts but today I realize their is a movement which shares my passion for all that is sacred.
Thanks you and you will be hearing from me often.<
>I just stumbled across your page by chance and was quite surprised. The link that led me to it said that it was a serious page, so I had to check it out. <
Yep, serious it is. But we have to have some fun, too. It all gets too heavy if we don't take it ligthly sometimes.
>I find the ideas intriguing, as I have for the past few years. <
That's why I say I'm not the founder of VHEMT, I just gave it a name. Millions of people have arrived at our awareness independently. We have slight variations in motivations and methods, but the concept of Earth free of Homo sapiens unifies us all.
>I consider myself a very sane person, but I generally feel that humans have done little good for the planet. I have a deep respect for animals, and I believe that life is a "circle" in many ways. I think that humans TEND to cause horror and destruction wherever they go, and I hope to spend my life helping the creatures that humans so horribly destroy.<
Yes, I think this is the best we can do: undo, mitigate, restore, and try to help the lives which are harmed by our continued existence. I include human lives in this effort.
>Humans in general, seem to have little or no respect for their world and the creatures in it, regardless of how long they have prospered without homo sapien presence. They use and abuse land and resources for their own pleasure, giving little thought as to how their actions will affect the other millions of species who also call this home.<
I regularly hear from people who state that Earth is here for us to do with as we please. I usually respond by giving that as another good reason why we should phase ourselves out.
> I also think that overpopulation is a serious problem. It makes me sick that people breed without thinking of the consequences. It shows how selfish people really are. In a perfect world, I could understand wanting to pass on your genes and nurture a child, etc., but in this imperfect world, aren't there enough creatures and people to nurture? Why not take care of the people and creatures alive right now instead of adding to the problem? <
I know. It's so simple once you realise it. We aren't caring for existing life, how can we justify creating more? Same with breeding of domestic animals.
>I could go on and on, but instead, I will come to my conclusion. I like your page. It is very radical and shocking, until you truly and honestly think about it. Although it is nice to think about a sort of utopia, I still have to live my life in the real world. I spend much of my time helping the victims of human ignorance and greed, and I urge others to do the same. I keep my hope alive by doing this, and by running into people who feel as I do. If only there were more.<
True, phasing out the human race is a utopian dream, but we can apply it to our daily lives by choosing to refrain from further breeding, as you have no doubt done.
>It is so nice to know you exist. Even though it's news to us, my husband and I have always agreed with you, even though we thought we were the only ones. We are certainly the only ones we know. My husband Chuck might just as well have been a been a card carrying member of VHEMT since he was 18; we met when he was 30. He decided at age 18, that there were too many people on the planet, and that we were destroying our home. He vowed to never have children, and he never did.
I had my tubes tied when I was 25, voluntarily, after 18 monthly visits of convincing the Navy doctors (and thank god this was in 1977, before things got REALLY crazy) that I wouldn't change my mind about not reproducing. I was unmarried and had no kids. They thought I was crazy, they told me I would be sorry, that I would change my mind when I met the man of my dreams and he wanted me to have his kids. As luck would have it, I DID meet the man of my dreams, but I already told you what he decided when he was 18. I've never been sorry, and I never changed my mind.
That Chuck and I found each other is quite a miracle - that there is a movement out there for what we already believe in is astounding. Wait, let me rephrase that - that the movement and your work can be found on the internet is astounding. It's so nice to know that there are others.
Mostly we have felt like total outsiders in a world that worships making babies (and not necessarily teenager friendly either... Making 'em is the big deal, showing them off... OK, I know. Just getting a little tension out. Sorry.)
My sister-in-law has had the first (and not last if they can help it) grandchild, and when my father in law saw me holding the child in my arms, he told me I had missed my calling... I'm a successful person on my own terms, and my calling (therefore value...) is defined in terms of my procreation.
It's been a pain of Chuck's as well, to be compared with his fertile brother, and deemed less (that is not even remotely true as far as I am concerned!) because of his VHEMT beliefs.
Thank you for putting our little piece of the puzzle into a greater perspective. It's been a heartwarming read. I've got it pagemarked and will share it with Chuck when he gets home.
Thank you, too, for providing a place for my to say what's been in my heartfor so long, but has been spoken of only between the two of us (Chuck and I) It's nice to know we are not alone. Let me add that of course, neither are you! Thanks, Les. Nice to meetcha. : )
I am a supporter for VHEMT, although I did not learn that such an organization existed until today.
I am estactic to know that I am not alone and that there are others who support my views.
It is comforting to read about VHEMT since my anti-procreative views have been met with hostility, misunderstanding and plain ignorance.
I have become weary of being treated like a "wierdo" because I sanely have chosen not to proprogate and feel that others should not either.
It is equally amusing to see the reactions I have recieved when I say quite honestly, "There are too many humans, we don't need any more...and frankly I don't care if we all die out."
I am also very wearied of procreation-propganda that is rampant here in the South especially.
Again, I am just delighted to know that such an organization exists; I had assumed up to this point that I was the only "weirdo" out there. :)
I would like to support this organization anyway I can.
I have no direct affliations, I am Hungarian and Tuscarora Indian.
I am a writer, artist and stand-up comedienne.
Thank you and I hope to be in touch.
Long have I awaited such a worthy position attitude such as yours: KUDOS!!
Thanks for the encouragement. You're definitely not alone, y'know. Based on the number of people who tell me that they too had arrived at this conclusion, I estimate that there must be three million of us.
I have never bred/reproduced/procreated, never wanted to, ever, and am very happily isolated from the offending masses who deem me a total weirdo. To hell with them.
I WANT to be the last of my genetic mess; I WANT the earth to return to a safe state of balance. People who thoughtlessly procreate are the weirdos, not me. We don't need one more human being on this planet.
If this isn't the best solution for the planet (allowing humans to die out) I don't know what is. Great to see a fellow believer in the true healing method of the planet!!
Now, all we have to do is convince another 6,050,000,000 humans. ;-)
Thank you for trying to spread some sense into the billions of drones that mindlessly destroy the earth in their throw-away consumerist society. Well, first let me introduce myself.....my name is Sean and I am a biology student on the East Coast. I used to think that our planet would be ok in the long run and would always find a way to bounce (or fight) back and to stay in balance. However, I now fear that human advances in technology will override Earth's natural protection and all will be lost. I envision an Earth covered in mile-high skyscrapers to house the 15-20 billion people projected by 2050. How will we ever feed them?!?!? Why do people always ignore the underlying cause of all of our environmental problems?? Population studies are largely ignored.
Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, even those who study biology often ignore the obvious. It seems to be a blind spot in our thinking.
What would you estimate the odds are that we have already passed the point of no return toward a major ecological collapse? By that I mean one that will eliminate all complex, or higher order species such as ourselves.
Something needs to change, and people like you are definitely trailblazers. I applaude you and good luck in future activies with VHEMT.
We can try. Convincing six billion people to stop breeding does seem like a rather daunting task. Most of them don't even speak English. The odds may be against voluntary human extinction, but there's too much at stake to just give up and let humanity take its course.