BIOLOGY AND BREEDING

baby

Q: What’s wrong with babies? Don’t you like babies?

VHEMT Volunteers love babies as much as anyone else. “Having babies” is not so much the problem—having adults is what’s causing the problems. The environmental impact of disposable diapers is heavy, but we are adults much longer than we are children.

People who envision having a baby often forget that they are creating an entirely new human being who will leave in a few years as an adult.

Youth is a wonderful phase of life, whether it’s people, panda, or panther. It’s sad to imagine there being no more of any of them. A baby condor may not be as cute as a baby human, but we must choose to forgo one if the others are to survive.

Children’s welfare will improve as there are fewer of them to care for. Considering the future world we are creating for future generations, procreation today is like renting rooms in a burning building—renting them to our children no less.

Choosing to refrain from producing another person demonstrates a profound love for all life.


Q: Aren’t the wrong people making babies these days?

Right People

Some say, “The wrong people are having children these days.” How many times have you heard this expressed? We can be sure they’re not talking about themselves: it’s those wrong people. It’s “those stupid, slack-jawed degenerates who shouldn’t breed. Those too poor to raise children, or so warped they don’t even like children and might abuse them.” Certainly, this logic follows, “bad genetic specimens should never duplicate their defects.”

Implicit in these opinions is the attitude that some people are the right people to pass along their genes. Smart, financially secure, responsible, socially aware people with superior genes ought to make more of each other. After all, someone is going to, right?

Maybe so, but even if intelligence could be measured or inherited, there’s no evidence that smart people’s exhaust stinks less than morons’. And, since the wealthy are better able to provide materially for their dependents than are the economically disadvantaged, they’re also likely to do the most damage to the environment with their excessive consumption.

Some say that their religious or political belief system needs more members to make the world a better place, but there’s no guarantee that offspring will follow the traditions of their parents. In fact, just the opposite seems to be common in modern societies. Besides, if the only people who will accept a belief system are those born into it, there must be some serious flaws in that system.

Others contend that their race or ethnic group is in the minority, or will be soon if they don’t keep up. Carrying on the family name has long been an unquestioned justification for reproduction, and when a couple says they want to “have one of our own,” they mean “make one that has our genes.” The mindset behind this bloodline mentality is deep and strong: more of “Us” and less of “Them”. Smell like racism to you? When couples try to conceive a specific gender, sexism is also in the wind. It goes beyond elitism for us to create replicas of ourselves while tens of thousands of Others’ children die from lack of care each day.

Anyway, simply increasing the sheer numbers of people who share a philosophy or genetic makeup doesn’t always improve their status. “Breeding wars” between rival groups have shifted political power in a few majority-rule governments, however, members of those groups usually aren’t any better off just by being in a larger voting block. Breeding for power is a remnant of that ancient tradition of mass murder we call genocide. The motivation remains the same.

Really, as VHEMT Volunteers know, it’s the wrong species “having children.” Regardless of our superficial differences, we are all Homo sapiens. As long as extinctions of wildlife continue at an outrageous pace, the intentional creation of another one of us can’t be justified.

Selective breeding advocates:
Eugenics: Future Generations
Racial: American Renaissance
Religious: Efrat, Quiver Full, Quiver Full on NPR, Escape from Quiver Full Movement, inherent natalism.
Ideological: The liberal baby bust.


Q: I’m extra smart. Shouldn’t I pass on my genes?

Well, could you pass a minimal intelligence test if one were required for a “license to breed”?

To find out, simply answer this question:

In light of the tens of thousands of children dying of malnutrition each day, and considering the number of species going extinct as a result of our excessive reproduction, do you think it would be a good idea to create another of yourself?

YES

NO

Thank you for playing.



Q: What about the human instinct to breed?

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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