Believe It or Not! On April 29th, 2005 Ripley’s included VHEMT in their syndicated comic.

Over the past couple of decades, a variety of media has reported on
the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.
A few are selected here:


Articles

Newspapers, magazines, and online news
Comments in brackets from Les U. Knight

Encyclopedia Britannica Blog
Thank You For Not Breeding
Les Knight
October 30, 2011
[Examining the consumption vs population debate].

G1 Globo, em São Paulo, Brasil
Cada pessoa nova é um fardo para o planeta, diz movimento da extinção
October 30, 2011
Les U. Knight lidera o Movimento da Extinção Humana Voluntária. Para ele, os seres humanos ameaçam a vida no planeta.

Quo magazine, Mexico
La Plaga Humana
June 2011
Quo
Convencido de que la raza humana es nociva para la Tierra, Les Knight solicitó a los 25años que le practicaran la vasectomía. Hoy vive en Portland, Oregon, donde fundó el Movimiento por Extinción Humana Voluntaria (VHEMT por sus siglas en inglés). Él y susadeptos son "vehementes" por la pasión con la que defienden su postura: "Vive una largavida y desaparece”

Vice UK
“This guy wants you dead”
Alex Miller
May 4, 2011
Les Knight wants you dead. Not right now though, he doesn’t want to bury you neck-high in a desert and cover you in honey, or lock you in a septic tank at the bottom of his farm. No, he’s more sociopassive than sociopathic. Les just wants to see you die out quietly and happily of old age; just please try not to leave any kids behind.
[Description of VHEMT leans toward death to fit Viceland’s style. Interview with Les and comments.]

Grist
“Want to join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement?”
Lisa Hymas
Jul 19, 2010
[Brief description of VHEMT and an interview with Les. Includes comments.]

The Island Online, Sri Lanka
Nury Vittachi
February 27, 2010
The most intelligent comment came from a Perrier-drinker female at the bar. "The biggest problem that will solve itself is the presence of the most pestilent species on this planet: the human race," she said. She turned out to be a supporter of the Voluntary Human Extinction Society. Run by a guy called Les U. Knight, this group aims to encourage humans to stop having babies because Earth would be a much nicer place without people.
As soon as humanity vanishes, all the horrors of modern existence, including wars, bombs, torture, crime, High School Musical, Hello Kitty and so on simply vanish.
It all sounds brilliant. Yet there’s got to be something wrong with this argument. I’m just not sure what it is.

The Guardian
“Climate change: calling planet birth”
Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles
February 13, 2010
by Oliver Burkeman
Excerpts:
You come across nutty-sounding fringe groups like the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, but then you phone its founder, Les Knight—he’s a supply teacher, based on America’s west coast, and can only talk during breaks between lessons – only to discover that he isn’t nutty at all, but in fact rather sane and self-deprecating. (He simply wants people to choose not to breed. "Eventually we’ll be extinct anyway, but it would be so much nicer if we phased ourselves out through natural attrition," Knight told me affably. "You know – the way a company reduces its workforce without firing anyone.")
...
But the hostility to both childlessness and one-child families explains why the OPT’s campaign targeting British people is called Stop At Two. (The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement objects strongly: "Rather than stop at two, we should stop at once," says Les Knight.) [Full article]

G Magazine
“Crowded planet: is Earth’s population getting too large?”
August 10, 2009
Robin McKie
Excerpt:
The end of man?
Some experts now believe little can be done; others think there is still room for hope. For Les Knight, however, there is only solution: an end to humanity. The only solution, Knight says, is to eradicate Homo sapiens, not through violent means but merely by deciding not to reproduce. Without billions of protein-hungry, top-of-the-food-chain carnivores devouring the planet’s resources, other creatures would have a chance. Hence his establishment in the US of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. “We are the humanitarian alternative to human disasters,” says Knight. “Each time a child is prevented then the planet gets another chance to breath.” Knight spreads his message via the Internet and claims tens of thousands of followers. Dubbed ‘eco-sexuals’ by the US press, these voluntary extinction supporters follow the movement’s simple creed: “Live long and die out”. It is amusing but not that serious an option for humanity. It is not in any species’ nature to seek its own extinction. Nevertheless, Knight’s ideas are provocative and do have resonance. “As numbers drop, the last humans will benefit particularly,” he says. “They will experience our world as it should be enjoyed—without billions of people on it.” [Full article]

Maclean’s magazine
“The case against having kids”
They can hurt your career, your marriage, your social life, your bank book. Why bother?
Anne Kingston
July 24, 2009
Excerpt:
Shriver is less righteous about the non-parenting choice, admitting “‘there is something nihilistic about refusing to reproduce, selfish in the worst way. She explains:“Take individual fulfillment at the expense of parenthood to the limit. and one generation has a cracking good time, after which the entire human race, poof, vanishes from the planet.” (This is, in fact, precisely the goal of the most extreme childlessness advocates out there: the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, which says, “The hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: Homo sapiens... us.”) [Full article] 650+ Comments!

Living
“Baby Boom to Bust”
Jo-ann Hodgson
June 16, 2009
“The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) believes that ‘phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health’, and point to Chernobyl as an example of an ecosystem recovering when abandoned by humans. “Most of us are aware on some level that there are more of us than Earth can support, and evidence is becoming increasingly hard to ignore,” Les U. Knight from VHEMT told More Than Living. “The connections between quality of life and quantity of humanity surround us.” Knight is hopeful that with the support of household names such as Attenborough, individual awareness of the “overpopulation” issue will spread, providing the first step to social change. “Government policies always lag behind social evolution, particularly with emotionally-charged issues, and social traditions lag behind changes in the real world,” he said. “Individual awareness, however, often leaps ahead when the right information comes along at the right time.” “If all couples would just think before they breed, fertility rates would be greatly improved. Most of us have never considered not breeding. Before sentencing a new human to life, a couple could consider what environmental conditions will be for the next 80 years.”

The Australian
“Move over, it’s getting crowded”
April 22, 2009
Leigh Dayton
“I HAVEN’T joined the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement yet, but I’m getting close. There are just too many of us for our own good, let alone for the well being of all things on, in and above terra firma and terra firma itself. Worse, when we aren’t making global mischief by being so darn numerous, we’re getting up to no good with our antics.”

Vice Magazine
“Extinction is the Key to Survival”
February 2, 2009
Darby Buick
[Quotes are rough equivalents. Accompanying photo is a Church of Euthanasia rally and a huge banner: “Save the planet kill yourself.” No caption, so readers must assume it’s a VHEMT rally. My suggestion of reintroducing predators was only to counter Darby’s hunting humans suggestion: not a serious plan.]

The Guardian
“Am I fit to breed?”
December 28, 2008
Guy Dammann
“Whether the world needs more children is a tough question. Whether the world is worthy of one’s own children is harder still. VHMENT [sic] is an acronym for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, brainchild of one Les U Knight. The followers of this movement take to its logical conclusion the observation that the population growth of the human species is unsustainable. Rather than waiting for nature to extinguish us by itself, which process will almost inevitably involve the destruction of many other species besides, we should initiate proceedings ourselves by refusing to have any more children.”

CBC.com
“VHEMT: The case against humans”
September 4, 2008
Eve Savory
[Concept of voluntary human extinction fairly presented.]

WorldNetDaily
May 11, 2008
Chelsea Schilling
ENVIRONETDAILY
“Wanna help planet? ‘Let’s all just die!’”
Group pushes to improve Earth’s ecosystem by ensuring human species does not survive”
[The headline is only the first of many distortions. Don’t click on links: almost all are ads.]

Green Anarchy: An Anti-Civilization Journal of Theory and Action
Spring/Summer 2008 [This was the last issue, unfortunately, and no publication or website has replaced it.]
Felonious Skunk
“Thank You For Not Breeding and Voluntary Human Extinction”
[Harsh critique of VHEMT and an unpublished reply from Les.]

Eugene Weekly
“Don’t Save the Humans”
Voluntary human extinction is alive and well
March 13, 2008
Eva Sylwester
"Les U. Knight... staffed the table for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT, pronounced "vehement") and spoke at a Sunday morning panel discussion on ’Human Population Density: Patriarchy’s Influence, Positive Signs, and Reproductive Freedom.’" [Interview follows].

The Guradian
“No more babies, please”
November 24, 2007
Abby O’Reilly
“Humans are breeding with persistent determination and it’s giving me a headache. Wouldn’t the earth be better off without us?

G Magazine
“A pregnant pause”
Sept/Oct 2007
Les U. Knight
[“The Green Lifestyle Magazine” published Les’ opinion piece about VHEMT.]

CNN.com
“Earth a gracious host to billions, but can she take many more?”
5 October 2007
Kristi Keck
[VHEMT perspective contrasted with cornucopian.]
“... Richman says one of those eight children in the Lehmanns’ suburban Chicago home may be the answer to any of the problems the Earth faces.
‘In that group, there may be the next great musician, great poet, great novelist, who the heck knows?’ he said. ‘People are not a problem. People solve problems.’” [I bet Richman plays the lottery].

The Review (University of Delaware)
“Green to the extreme”
Org. promotes human extinction for environmental benefits
September 21, 2007
Jennifer Heine
Eliminating people, instead of recycling and cutting back on carbon emissions, is one movement’s way to “go green.” The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement believes the world would be better off if humans stopped breeding and became extinct.
Les Knight, the founder of the movement, stated in an e-mail message his movement has one fundamental goal: “the extinction of Homo sapiens by voluntary non-breeding.”

The Harvard Independent
Going off the Deep End
Francis Martel
September 20, 2007
The typically docile fringe of the [environmental] movement has chosen to go out with a bang, however, by hammering the last nail into its own coffin via the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. VHEMT (pronounced “vehement”—how clever!) calls for its members to remain childless, arguing that the damage human beings cause to the environment is so great that the world would be a much better place without us. Founder Les U. Knight—again, so clever I don’t know whether to laugh or cry—might be one of the more moderate members of the American extinction crew; he proposes it should be completely voluntary and occur within a time frame that is appropriate, while colleagues like author Alan Weisman propose the Chinese solution: a governmental mandate to prohibit families from having more than one child.
“Let’s unite in peace and love and not make any more kids,” sounds like a great idea for Starbucks poets and basket weavers from sea to shining sea, but it might take the more sensible populace of the United States a little time to warm up to the idea. Little thought was given to how Knight’s explanation that “as long as there’s one breeding pair of homo sapiens, there’s too great a threat to the biosphere,” would play in the mainstream. Moreover, how the already low-fertility American population would be able to offset population gains elsewhere in the world remains shrouded in mystery. Given that the population growth in this country relies as heavily on immigration as it does on births, it seems unlikely that VHEMT will find an audience even among the darkest fringes of the green movement. Full article.

Macleans
“Please refrain from procreating”
The fastest way to a greener planet? Some think a ban on procreation is simplest and best
Brian Bethune
August 6, 2007
That the planet is in environmental crisis is a truth(almost)universally recognized, but the nature of the crisis doesn’t command nearly the same unanimity. Is it because our activities now threaten our survival, or because the weight of humanity—all 6.5 billion planet-eating, carbon-spewing individuals—lies too heavily upon the rest of what was once known as creation? Those who express the latter view are often dismissed, sometimes maliciously, as being anti-human, madmen who regard the fate of Amazonian butterflies or Arctic bears as having the same moral value as human life. Mostly such accusations are baseless—you don’t have to hate humanity to value the rest of nature—but there are, in fact, a lot of people who think the most useful thing humanity could do is disappear, in whole or in part...
In Oregon, America’s only euthanasia-friendly state, schoolteacher Les Knight, head of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, makes it all sound perfectly idyllic. Talking to Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us (HarperCollins)-- a marvellous projection of what life would be like on a human-free earth—Knight describes what he sees as the best path to the inevitable. Brutal resource wars, starvation and epidemics are going to mow us down anyway, as our growing numbers come up against the world’s finite resources. So much the better that we should “all agree to stop procreating.” Abortion providers going out of business would be the first happy result, in Knight’s opinion. Soon, “there would be no more children under five dying horribly. In 21 years, there would be, by definition, no juvenile delinquency.” There would finally be enough to eat, even while nature was staging a recovery from our depredations; with nothing to fight over, war would end. “The last humans could enjoy their final sunsets peacefully, knowing they have returned the planet as close as possible to the Garden of Eden.”
The logic is as absurd as it’s unassailable. Yes, indeed, if there are no more children, there will be no more child tragedies. Or child triumphs, for that matter, or much reason to think childless humanity will spend its dying days as serenely as Knight predicts. In The Children of Men, P. D. James’s scarifying 1992 dystopia, the dispiriting consequences of mass infertility(a collective loss of the will to live) are far more believably depicted.
Yet, as Weisman notes, Knight’s lament does catch some of “the weariness that genuinely humane beings feel as they witness the collapse of much biology and beauty.” That’s why Weisman has another suggestion, one “poignant and distressing, but not fatal”: limit every human female on earth to one child only. The math suddenly turns positive... [Full article]

Sydney Morning Herald
“At World’s End”
June 6, 2007
Charles Purcell
[Short Q & A about VHEMT.]

The Independent [UK]
“How to save the planet”
April 19, 2007
According to some eco-extremists, the only way to really make a difference is to stop breeding and let the human race die out. Guy Adams reports. [Guy plays loosely with facts and quotes]
“Close your eyes and imagine that it‘s the year 3000. For the first time since the dinosaurs, large animals rule Planet Earth. In the ruins of its former civilisation, a forlorn species called mankind finds itself marooned on the brink of extinction.”

Daily Telegraph
“Beware the Ecosexual”
December 20, 2006
[Australian writer complains that if you’re not green enough these days, you won’t find romance].
“But while being ecosmart may ‘turn on’ the ecosexual, don’t presume that slipping between the allergy-free sheets with one will mean happy ever after with loads of children.
Oh no, because if you truly live by the Three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) you should also belong to the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, a group of people dedicated to phasing out the human race in the interest of the health of the Earth.
I kid you not. They exist and their slogan is ‘May We Live Long and Die Out’ (apologies for not knowing the Latin translation).
To think I have been congratulating myself for separating my rubbish.”

“Why Have Kids?”
October 18, 2006
My first reaction upon contemplating the foregoing notions was: “Whoa! These folks are out to lunch. There are millions of people like myself who have been working hard to make sure the human race continues. . . Why else am I and others putting so much energy into doing the things we do, other than to propagate our species?” But Vehement’s ideas rapidly sprouted roots in my brain and refused to let go.

Utne Reader [USA]
May/June 2006
“Quit Screwing Around”
“In terms of energy usage alone, (which is) a convenient measure of environmental impact, the average Ethiopian uses one-310th of what we use. So when an American couple stops at two kids, it’s like an Ethiopian couple stopping at 620.”
-Les Knight, founder, Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, SFGate.com (Nov. 16, 2005)
[We should “quit screwing around” when it comes to contraceptives, but we sure don’t have to quit screwing to quit breeding as the headline might imply.]

North Jersey Herald News
March 12, 2006
Tim Norris
“Population overload”
He might have hoped for 10-foot letters on the Astrovision in Times Square, flash-dancing HUMANKIND SWELLS TO 6.5 BILLION. Instead, Les U. Knight found only a gentle cascade of e-mails, a few network squawks and a blurb in the occasional newspaper and on-line blog.
Near the instant on Feb. 25 when zeroes locked into the 6.5 billion benchmark on the world’s population clocks, Knight was carrying his Voluntary Human Extinction message to an environmental conference in Oregon and fighting a familiar disappointment. [Quotes from Les are not very accurate, but close enough for journalism.]

The New Oxford Review
February 2006 issue
“Voluntary Human Extinction”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle (Nov. 16), the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT, pronounced “vehement”) is dedicated to phasing out the human race so that the Earth’s biosphere might return to good health. VHEMT founder Les U. Knight, who had a vasectomy at age 25, told the Chronicle that “Wherever humans live, not much else lives.” His solution is a simple one: Every man and woman should “voluntarily cease to breed” -- that means, of course, sterilization, abortion, contraception, and sometimes infanticide. VHEMT’s motto: “May we live long and die out. Thank you for not breeding.” [Abortion and infanticide? Sterilization and contraception prevent abortion, and infanticide requires breeding—thank you for not doing so. Turns out they are “championing the cause of orthodox, traditional Catholicism!” Some distortion of the truth may be expected for the cause.]

La Stampa
Torino, Italy
January 31, 2006
[Translation from Italian. Quotes aren’t really from Les, but who’s gonna know?]
Man, extinguish yourself, for the good of the Earth (Paolo Matrolilli)
NEW YORK. Dear humans, stop reproducing. For the good of the Earth you must convince yourselves that the optimal solution is the voluntary extinction of your genus. The advice, rather, the heartfelt solicitation comes from the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (Vhemt), a movement founded in Oregon.
All will have heard of the fiery debate about the population of our planet. A group says there are too many of us and that we must slow down the birth rate, another group says that the alarm is exaggerated and it is only a problem of better distribution of people and resources. Behind all this there are massive economic interests that complicate the discussion. To one group belong organizations that favor birth control and support abortion. The other group includes large religious institutions such as the Catholic Church. The Vhemt attempts to go beyond the two blocks, promoting the voluntary extinction of the human race for the common good.
The founder, Les Knight, maintains that we are hurtful to the universe. Wherever we appear, the environment and other species begin to suffer. “It is not that we are constitutionally bad. We consume resources and destroy life”. Environmentalists’ efforts to make our species less lethal are moving but useless, because in any event we will continue to annihilate nature with our exponential growth.
Apart from a few tribes of long ago and lost in the darkness of time, no human aggregation was able to organize a sustainable system of living. The only way out is extinction. The (Vhemt) movement does not advocate suicide. Its slogan is “Let us live a long life and disappear”. Its strategy, however, is to convince all humans to stop reproducing, as there are no reasons for continuing to do so.
Knight has an answer for those who point out that even humans are part of nature—therefore every environmentalist would have the duty to preserve them, just like the other animals. Knight responds with the data on the destruction carried out by humans on the earth. “Our presence on earth has already brought many species to extinction. Given this it is difficult to maintain that we live in harmony with nature”. Still, the founder of Vhemt is a realist. “I do not think we will succeed in convincing all humans to carry out this supreme act of generosity towards our planet. But this does not mean it is not the right cause, for which we will continue to fight.”

The Herald
Glasgow, Scotland
“We want to make children extinct” [reads the huge headline. Just children, mind you, not adults.]
December 6, 2005 [Not available online]
“Every hour, 16,000 babies are born. But one organisation wants to put a stop to it. And its members are willing to go to bizarre extremes to get their way. Gregory Dicum speaks to the founder, while Lorna MacLaren talks to members.” [The “bizarre extremes” we are willing to go to? They didn’t say, but I assume they mean vasectomies. This is a reprint of the November 16th San Francisco Chronicle article with interviews,excerpted below, as a side bar.]
“May we live long and die out” is a motto that even some followers of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement find extreme. Rodney Marsh, 41 (pictured), has been interested in the global population boom for many years. When he saw the VHEMT website during an internet search he was immediately drawn. “It’s a subject people don’t want to talk about yet it affects us all,” says the electrician from his home in Sussex.
“Modern culture is about living for today without any thought for the consequences. However, statistics for global warming, population growth, food production and pollution add up to a pretty gloomy picture for the future. That is why I chose not to have children.”
He has considered having a vasectomy, and would have had one long ago but for his reservations about surgery. Marsh admits he is not entirely comfortable with the “extinction” element of the VHEMT message. “It makes us sound like some kind of extreme suicide group,” he says. “I think people are on the planet for a reason and I have enough optimism to hope that the decline may be reversed if we do something soon.”
Jason Reynolds, of Oregon, US, hopes the existence of the VHEMT group at least brings the population debate out for discussion. He is committed to easing the pressure on the planet caused by humanity and had a vasectomy aged 29.
“I saw a bumper sticker for the group and thought it was a joke. After checking online I realised how much of a reality it was and how it had the potential to snowball into something more important than many people give it credit for.
“I think humanity is reaching a critical junction that requires behaviour modification.”

The State Hornet Sacramento State
Sacramento, California
“Take care of Mother Earth, cut down on giving birth”
November 30, 2005
Jen White
Like me, Les Knight, founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, is exhausted as well.
“We can’t be breeding right now,” Knight told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s obvious that the intentional creation of another (human being) can’t be justified by anyone anywhere today, because wherever humans live not much else lives.”
I imagine that Mr. Knight (who, by the way, got a vasectomy when he was 25) is also a vegan, does not drive or drives an electric vehicle, uses purely solar or wind powered energy, recycles, reuses and reduces, and has a beautiful garden.
His solution to global problems is also more extreme than most of us probably consider but, crazy or not, Knight certainly has a valid point.

The Daily Record
Glasgow, Scotland
OFF THE RECORD
November 22, 2005
Pat Roller
IF you thought the Monster Raving Loonies were the weirdest pressure group on the planet, think again.
From America - in fact, from California, where else? - ? - comes news of a gang calling themselves the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. . .
Can’t help thinking that the kind of people who would join a voluntary extinction movement are the kind of people who wouldn’t have been doing much breeding in the normal course of affairs anyway.
[Damn right we wouldn’t. It’s even more foolish to breed when having affairs, normal or otherwise.]

United Press International
Various newspapers (Online version unavailable)
Nov 17, 2005
“Group Wants to See Humans Extinct” [That would be pretty difficult to do.]
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17 (UPI)—Make no mistake about it, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement isn’t anti-child, it’s more like anti-human.
The VHE is dedicated to phasing out the human race in the interest of the health of the Earth, founder Les Knight told Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle.
With 16,000 people born per hour and a current global population of 6.5 billion, there are already more than enough people on the planet, Knight said.
A 1994 study concluded a single person born in the 1990s would be responsible during a lifetime for 22 million pounds of liquid waste and 2.2 million pounds each of solid waste and atmospheric waste, the newspaper said. He or she will have a lifetime consumption of 4,000 barrels of oil, 1.5 million pounds of minerals and 62,000 pounds of animal products that will necessitate the slaughter of 2,000 animals.
‘Wherever humans live, not much else lives,’ Knight said. ‘It isn’t that we’re evil and want to kill everything—it’s just how we live.’
Knight, who had a vasectomy at age 25, emphasizes VHE likes kids and says many of its members are parents as well as children.

SF Gate San Francisco Chronicle online
“GREEN Maybe None: Is having a child—even one—environmentally destructive?”
November 16, 2005
Gregory Dicum
[The following excerpt has been dropped from the article. Emphasis added]:
Like most environmentalists—even most Americans—the Brunes have taken steps to reduce their environmental impact.
“We certainly do as much as we can to limit our consumption,” says Mike Brune. “We made sure we live near mass transit. We have one of the new Priuses. We buy organic food almost exclusively. We feel that it’s very important to connect our personal values to all aspects of how we live: where we work, what we eat, what we buy.”
But when, after six and a half years of marriage, it came time for the couple to consider a child, those strong personal values came up against an even stronger drive.
“I understand rationally the argument for not having children—I can see the point,” says Mary Brune, a technical writer and, since becoming a mother, co-founder of Making Our Milk Safe, an organization that monitors industrial toxins in human milk.
“I’ve talked to friends who have made certain that they can’t have children so they don’t bring another person into the world,” she continues. “But for us there’s a real primal need to have a child. For me, personally, I had a desire to bear my own child.
So they went for it: Their daughter Olivia is now 15 months old.
At RAN [Rainforest Action Network], Mike Brune works to transform some of the most powerful elements of our society, going after oil companies and banks to change the way they do business. He says that for him this kind of big-picture environmentalism doesn’t translate to the personal decision of whether to have a child.
“The goal here isn’t for Safeway to have one aisle of organic food—it’s to get to a point where all food is produced in a healthy way,” he says. “The same would be true of hybrid cars: We don’t want Ford Motor Co. to just have a few hybrid vehicles, we want to have every vehicle nonpolluting.” For Mike Brune, the choice to have a child is a personal, emotional one that sits apart from the systemic change he’s working for.

Ma’ariv Israel
August 26, 2005
Noa Yedlin
Four-page in-depth look at The Movement
Hebrew languange only

Portland Mercury
“It sure is a scientific world—Voluntary extinction”
Aug 16 - Aug 22, 2001
John Dooley
“I’m busy thinking about the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (www.VHEMT.org), and what I can do to survive their arcane visionary tactics. They want me to die. They want you to die too! They want everyone to die. It’s horrible!”
[John must have missed the first statement on the VHEMT site. Fortunately, an astute reader set him straight.]
TO THE MERCURY: You're weaving a web of drivel and misinformation... Incorrectly, Mr. Dooley whines about VHEMT, "They want me to die. They want you to die too." Does Dooley have his paranoid head up his ass or what? In fact, one of VHEMT's mottos is "May we live long and die out." It doesn't take a rocket scientist wanna-be to figure out we are a species out of control and should consider not procreating, as there are a few billion too many of us already. What part of “voluntary” do you not understand? Bottom line: they want you to voluntarily not procreate.
R.S. Foster

Fox News
“Anti-People Group Pushes for Man’s Extinction”
July 29, 2001
Michael Y. Park
July 29, 2001
Michael Y. Park
VHEMT’s viewpoints are a far cry from those of more mainstream organizations concerned with human overpopulation, such as Washington, D.C.-based Population Action International. Whereas VHEMT’s ultimate goal is to improve the biosphere for its own sake, PAI’s goal is fundamentally human-based.
PAI says Mother Nature is resilient, and notes the Earth has recovered from mass extinctions before—it just takes at least 5 million years to do so, far too long for it to matter to human beings. . .
Not surprisingly, organized religions like the Catholic Church dismiss VHEMT’s claims.
“We believe, as does every mainstream religion, that God made the world and God made everything in the word,” according to New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling. “It’s part of God’s plan of creation, and it is absurd to suggest that the world would be better off without the human race.”

Montreal Mirror
“I, Single Mum”
Juliet Waters
March 15, 2001
[A former VHEMTer tells of her conversion and diversion. Juliet’s experience serves as a lesson to all VHEMTers: get fixed while you’re still sane!]

National Review
“PETA Puts Rats First & People Last”
June 22, 2000 Guest Opinion
Deroy Murdock
[Mentions VHEMT to show depth of “America’s descent into madness.”]

No Compromise No. 4
“The Most Neglected Animal Rights Issue”
Unfortunately the problem of human overpopulation does not stop at humanity’s boarder, it also plays havoc on animals and the environment. On a basic level, the more people there are, the more people there will be to eat meat, wear fur, go to circuses and rodeos, hunt and demand animal research. It wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to figure that if America's population was half its current size, the number of animals slaughtered for food would also be halved. If this were the case, more than 3 billion animals per year would be spared the horrors of factory farming and the slaughterhouse.

New Scientist(UK)
“Breeding to death” (May be available online for a fee).
May 15, 1999 p. 19
[Side bar including Gaia Liberation Front and a now-defunct childfree website.]

The Economist
“Sui genocide”
December 17th 1998 pgs. 130-131
Two-page spread agrees with concept of voluntary human extinction—for an unusual reason.
“It is hard, indeed, to imagine any reason to be against voluntary human extinction. The tricky question is not whether to extinguish, but when. Certainly not right away, if only because, as yet, we can’t. As Mr Knight himself says, “Convincing 6 billion people to stop breeding is indeed a daunting task.” But there need be no rush. Look at it this way. For humans to reach a state of such collective rational consensus that they become capable of choosing their end may take a few millennia, or a few dozen or a few hundred millennia; but this decision need only be made once. When even the last few men and women left holding out answer the call to the sublime, and choose to bear no more children—then that will be the species’ finest hour. And so that will be the time to leave. The timetable of voluntarism is perfect: it provides ample time, but not a day too much of it.”

Salon
“No Baby On Board”
Aug. 17, 1998
Pagan Kenedy
“I ended up, a couple years later, having a beer with a man who called himself Les U. Knight. Les believed (as do I) that nearly every environmental problem can be traced back to overpopulation—particularly in the first world, since one of us consumes as many resources as 500 Ethiopians. Les was not your stereotypical antipopulation activist; he worked as a substitute teacher and was an outspoken advocate for children’s rights. In fact, he saw population control as an issue linked inextricably to children’s welfare since, according to him, 40,000 kids die of malnutrition every day. Hanging out with Les made me realize that there are many ways to be a mother. Some of us will bear babies, and some of us will adopt, and some of us will march with signs, and some of us will volunteer, and some of us will watch over sick friends. And we will all be right.”

Outside Magazine
“And of All the Plagues with Which Nature Is Cursed, Could It Be Me That’s the Worst?”
December 1996 pgs.110-114
Jack Hitt
“Founded by a schoolteacher named Les Knight, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement--the acronym is pronounced ‘vehement’--lives by its motto, ‘May we live long and die out,’ and sells its bumper sticker, ‘Thank you for not breeding.’ The goal of the organization is to promote the extinction of Homo sapiens, and like everything in the Age of Irony, VHEMent both is and isn’t kidding. Its propaganda solemnly suggests that folks should channel their sexual energy not into the creation of children but into the adoption of a stream or the care of a bonobo ape.”

Saints of Eco

[The lower right painting is of “Saint Les the extinct”—my favorite portrait. Jack’s other “saints” were: John who fished without hooks so he never really caught one, Ken, who repented of his youthful habit of sticking bolts in rocks for climbing and went back to cut them off, and Saint Kathy of the compost.]

New York Times Magazine
March 19, 1995 (May be available online for a fee).
[One paragraph, including postal address, leading to many inquiries.]

Independent on Sunday (UK)
“Live long and die out” (Not available online yet.)
April 24, 1994 p. 22
Stephen Jarvis
[Positive presentation of the concept of VHEMT.]

Reader’s Digest
April 1992
Shortened from the New Age Journal article.


[This reminded me of Bre’r Rabbit begging Bre’r Fox not to throw him into the briar patch. “Oh no, please don’t eliminate VHEMT by telling about it in 17 languages with 28 million copies. Anything but that.” A seven-year-old girl read it in 1992, and thought it sounded like a good idea. In 2009, she met me at a conference and said she still agrees with it.]

Marketing Magazine (Brazil)
“Ponto Final” (Not available online yet.)
December 1991 p. 66
José Roberto Penteado
[Portuguese language editorial favorable to The Movement.]

New Age Journal
“Ideas” (Not available online yet.)
Sept/Oct 1991 pgs. 14-16
David Ruben
[Excellent description of our efforts, with color photo of Les U. Knight.]



Books

The World Without Us
Alan Weisman
St. Martin’s Press 2007 Buy it.
Fascinating reading even if you don’t think humans should disappear completely from Earth. Thoroughly researched with testimony from experts clearly translated into understandable descriptions. Includes a couple of pages about VHEMT and a reasonable suggestion for improving human population density.
Listen to an interview of Alan Weisman by Ira Flatow on NPR’s Science Friday September 7, 2007.

In the Clear: A Worldview in Essays
Day of 6 Billion
Brian Julian
McKinleyville Press 2001

The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action
Wendy Northcutt
Plume Books 2000

Chapter 4: The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement’s motto is “May we live long and die out.” They encourage a radical alternative to our callous extinction of plants and animals. “Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom.” The philosophies of abstinence held by these three groups [Shakers, Heaven’s Gate, VHEMT] guarantee that “the gene stops here.” In summary, groups that insist upon celibacy will die off without an effective way of recruiting new converts. And even those celibate groups that manage to expand their ranks will logically eliminate themselves once they reach the hypothetical pinnacle of success: recruitment of the entire human race. These sorts of groups are eligible for a Darwin Award. Catholic priests, homosexuals who manage to reproduce despite their sexual preferences, and similar groups can theoretically exist eternally, and are not eligible for this notorious award.
In a sense, we are advocating “abstinence” but not from sexual activity, just from breeding. This distinction isn’t relevant to a group Darwin Award, but our “effective way of recruiting new converts” disqualifies VHEMT.
The Darwin Awards give us entertaining stories and thoughtful discussions about their veracity and implications for evolution, but in reality the removal of a few thousand, or even a few million, people from our gene pool will have no discernable influence on future Homo sapiens.
A commonly expressed misconception about advocates of voluntary human extinction is that we’ll die out in one generation because we aren’t passing on our genes, as if there’s a gene for awareness of humanity’s place in the biosphere. All of us came from breeding couples and yet we’ve decided to stop breeding. There’s no way to breed more people who don’t want to breed in order to keep the idea of not breeding alive.
Humans do, on the other hand, influence evolution of other species, the ones we don’t drive to extinction anyway.


Deep Environmental Politics: The Role of Radical Environmentalism in Crafting American Environmental Policy
Phillip F. Cramer
Praeger 1998

Pagan Kennedy’s Living: the handbook for maturing hipsters
Pagan Kennedy
St. Martins 1997

 Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief
Donna Kossy
Feral House 1994
VHEMT’s pages in book


Dramatic Presentations

Plays, performance art, theatre

“The Heretic”
Dolan Cummings
8 February 2011
Two new plays show that climate change is better understood as a moral issue rather than a scientific one. ...The Heretic is not so much the scientific controversy as the cultural, even psychological context in which it unfolds. As representatives of contemporary youth, both Ben and Phoebe are frankly pretty fucked up. Phoebe is dangerously anorexic, while Ben also has a dysfunctional relationship with food, though on environmentalist grounds (he does eat plenty of garlic, to reduce his personal ‘carbon emissions’); similar qualms keep him from enjoying fossil fuel-derived heat and transport. The two also share a hostility to the idea of having children—Ben is a member of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. It seems pretty clear that it is their negative attitudes to humanity in general and themselves in particular that explain their attraction to environmentalist thinking, rather than the former being derived from a sober consideration of humanity’s effect on the world.


Interviews

English:

Sadwrn
October 25, 2011
“Sadwrn is a multilingual publication on speculation, poetry, philosophy, onirism, the city, speculative fiction, comics, futurism and more.”
Open the magazine and click on “And now let's listen to VHEMT's Les U. Knight.”

The Anti Pollution Revolution Campaign
Chadwick Prichard
August 5, 2010
“The controversial environmental and philosophical movement, which recommends that the human race voluntary stop breeding to allow the Earth’s biosphere to return to its former glory, claims that human extinction is possible and inevitable, and that humans represent the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the good of all life.”

Follow-up to Chadwick’s August 5th interview of Les with opinions from Yale and Princeton professors.
August 12, 2010

SciFi Dimensions An online science fiction magazine
John C. Snider interviews Les.
May 2002

Frederic Audran
La Spirale

Mourning the Ancients
Interview by the band of the same name

French:

Frederic Audran
La Spirale

Portuguese:
Vladimir Cunha
Abarata


Music

Elekore
“Voluntary Human Extinction”
CD 2007

Scorpions
“Humanity” From Humanity Hour 1
May 25, 2007

Humanity
Auf wiedersehen
It’s time to say goodbye
The party’s over
As the laughter dies
An angel cries

Humanity
It’s au revoir to your insanity
You sold your soul to feed your vanity
Your fantasies and lies

You’re a drop in the rain
Just a number not a name
And you don’t see it
You don’t believe it
At the end of the day
You’re a needle in the hay
You signed and sealed it
And now you gotta deal with it
Humanity
Humanity
Goodbye
Goodbye

Be on your way
Adios amigo there’s a price to pay
For all the egotistic games you played
The world you made
Is gone

You’re a drop in the rain
Just a number not a name
And you don’t see it
You don’t believe it
At the end of the day
You’re a needle in the hay
You signed and sealed it
And now you gotta deal with it
Humanity
Humanity
Goodbye
Goodbye

Run and hide there’s fire in the sky
Stay inside
The water’s gonna rise and pull you under
In your eyes I’m staring at the end of time
Nothing can change us
No one can save us from ourselves

You’re a drop in the rain
Just a number not a name
And you don’t see it
You don’t believe it
At the end of the day
You’re a needle in the hay
You signed and sealed it
Now you gotta deal with it
Humanity
Humanity
Humanity
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye

Black Blood Productions presents:
Gosforth
VHEMT CD September 2004
“Don’t expect anything more than traditional raw black metal exclusively!”


Iconicide
2011 live album “Jesus Corpse—DNR = Live In Spanish Harlem” packed with iconoclastic metal/punk grindcore.

Voluntary Human Extinction MovemenT
April 10, 1997

Fuck this stupid fuckin shit
This world is ours and this is it
We’ve overrun the sea and land
Our neverending master plan
Eleven billion empty souls
Are breeding way out of control
Time for Violent Retribution
Human Extinction: The Only Solution

More people always means less freedom
How the fuck you gonna feed ‘em
Livestock eating all our grain
While billions starve on desert plains
Cannibalism, Soylent Green
Becoming less and less obscene
Time for Violent Retribution
Human Extinction: The Only Solution

Cities choking out the Sky
Forests Wither out and Die
Man, the King of All He Sees
Bringing Nature to its Knees
Countless corpses slick with oil
Bring the Oceans to a boil
Time for Violent Retribution
Human Extinction: The Only Solution

The Story’s over, this is the End
Never shall we rise again
We’ve tamed the Earth, made it our slave
Now we share a common grave
Destroyed it all, now it’s our turn
Time to Die, Time to Burn
Time for violent retribution
Human Extinction: The Only Solution

[Punk bands often insist on rude awakenings. VHEMT shares Iconicide’s vision of no humans, but not their call for involuntary means.]



Radio and Podcasts

Kevin Stewart, a VHEMT Supporter in Edmonton, Alberta, was interviewed in April 2004 on CJSR FM 88 by Chris Samuel. Listen to Kevin’s interview on Gaywire

VHEMT is only mentioned in this talk by Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us, but it’s a pivotal aspect of the plan he outlines. Sponsored by The Long Now Foundation February 10, 2010.

A few of the audio programs which have hosted Les U. Knight.
You can listen to those marked with an asterisk*

*The Species Barrier #21 Vegan Outreach
May 15, 2013
Interview includes “Joyce Johnson Producer of the documentary, Mother: Caring For Seven Billion.
We receive other perspectives on population issues from Les U. Knight founder of The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) and British population activist Terry Grigg.”

TJ Trout
94 Rock Albuquerque, New Mexico
August 2, 2010
Three morning show hosts and Les talked about breeding, reproductive freedom, and their choices. TJ called himself a Supporter, and insisted I send a VHEMT T-shirt.

Laura Ingraham
April 21, 2009
My invitation was likely intended to show how extreme environmentalists can be, in preparation for her main guest: Steven Milloy, author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them. No, it’s not a parody.

Curtis Sliwa
WABC
February 3, 2009
Curtis was much more accepting of the concept than he was when we talked on “Hannity and Colmes” TV show in 2001. Unfortunately, the broadcast wasn’t archived, perhaps because he had threatened his previous guest, discredited former Illinois governor Blagojevich, with a “beat down” if allegations of his stealing from a charity that Curtis supported were true.

Alan Colmes
FOX News Talk With Alan Colmes
New York City
April 27, 2004 Earth Day
April 22, 2005 Earth Day
November 29, 2005
*February 2, 2009 You can listen to the podcast but you have to pay for it. Alan has become more amenable to the VHEMT concept over the years.

*The PK and J Show Podcast
August, 2008
I recommend skipping the first one third after downloading so you go right to where I answer the phone. Agreeable hosts.

*The Recovery Zone
Stephanie Potter
KBOO Portland Oregon
July 3, 2008
You can listen to the archived half hour program, which includes callers.

WMUZ “The Light” 103.5FM
Detroit, Michigan
June 7th, 2008
Although host Bob “fearlessly defending the faith” Dutko didn’t seem to agree with much of what I had to say, we had a pleasant conversation. You can read about Bob’s ministry at the WMUZ website.

*Alex Jones
Austin, Texas
May 18, 2008
Please go to Videos to listen to this broadcast.

NewsRadio 1020 KDKA
Pittsburgh, PA
May 13, 2008
John Steigerwald

Newstalk 1010 CFRB
Toronto, Ontario
April 21. 2008
Richard Syrett

Triple J
Australian Bradcasting Corporation
April 13, 2008
Kate O’Toole

RTE 2fm
Dublin, Ireland
August 28, 2007
Rick O’Shea meets Les U. Knight: we got together and bounced ideas off each other.

Montreal’s Greatest Hits
Montreal, Quebec
May 9, 2007
Show hosted by Joe Cannon because regular host was on maternity leave. Now an oldies station.

Paul and Phil
KFBK/KSTE Sacramento, California|
December 2, 2005
Neither Paul nor Phil liked the idea of not breeding, but I wasn’t surprised: they have seven offspring between them. They spent 20 minutes poking holes in the concept and I did my best to plug them. Good practice for the interview with Tucker Carlson an hour later.

The Weasel WJFX
New Haven Indiana
December 2, 2005
A Hip Hop station where most of the DJs have nicknames. I was expecting Spitfire, but The Weasel interviewed me with reasonable questions and no arguments.

Archer and Mike
KQMT Boulder, Colorado
November 28, 2005
It was a fun exchange, geared to light-hearted morning show format.

Luke Grant
2HD Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
November 24, 2005
We entertained early morning listeners with pleasantries about Thanksgiving, which they don’t have, and human extinction, which is on its way, voluntary or not.

Darian O’Toole
KIFR San Francisco, California
November 23, 2005
A quick five minutes hitting the major points. Sadly, Darian passed away in 2008.

Rob Breakenridge The World Tonight
CHQR Calgary, Alberta
November 22, 2005
We talked for 20 minutes and I was more careful about word choices after Dori Monson’s show earlier in the day. A caller afterward said that Satan was distracting me, I was distracting others, and we would all have a fall on judgement day.

Dori Monson
KIRO Seattle, Washington
November 22, 2005
Dori didn’t like the concept from the beginning. Maybe it had something to do with his three daughters. He’s a serious host and I wasn’t successful in trying to lighten things up. The callers didn’t help in that regard. Gene told us that we only have five billion years and all life will go—just to keep things in perspective. Jason is Wiccan and his temple demands that all followers produce at least one biological offspring, so he was offended by my suggesting we not breed. Weldon and I got into a semantical loop when he suggested that everything is natural and I said we could then get rid of the word “artificial”. Jeremy agreed because we’ll go involuntarily if we don’t go voluntarily. Maurene was offended in the same way that Jason was, though she’s Christian with offspring. Dori ended our segment with an aside, “I wish someone had extincted me an hour ago.”

David Gold
KSFO San Francisco, California
Movember19, 2005
David was a respectful host, allowing me to present the concept without interruption or disagreement.
Ray called to suggest that I kill myself. Michael said that no one would carry on the message if we don’t breed. Gary said that other countries were breeding way worse. Tom reminded us that God told us to be fruitful and multiply, and that it was good that people like me weren’t breeding because then there would be more normal people.

Mike and Lisa Morning Drive
CKLWWindsor, Ontario & Detroit, Michigan
November 17, 2005

John Ziegler
KFI Los Angeles, California
November 16, 2005

Jim Richards
CFRB Toronto, Ontario
November 16, 2005

The Hideout
WTKS Orlando Florida
November 4, 2005
I think the two guys were Jefe and J-Dubs. It seemed to be going well but I must have said the wrong thing because one of them said, “Les, I hate you. Beat it!” and I was off the air. Pretty funny. They offer an opportunity to vote for women as “Hottie or Hideous,” and provide exposure for women who can’t afford very much clothing with their “Babe of the Day” feature.

Charlie Wolf Cork Talks Back
TalkSPORT
Cork, Ireland
July 4, 2004

*Kyle Varner
The Political Fire
December 15th, 2001
Audio archive of program Mp3 #42
Kyle is an adherant to Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy, so it was a challenge to explain Earth-centered philosophy.

Victor Boc
KUGN Eugene, Oregon
March 24, 1998 & June 23, 1999
KPAM Portland, Oregon
September 30, 2000

Roger Wendell Connections
KGNU Boulder, Colorado
August 25, 2000
ResponseRoger Wendell’s program above

Kim Hill Nine to Noon
National Radio New Zealand
February 21, 2000
Kim stated that New Zealand had reached population stabilization, and I was caught with my statistics down, so I couldn’t correct this misconception.

Darlene Heidimann
CKNW Vancouver, BC
December 27, 1998

Tom Clark Ideas Network
Wisconsin Public Radio
March 5, 1998
Tom was an intellectual host, asking probing and relavant questions. I wish this one was in the archives. The last caller said that I was one of these people who goes around the country pulling off hoaxes—that my name, Les Knight meant that there would be less night. “How about it, Les, is VHEMT just a hoax?” “Is VHEMT a hoax? I wonder if the whole human race is a hoax.” “Yes, but that doesn’t answer the question.” “No, it doesn’t.” “Arrg. Get outta here,” he joked. “Have we been had?” Lots of visitors to the website from Wisconsin that day, trying to find out.

Barbara Myers Outlook
BBC World Service
June 8, 1994

Mike Wahlbacker Earth Talk
WHYY Philadelphia, PA
September 9, 1992
My first major radio interview. Mike understood the concept, having read These EXIT Times number two, and asked questions which brought out the important issues.


Talks and Presentations

Oberlin College and Conservatory
February 16, 2010

VIDEO

Bloggingheads.TV
*Science Saturday: Child-Free Edition 48:15 minutes
October 3, 2010
Mike Treder inteviews Nina Paley about VHEMT. Lengthy comments, with many misquotes and misconceptions—some corrected.

Focus Earth
Discovery Channel
*“No More Children” 3:37 minute video
September 5, 2009

Bob and Les
Bob Woodruff discusses human breeding with Les Knight in Portland, Oregon
Bob Woodruff interviews Les Knight and Nina Paley about VHEMT. Paul Murtaugh, Statistics professor at Oregon State Unversity, explains that each additional human we create in the US adds 9,000 tons of CO2—the equivalent of a year’s emissions from 1,700 cars. Full episode included interviews of Jared Diamond, author of Collapse, Robert Walker of The Population Institute, Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, and Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic International Studies.

*“Il Pianeta si sta davvero estinguendo?”
Rome, Italy
March 22, 2009
Intervista di Les U. Knight al programma “Tatami” (in Italian)
Summary of show

Weekend Sunrise
Sydney, Australia
June 1, 2008
Fluffy morning show. Asked if I was for real. “Of course I’m real, I’m on TV.” It was also surreal as all I saw was a lens and a bank of lights. They asked if VHEMT is a cult and couldn’t quite place us.

*Prison Planet
Alex Jones
May 18, 2008


Interview with Les Knight starts at 49:00. Video of Alex on the air doesn’t quite match the audio, but it’s a radio program.

Alex promotes an odd conspiracy theory about human “depopulation” by the “elite” who want to eliminate billions of us with a disease or poison from contrails so they can have the planet to themselves. Somehow those in power preventing people from accessing contraceptive services secretly want fewer people. Must be trying to lull us into thinking otherwise. With the impression that I was either one of the elite or their unwitting tool, Alex was rather confrontational with me.

*MSNBC
The Situation with Tucker Carlson (No longer on the air).
“Taking on the [Voluntary] Human Extinction Movement”
December 2, 2005
Tucker didn’t seem to agree with the concept.

Fox News
“Hannity and Colmes”
Related story
August 14, 2001
Nancy, filling in for Colmes, understood what I was talking about, but a random counter-guest, New York radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa, expressed the common misconception that we are advocating euthanasia and suicide. Our breeding is a mental blind spot when thinking about improved population density, so death fills the vision. Curtis considers our species to be “the most creative force, the most dynamic force, in this entire universe.” House cats seem to hold the same opinion about their species.