Attempts to answer the question,
"Why breed?"

Replies from Les U. Knight sometimes slipped in between are his opinions, and may not represent other Volunteers' or Supporters' views.

Arkayn provides the perfect introductory reason:

>So that maybe one day you won't opt to put the most senseless and moronic answers on page which is supposed to serve as evidence that there is no answer. You have many valid points, and i don't entirely disagree with you, but if you want to really make a point, just post some relatively intelligent answers and let people decide for themselves.

Thanks for your time in reading this, and good luck.<

In an attempt to do as Arkayn suggests, I've searched the archives to find intelligent answers. If you have one that isn't given here, please use the link at the bottom of the page to share it with the world. Thank you. Les

Trent wrote:

>Because if we stop breeding right now, and just leave everything the way it is, nature will still be screwed up a lot.  If you look around, you see stores everywhere, buildings, highways.  If we just disappear with out fixing things nature will take a long time to fix them itself.<

Quite true. That's one of the reasons why we are suggesting a phase out of humanity rather than some mass elimination. It's not enough for us to all stop breeding. If not one more human were ever born, and we didn't improve our relationship with the natural world, there wouldn't be much left by the time we're all gone.

Even our best efforts will not bring extinct species back, and "domino extinctions" or "spiraling extinctions" will continue on long after we've stopped causing them directly.

For example, the dodo went extinct over 400 years ago and the dodo tree, that depended on the dodo's gizzard for germination, is about to go extinct. There were no doubt micro organisms which live only on and in the dodo. [This turns out to be a myth. Cascading extinctions do occur, but the dodo tree (or Calvaria tree or tambalacoque) Sideroxylon grandiflorum, does not seem dependant on the dodo for germination.]

The sooner we go extinct the better for biodiversity.  

Stuart wries:

>People who care about the environment should breed as much as possible. This will create other people who may not necessarily care about the environment, but will have a greater genetic pre-disposition, however slight, to do so.<

Slight is right. If there's any way that attitudes may be genetically transmitted, and I doubt it, it would take many generations of winning the breeding war for the hearts and minds before Homo sapiens sapiens became Homo sapiens ecominded. [Since this was written, the second "sapiens" has been officially dropped.]

>If all the preople who care about the enviroment refrain from breeding, it will eventually remove this personality trait from the human gene pool, and leave the earth to the selfish, stupid and uncaring arseholes who are destroying it.<

Hmmmm. How do we know this hasn't already happened?

Apparently, someone named Chris sent the VHEMT website URL to Lee who wrote in answer to Why breed?:

>Because God wants us to. <

And we've done it, now it's time to move to the next directive.

>If we don't, who will be around to worry about saving the Earth? <

If we don't breed, there won't be any reason to worry about saving Earth's biosphere.

>What good is the Earth and all things on and in it without humans to enjoy it? <

The same good it was before we hairless beach apes arrived 100,000 years ago.

>God made this place for us all to live in and enjoy. <

And by destroying what God hath made, we are mocking God's creation.

>Obviously you are not a Christian. It's all in God's hands and I'm sure He has a master plan. <

It's okay to do anything we want? No need for morality, it's all in God's hands, so we can throw up our hands.

>Do you really think we humans are here just by chance? That we evolved from some microbe in the water? Where did the water come from?<

Likewise, were all of God's creations we have eliminated just here by chance?

>I will pray for your soul brother. God bless you. (I have to go now because my 3 month old son is hungry....) <

You may have looked at the VHEMT website with a slightly biased perspective. At first, it may seem anti-human, or anti-children at least. Actually, as we phase ourselves out, you and your son will enjoy a better life, with less crowding and less pollution.

>P.S. (Chris, I love ya' like a brother but don't ever send me a link to anything like this again.)<

Translation: "Don't make me think about my responsibilities."

Kerry wrote:

>Not everyone should breed, in fact the majority of the population are stupid and do not deserve to have the right to populate. <

I have to agree that a majority of us are not cut out to be parents for one reason or another. Although what we call intelligence is down the list of important attributes for parenthood.

> My fiance and myself however are superior to the majority, and thus should reproduce because we are better.<

You are in the majority with this view.

> I realize that this makes many people jealous, because they are inferior to us, but I hope you learn to live with it.<

Living with the multitudes created by those who think they are better than others is indeed a challenge. When we're all crowded together like cattle, I can't even tell which ones were bred by superior couples and which ones were bred by dolts. I guess I should be an optimist and admit that half the people around me are above average.

Their exhaust still stinks.

Psychlabmac wrote:

>Were stupid. That's why we breed.<

Mountian Ogre wrote:

>Why breed? Because I have testicles, and I don't think ma nature intended them as a counterweight for my penis. <

There are many things Ma Nature has apparently intended, and we don't seem to have any qualms about doing what we want anyway. She probably didn't intend for us to drive cars, though we do have feet for the accelerator and brakes and hands for the steering wheel. I doubt she had in mind one species wiping out all the others, either.

>They have only one use I know of, and I plan on making the best of it.<

Good news: they have more than one use! Yes they make attractive counterweights for our mighty staffs, but they also produce the testosterone which makes us manly men. This also makes us slaves to our lower urges, but with practice we can hide that fact behind a facade of domestication.

It seems to me the best use of our testicles doesn't include impregnating the women who are nice enough to allow us entry to their private areas.

Belka writes:

>If we cease populating the Earth, Polka music will...I cringe to so much as fathom it...


This simply must not come to pass. Birds need it. Bears need it. Micro organisms want it. Without it, the planet will perish, the ozone layer will utterly collapse, sinkholes will consume untold resources of flora and fauna.

I'm tearing now just picturing the first day on earth when no one is around to take up a squeezebox, don a funny little green velvet hat with a feather, and exhibit the crowning achievement and very thule of man's advancement.


May it never be so.<

Tina wrote:

>Why Breed? Because it's what God intended. Good or Bad. <

If it's what God intended, then it must be good, right? One of the greatest challenges for people of faith is to understand what God's will is for us. In some aspects of our lives, it's fairly easy: we simply do what's right, guided by love and the word of God. Well, it's easier to know what's right than to do it sometimes.

With our choices concerning procreation, however, it's not so easy. Our command to be fruitful and multiply was given a very long time ago, when things were quite different. Human sacrifice was ended when Abraham was given a sheep to take the place of his son, and animal sacrifice too was eventually replaced with symbolic and personal sacrifices. So too have things changed concerning our fruitful multiplication. We have been fruitful, multiplied, subdued the earth, and now it's time for the next step.

>The end of the Earth? Not in our lifetime. <

If you mean the end of the rock which orbits the Sun, it should be around for a few billion more earth-years. If you mean the end of life on Earth, I agree, it won't end in our lifetimes. But then, it couldn't, could it? I mean, we too would have to be dead so it wouldn't be in our lifetime.

Does the fact that we won't succeed in eliminating all of God's creations in the next 100 years make it alright to eliminate a large number of them?

>Life will go on no matter what.<

The lives of God's creations which we are causing to go extinct won't go on, no matter what. The big-thicket hog-nosed skunk may not seem important to us, but if it was God's intention that it be here, we are surely going against His will by causing its extinction.

How did we do it? Not by seeking it out to kill, but simply by expanding our habitat into its habitat. Why are we increasing our habitat? We have to live somewhere, and so will the people born today.

Rather than picking scripture which justifies what we want to do, I think we should take the entire word of God, especially the spirit of the word, and make moral decisions based on the times we now live in.

In light of the tens of thousands of children who die on an average day, and the number of species going extinct due to our increase, how can the intentional creation of one more of us be justified by God's word today?

Jabble in Australia wrote:

>it may make us happy in many ways to watch our children grow and live, but the reason people seem to want to is because they feel that it is their purpose.... <

Yes, I think so. Some even say so. We have been thoroughly indoctrinated by society.

>OK so we have children because we're meant to , does that mean our children will also be meant to?? and their's and their's? even when I put it like this it sounds so stupid... do we exist simply to create the existance of others?<

If our purpose is to breed and nothing more, we could be finished with life quite young.

>this means the whole purpose is meaningless.. an eternal loop that the only real way of ending is beyond our control.<

Not necessarily. It just means that the meaning we give to our lives has to come from something besides replication of ourselves. This is not at all beyond our control -- those of us who have access to contraception anyway.

> I feel that there will always be life . . .<

On Earth, on some level, most likely for about 4.9 billion more years anyway. There are life forms deep in the ground that would eventually find their way to the surface even if we succeed in turning Earth into another Mars. This doesn't make it alright for us to do so, of course.

> . . .and they will allways be trying to live longer and make life more luxurios for themselves (i.e. screw everything else with pollution and various other deadly creations of intelligent life) and because common sense (and cartoons) tell us that a perfect race is impossible there is no point us (or anything else) living to evolve into it....<

"Perfect" when it comes to life on Earth is anything that fits into the ecosystem it lives in. That ain't us. We have evolved into a virtual exotic invader in Earth's biosphere as a whole. Our existence is no longer compatible with natural ecosystems.


If you mean civilization, no, it doesn't make sense. We don't have to continue it forever, though.

>thanks for your time and a great website that kept me going for a few hours... <

You're very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Stimulating thinking is the main idea.

Keane in Louisville, Kentucky wrote:

>Why not? This planet and all it's lifeforms are ours to do with as we please. And if we're "just not compatible" with Earth's ecosystem, just what kind of an ecosystem would we be compatible with? Perhaps we should work on a way to leave this planet for another one, rather than send ourselves into extinction? And somewhere I once heard, "nature abhors a vacuum." Our absence from this world may not be felt by anyone else but ourselves, but afterall, it's our world. No one else has stepped forward to claim it.<

House cats seem to have this same perspective on life.

Jennifer wrote:

>I'm not sure I can answer this question any more successfully than any of the others who have tried. I can tell that you don't consider any of the answers you've already received to be a justified response. <

Your perception is correct: still looking for that reason to create another of us. This isn't quite fair, of course: making myself the judge. Perhaps by listing the reasons offered at the VHEMT website people can decide for themselves.

>My response is actually a combination of a couple you've already heard. I'd like to combine "Because I can" with, to paraphrase, because God made me so that I am able to reproduce. <

Those sound like the same reason: the reason you can is because God made you that way. We are capable of doing a lot of things that we know better than to do now.

>I guess I am speaking rather hypocritically, as I don't have any children of my own and do not wish to have any at any time in the near future. On the other hand, I am not ready to give up that option. <

Unless you get your tubes tied, you won't be giving up that option physically. It's important to think about procreation in advance, and I commend you for doing so. With 60% of conceptions in North America being unintended, it seems to me that not enough thinking is involved these days.

>I agree with you, that there is a very big problem that we have brought upon ourselves. The environment is being destroyed. But I have to disagree with you on your solution. <

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.

>God created the environment, and he created man as a necessary part of that environment. He put nature under our care. And as a whole, we are not doing a very good job. But in my beliefs, it is up to God to change things. <

What about our underwear? Some things we have to change ourselves. Humanity is making huge changes in Earth's biosphere without waiting for God. This is the problem with us. Making small changes to support our lives is one thing, eliminating God's other creations in the process is quite another.

>You say that it's time we stopped being fruitful. But is that really up to you to decide? <

It's up to each of us to decide. I know there are people who believe that the number of offspring they produce is up to God, and they eschew contraception. There may be things beyond our control that we have to leave to God, but this seems to me like shirking our responsibility. If we weren't supposed to think, why were we given brains?

>He gave us the ability to breed. If he didn't want us to continue to do so, well, He's wiped us out before. I don't think He'd need to wait around for us all to live long and die out. <

It wouldn't take that long, not on God's time scale. A benevolent God wouldn't wipe us out by allowing us to breed ourselves into an ecological collapse, causing much of Creation to be lost at the same time. Perhaps the concept of voluntary human extinction came from God and is His way of peacefully correcting the imbalance.

>I think you are sensing that there is another solution. Granted, it would take a great deal more work. But our job as human beings is to protect nature. Some people are out there doing just that, by taking a stand against the things that are destroying the rainforests and the endangered animal species. <

True, it's not enough for us to all stop breeding. If not one more human were ever born, and we didn't improve our relationship with the natural world, there wouldn't be much left by the time we're all gone.

>Others are out helping to bring medical care to less fortunate children, and to cultures who do not have medical assistance redily available. There are people joining the Peace Corps and Greenpeace and other assistance groups, and they are doing their share. <

All of these things are necessary for as long as we are here. They will be more easily accomplished as there are fewer of us needing assistance. When we are gone, the need for these things will also be gone.

>Just as not everyone will agree with you, not everyone is helping to fix the mistakes against the planet either, so it is important if you do decide to "do something," to do everything you can. <

And there is much to be done. By not creating more of us to care for, we have more time and energy to undo some of what we have done,

>And what have you chosen to do? You are wearing your condom...or maybe you even got a vacsectomy. <

Yes, preventing conception is a fairly simple task.

>Well, that's a step. But perhaps there is another way. <

There are many other ways, but a vasectomy is the surest and most economical -- far less complicated than a tubal ligation.

>You see, condoms are adding to the Earth's pollution. <

Yes, another reason to choose vasectomy, coupled with monogamy. However, not everyone wants to get snipped and stay with one partner. In this case a condom, properly used, and ideally coupled with a female-based contraception, is a wise choice.

It's true that condoms are made of latex and I just learned that they are made out of cow's milk. So, not only do they take up space in landfills after they're used, they support the dairy industry. This is another example of the many trade-offs we have to make. Everything we do has some detrimental effects. If we drive to the recycle center, we use gas.

Our own extinction is a trade-off: as we go extinct, at least two dozen species which live on and in us will also go. I don't present this solution lightly. It's only because we are causing the extinctions of tens of thousands of other species a year that I do so.

If a condom prevents the creation of a whole new human being with a lifetime of consumption and production, it was a bargain for Earth's ecosphere.

>But while you are busy not making babies. . . <

It really doesn't keep us busy.

>and waiting for everyone to die out so that the Earth can finally take a breather, . . .<

Unless we advocate increasing death rates, which we don't, we have no choice but to wait for people to die out. It doesn't take that long, really. Even our longest lives are short.

>. . . there are people out there helping the Earth to feel a bit better along the way. <

Quite true. Unfortunately, there are even more who add to the billions of us making demands on Earth's biosphere.

>And I highly doubt that everyone will just stop reproducing for the benefit of a small group's peace of mind.<

Certainly not. We are hoping everyone will just stop reproducing for the benefit of the entire biosphere. Homo sapiens is only one of many millions of species living on Earth.

>So maybe we should help out while we can.<

That's the idea: stop breeding and help out while we can.

You know, it seems to me the question "Why breed?" remains unanswered. It's true, we can, but why should we?

How about you, dear Reader? Can you think of a better reason for creating another human being than the above? Tell us, how would Earth's biosphere or humanity be better off if you created another of yourself, or if any couple anywhere created another of themselves?

Please go to the Yahoo! group "Why breed?" and post your message. You'll have to register with Yahoo! if you haven't already.

Thanks for your help. Les.

Prior to January 2001, a different collection of reasons was posted at this website. You can read them if you like.