Want Kids? Try Adoption
from No Compromise Issue 5

By Phil Goff

Thank you for the article "The Most Neglected Animal Rights Issue" in your last kick-ass issue. It's nice to see other "issues" covered besides the typical ones in which we are all very familiar with. There are, of course, a plethora of problems that the AR movement has yet to even approach, which in my mind, isn't such a terrible thing. If we truly considered every issue that affects animals in negative ways, we would spread ourselves so thin that little would be accomplished.

Human population is definitely a biggy. Our reliance on automobiles (500 million road kills per year) and petroleum is definitely another Consumerism. Deforestation. High technology. Mining. Global trade. Capitalism. GATT. NAFTA. You name it, just about everything occurring affects animals in detrimental ways. Although I don't think that we need to steadfastly take on all of these issues, I do believe that it is important that all AR activists minimize their lifestyles, oppose corporate culture, drive less, bike more, and seriously reconsider putting another human being on this planet.

I understand that having children is the ultimate personal decision. I also realize that the children of AR and enviro activists stand a decent chance of being compassionate adults, and furthering the work of their parents. This may be a strong argument for procreation, but still may not be enough to convince me or the good people of Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT). With that said, I think I have a compromise solution that should make both sides reasonably happy - ADOPTION! For those interested in rearing children but are worried about the impact on animals and our dwindling natural resources, adopting a child is the perfect solution. The aspiring parents are enabled to experience a family, and at the same time can feel comfortable knowing that they did not bring yet another human life into the world.

Even the most ardently misanthropic activist could not find fault with this proposition. The child is already born, and therefore any impact he or she will have on the planet has already been sanctioned. So why let him or her rot in a children's home or get scooped up by a consumerist enslaved couple looking to adopt? Assuming the child lives a normal length and will thus destroy "X" amount of the planet, it is much better that he or she be brought up by parents who will preach the utmost respect for Mother Earth and her creatures, and will not raise the child within the decadent paradigm of TV, McDonald's, suburbs, and automobiles.

The motivation to have offspring is a feeling shared by all creatures, and to deny this interest based on political beliefs goes against the ecological order. Finally, I would encourage groups such as VHEMT to emphasize adoption in articles such as the one in NC #4. This would reassure those interested in having a family, and would deflect any accusations of misanthropy.

PS - At least one group has begun to address the issue of overpopulation. Friends of Animals, a large "national" group based in the New York area, has published a pamphlet on that very topic.

A Mother Speaks

by Jen

Hello. I read your article in No Compromise on human over-population & was curious if this article was written by a male or female?

Being a woman, this article really made me sad. Although I fully understand your intentions, it seems that you should have named it "Voluntary Vegan Extinction" since animal rights activists are the only people it would appeal to. I became pregnant when I was 18 (and I realize you were not criticizing me and I commend you 100% for not citing abortion as a possible solution), but I truly believe my son happened for a reason. He is almost five years old now and it has been extremely easy to avoid becoming pregnant again. I believe all of us were brought into this world for reasons you and I may never understand (not religious), but it's easy for us to advocate not pro-creating because you and I already exist.

Maybe one cannot truly understand unless they have felt a child grow inside of their body or they have sat on the edge of his bed while he sleeps and cry because they are amazed by his very existence, by his beauty as a living breathing human animal. I plan to adopt children (I have an adopted brother and 3 adopted sisters) but I wouldn't make a girl feel guilty for wanting to follow her natural instinct to want to nurture and care for her young. My son and I are Vegan, and maybe that's not enough, but I don't think I am more deserving of existence than he. I realize that Veganism doesn't cure everything, but if all vegans and animal rights activists did not pro-create, all of the farmers, furriers, uninformed and just plain ignorant people would, there is no denying it.

Vegans are sadly a very small part of the over-all population, so I'm trying to imagine in 50-70 years when we are nearing the end without children and all of the doctors, pharmacists, manufacturers, gas and oil businesses, politicians, etc. who have bred, are continuing the cruelty. Would you agree that it would be more humane if we all just killed ourselves right now? Of course not! We don't want to end our lives, just deny other's theirs.

I'm not saying people should have ten kids and I'm not saying overpopulation is not a serious issue, but what I am saying is that it is physically impossible to convince everyone in the world, or even 25% of them, to not reproduce. People are reproducing in the most dire circumstances in Africa and other countries where they see their children die of starvation and disease every single day. Even the threat of forced abortion in China has not stopped women and men from pro-creating, and if we cannot convince them not to pro-create how in the hell will we convince people in their homes, with their refrigerators and their food and their health insurance not to pro-create? I totally understand and share many of the same concerns with you, I just have to wonder exactly what your plan is to pull this off.

For more information on human over-population contact the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement at PO Box 86646, Portland, OR 97206-6270 or email them at: les@vhemt.org, or visit their website at: http://www.vhemt.org/.