I often think about the power of reproduction is often an environmental factor that is ignored. We often like to conveniently ignore the values that we hold dear to our hearts (like books!) in our conservation efforts. Baby-making happens to often be one of those values.
Some reasoning behind this:
- Our fear of “disappearing” after our deaths
- Societal pressures and expectations
- Justification that your kid is going to do more good than bad for the Earth
- the need to “have your own” kid and not adopt someone else’s
This author poses the idea of having a “last generation” in order to prevent more suffering to the human race. I would have to say I disagree with this plan.
I think that pain is a natural part of life. Surely, past generations have seen less hopeful circumstances than we have. Imagine what would have been lost if they would have thrown in the towel back then. One might ask if we’ve made more positive progress than setbacks but I am a firm believer that the human race needs to struggle in order to produce something beautiful and WORTH LIVING FOR.
We have set up unfavorable living circumstances for the future, but, being a fairly passionate activist myself for a variety of issues, I find it extremely fulfilling to work towards change, even when opposition is pushing back at full force. In fact, I am more apt to wanting to raise a child in hopes that they will do more than I have and move society forward.
I completely understand those who choose not to reproduce, especially for environmental reasons. I only hope that these same people are doing so to fully put their efforts towards making things better and not because they’ve completely given up hope. I also hope that these same people would not judge those who decide to have kids. Everyone has their own way of contributing to the world and we should never strop trying, no matter what method we choose.
Also, adoption seems like a great way to help save the world while simultaneously raising someone to continue those efforts. I feel like the author of the NYT article fails to raise this important point. So many people look over this option, when in reality, before we continue to consume more resources (or have children) perhaps we should try to take care of what we have and take a responsibility to forgo our selfish ideas of an “ideal life or family” and try doing things a different way.