From wikipedia, World Population Day “is an annual event, observed on July 11, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in… Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.” Two days ago, we clocked in at over 2 billion more-at an estimated 7,025,071,966.
In The Baby Matrix, I talk about how although it may be technically our “right” to have as many biological children as we want and pronatalism reinforces this right, we have reached a point where this is a dangerous mindset to hold. I propose the adoption of an alternative mindset that redefines humanitarianism and patriotism when it comes bringing biological children into the world today. Here is an excerpt from the book:
From the chapter titled, “The Offspring Assumption”:
“Yes, bearing children still remains a right under this country’s constitution. But the pronatalist assumption that we can have as many children as we want harms society and our natural environment. Given the impact of population growth on resource decline and degradation in today’s world, when it comes to our reproduction, we have an important social responsibility to that world. Each person’s existence has an environmental impact, which affects humans and other species. It’s up to us to choose reproductive action that lessens this impact.”
“..we owe it to the generations already here and those in the future (and all other beings on the planet other than human beings) to think beyond ourselves and do what we can to mitigate the population and natural resource problems that exist today. We have an obligation to leave future generations as healthy a planet as possible. And the most powerful thing we can do to this end is reduce our reproduction. Seen in this way, having fewer offspring is not the selfish, but the selfless, act. Having fewer, not more, biological offspring is the true humanitarian act because it ultimately lessens the suffering of people and the world’s natural environment. While we may have the legal right to produce any number of offspring, we have the ability to choose to put the country’s or the world’s best interests ahead of self-interest. When we choose not to have children or to limit the number we do have because we’re mindful of the impact of each child on the planet’s resources, we show deep loyalty not only to our own country, but to the future of the world at large.”
On this day, here’s to rethinking what humanitarianism and patriotism means in today’s world, and to adopting reproductive mindsets that make our first obligation to the planet and those already on it.