Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Survival of the stupidest

Hey, did you hear the one about the woman who aborted her kid so she could save the planet ?

That’s no joke, but Darwin must be chuckling somewhere. Toni Vernelli was one of two women recently featured in a London Daily Mail story about environmentalists who take their carbon footprint very, very seriously. . . .

If we’re not saving the planet for our kids, for whom are we saving it ?
Um... yours. You're welcome.

While there are certainly a few VHEMT folks within our ranks, is this person really conflating the notion of childfreedom with extinction of the human race? That is in no danger of happening, and the global population is still rising. When the population is actually in decline, we can then discuss whether the childfree environmentalists are contributing to this author's vision of an empty earth.

In the meantime, this argument is akin to telling a missionary that they are selfish because if everyone moved to Africa to help the poor, America would be vacant.
Far be it from me to suggest that people must have children to be content or to contribute to life on Earth. But abortion should never be confused with a selfless act. It is clearly the ultimate and most-vivid expression of the opposite. Raising children is quantifiably the most persistently unselfish act known to mankind, as millions of veterans of sleepless nights will attest. Parenthood is when “I” takes a backseat to “thou” —when the infant-self submits to adulthood so that the real infant gets a necessary turn at the well of self-importance. Although I doubt there are many willing to sterilize themselves in order to reduce the size of their carbon footprint, such extreme materialism is the evolutionary product of our gradual commodification of human life.
Except for the fact that by the time you're losing sleep, you have committed to the obligation, it is not one you take on anew each morning you wake up a parent. If one is to look at the selfishness aspect of parenting, the relevant time period would be when they are deciding to make that commitment in the first place.

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2 comments:

Vinny C said...

"Raising children is quantifiably the most persistently unselfish act known to mankind, as millions of veterans of sleepless nights will attest."

Quantifiably?! ORLY? Funny, I've never seen any comparative data on the subject.

I do not think that word means what they think it means...

Laura C said...

My head "literally" exploded when I read that. Can I join the malaprop society now?