Interestingly, in America, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hinted at her interest in this subject. On social media she asked the question, “Is it okay to still have children?”. She was thinking about the environmental impact of humans.
The title seems extraordinary, very politically incorrect and totally against the conventions espoused by Christianity and most other religions and society’s conventions. However, the time has come to talk babies. The time has come to discuss limiting family size. The time has come for women to make a positive decision, as has a German teacher, to decide not to have children. Yep, it goes against a woman’s natural instincts and those of men too. Reproduction is in the DNA but…it’s time to fight back.
The teacher’s name is Verena Brunschweiger. When she married at the age of 30 she decided to never have a son or daughter. Her decision was made in order to protect the planet. She has become a spokesperson for what is described as the “child-free” movement.
It’s about time, I say. Although this is a very difficult subject, discussions about human population size and growth fits in very nicely with an increased interest in the environment, our planet’s health and the wild species with which we share it. Of course, I am particularly interested in the wild cat species. Iconic species live on the African continent. This is at the sharp end of human population growth and damage to the environment after a near invasion by the Chinese to exploit the continent.
Verena has written a book entitled “Child-free rather than Childless” (Kinderfrei statt Kinderlos). It’s been making waves since it was published this month. She condemns the discrimination that women suffer at the hands of those who have children. She wants to distinguish between women who are unable, sadly, to have children and who want them and those who deliberately make a choice to not have sons or daughters.
She was swayed by information that a child adds about 58 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the planet over his or her lifetime. This is far more than can be offset by not buying a car or refusing to travel by air. She simply wants to reduce family size. She wants the German population to be reduced to 38 million from 83 million. She’d like a reward to be given to women at 50 who decide not to have children on the basis that they provide a service to the planet. The reward should be around US$80,000. The idea is to kickstart her proposals.
Verena refers to the “patriarchal imperative towards women”. The imperative is to have children and society is biased against women without children. Pregnant women are automatically congratulated. Why? It could (should?) be the opposite. However, childlessness has negative connotations. She wants this to change.
Why is this important to a website about cats? Well, it’s pretty obvious, really. The wild cat species on the planet are gradually being eradicated through human expansion. I’m particularly concerned about the African continent which is being exploited by China. Human activity is essentially pushing the wild cat species off the planet primarily through destruction of habitat. Then there’s poaching and sport hunting in Africa to exacerbate the crisis.
Global warming is a controversial subject but increasingly people believe that it is genuine. As mentioned, each individual person adds to global warming and it is time really to tackle this taboo subject: human population growth leading to increased economic activity. Another thing which bugs me is the unquestioned model upon which the world economy is built, namely permanent economic growth. They say that we have to have economic growth because countries compete with each other as do businesses. Economic growth has to be fuelled in part by human population growth. But this has to end sometime. It can’t be limitless.
The target should be sustainable growth or a plateaued economic environment where there is neither growth nor recession. We need stability to help protect the wild species with which we share the planet. Let’s talk babies and limiting their numbers as Verena says.
Human population growth affects domestic cats too. It means more urban cats and a less natural environment. It also means that as wildlife is destroyed by people, people use the domestic cat as a scapegoat for the diminution of wild species numbers through feline hunting. Look at Australia. The classic stresses built up by human activity destroying native species and then the authorities blaming feral cats.