February 29, 2024

Childless to protect the planet

British woman says children add to pollution and greenhouse gases
Toni VernelliThe notion that children are a form of pollution has true believers outside Australia. London’s Daily Mail, which, in addition to (or perhaps because of) its salacious gossip and titillating photos, is a remarkable chronicler of the contemporary mores, recently profiled a 35-year-old woman, Toni Vernelli, who was sterilised to "protect the planet" about 8 years ago. Several doctors refused to do the operation, but she "relentlessly" hunted one down. Her boyfriend, whom she met at an animal rights demonstration, even gave her a congratulations card.

"Having children is selfish," she says. "It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet. Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population." She is happy with what the Daily Mail, in a burst of bourgeois moralising, deems "the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood". She has a "much nicer lifestyle as a result of not having children": "We love walking and hiking, and we often go away for weekends. Every year, we also take a nice holiday — we’ve just come back from South Africa. We feel we can have one long-haul flight a year, as we are vegan and childless, thereby greatly reducing our carbon footprint and combating over-population." ~ Daily Mail, Nov 21

British woman says children add to pollution and greenhouse gases

One thought on “Childless to protect the planet

  1. If you think this woman is a lone nutjob, think again! The following letter to the editor appeared in the 12/12/07 Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Florida, USA) in response to Kathleen Parker’s column mocking people who would abort their own children to save the environment. Read on:

    Too many humans a drain on limited resources

    Once again, Kathleen Parker leaves rational thought at the door in her commentary “Survival of the stupidest” (Dec. 1), in which she denigrates humans who choose not to reproduce.

    Somehow, Ms. Parker seems to have missed the obvious causal link between overpopulation and environmental decay, biodiversity loss and global warming, opting instead for a continuation of unsustainable human growth. To answer her question, “Whom are we saving the planet for?”, conservationists and thoughtful people alike have an answer – all living things. Does nature not have intrinsic value, beyond what can be exploited by homo sapiens?

    With 6.5 billion humans now crowding our planet, the need for conscious reproductive behavior never has been greater. At the rate we’re going, the stupidest will indeed inherit the Earth, embracing unconscious breeding and reproductive entitlements to the bitter end, while exhausting the last of our vital resources. Every day, plant and animal species vanish to make room for more of us.

    PAUL R. REILLO, Ph.D., Director
    Rare Species Conservatory Foundation


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