Save the Planet: Sterilize Yourself



Sociologists say that a society needs to maintain a 2.5 fertility rate. That said, anything after that remains exclusive to the purview defined by the passions of the participating women and men.


People who do not want to have kids absolutely should not.
Having and raising children (assuming one is a responsible parent) is the most selfless giving act humans are capable of. For the species, and for the planet (which is way tougher than the screaming ninnies on the left give it credit for...)


In my 40s, single, I was trying to get a vasectomy, and my doctor kept hedging about it, arguing that I might end up marrying someone who wanted kids. I know of women whose doctors outright refused to give them a tubal ligation. The resistance to not having children is pretty nuts.


The best advice I ever received, from an experienced source:

Misery follows those who have to chase the annoying little brats around. And those are the ones with 'normal' kids! One friend had an 'oops' accident with his girl of two months. What the hell, they had the baby! Yay! Baby is an autistic, unlikable pan in the ass and is clearly making their lives hell. He is expelled from school, won't eat anything but sugar, and has zero social skills, in addition to hating his parents. Welcome to it!


@4) I forgot to mention he is only 7. Plenty more misery to go.


Your choice to not have children is totally valid. But don’t pull some bullshit trying to retroactively assign some altruism or grandiose perspective to what is pretty clearly just a matter of personal preference.

You don’t want kids. We get it. Totally fair and people shouldn’t passive aggressively or otherwise judge you about that choice. But this “actually I’m also saving the world,” tack on is just bullshit. You get to be childless because that’s what you want. Spare us the vainglorious sanctimony after the fact. It’s fake.


@5, military school exists for a reason


Katie- you keep bringing this up every few weeks, always daring us breeders to try to knock the chip off your shoulder. We get it. You want to be edgy and cool. You want to be the next Lindy West. Maybe it's time to develop a second contrarian position, though?


@8) You breeders say these things to people like Katie because you know she is right. If it were not true it would not bother you at all.


"You want to be the next Lindy West."

Spoiler alert:

She won't make it.


@6 Not convinced she was being entirely serious about the moral high ground business but good to keep in mind that for every person patting themselves on the back for not vastly expanding their carbon footprint by generating another tiny American there are 10 like @2 who want to break out the violins and hold forth about how selfless and giving they are for foisting their spawn upon the world.


"And, despite what all parents will tell you, it's easy to find meaning and joy elsewhere in life." This is true, but you are actively avoiding the point of what parents mean when we say things about how much fulfillment and joy you get from having children. It is a DIFFERENT thing than other kinds of meaning and joy. Deeply different. I think you misunderstand this sentiment, because, in this case, you have no personal experience to support your understanding. Much in the way that I could never completely understand living life as a queer woman because I am a straight man.

The connection and meaning that parenting brings IS deeper and different than the kind you would find from other things like traveling the world or even heavily altruistic actions. I'm not trying to say that you are wrong in your opinion that people shouldn't have kids; you are absolutely correct that you and others shouldn't because you feel so strongly about it. But I'll tell you that you ARE missing something deep and incredibly human if you don't. And, in some sense, you won't ever completely understand compassion and giving and pain and love and many other things if you don't. You can argue that. I didn't used to believe this to be true. But it is. Sorry.

Does that mean that everyone should have kids because everyone should be required to truly, completely understand the human experience. Nope. But it might help you stop bitterly proselytizing so much about how lame parents are for the planet. I would argue that we know things about human existence that non-breeders just can't understand, and that might make us parents better at knowing what our planet needs to be healthy and balanced and good so that we don't actually need to have humans go extinct at all.


@2, let me adjust that for you - "Having and raising children (assuming one is a responsible parent) is the most selfish act humans are capable of."

I agree with Katie that Homo "sapiens" is a cancer on this beautiful planet. We are all takers who give nothing back to what may be the only place in this universe with life.


Am a male in his 60's who has never reproduced. No regrets. Read a study a few years ago that concluded that if the entire world wanted to have an American lifestyle, the world population should stabilize at about 1B people...


You didn't mention another excellent reason for having kids - when things get really tough, you can eat them.


Better at knowing what the planet needs... like more poopy diapers in our already overstuffed landfills. Yum!


put your money where your mouth is and get sterilized. turn this talk to action.


Love your work, Katie
I'm a mum of one
Having an investment in the future of this world
is terrifying


seriously. there is no concern about keeping the species alive, that is for sure.

people just really have to have their little mini-me's so they can show how amazing and unique they are...bleeegh.

each kid = a giant heap of diapers in a landfill somewhere.


I think kids are great, I enjoy my nieces and nephews, but my partner and I didn’t reproduce. Having children is a great experience, but we’ve had a wonderful life without them. There are lots of ways to live. I just wish more people would approach the decision to reproduce or not with more thought, not just as a thing people automatically do. That would certainly make for happier families, and I agree that humans are destroying the planet; maybe we should make fewer of them. Or maybe just have one kid—I was a very happy only child. In any case, don’t get all judgey about someone else’s decision not to pop out any babies. (Also, @17: Why should she get sterilized? She’s a lesbian, she’s not going to accidentally get pregnant.)


Poor @12. The little bugger(s) caused early-onset megalomania. Fortunately you seem like a good dude with a benign if judgmental case.

I'd subscribe to the bi-weekly print edition if Rich Smith did a gonzo VICE-type story on the topic and live-tweeted his own vasectomy.


I love when parents come into the conversation and think that because you chose to not reproduce it means you won't live a happy or full life.


For the love of God, yes.


Well, you know me. I am an enthusiastic booster of abortion and sterilization. "When it doubt, cut it out" and all that. But if you really want to make a dent in population growth (and, as a bonus, lessen human misery), you're much better off empowering women, especially in third world nations.


Kids are wonderful! Family is the best!

Not for you though, please leave it to the professionals.


3 has an excellent point. If you are a woman and don't already have children, any doctor you mention sterilization to will shoot you down flat.


This is what’s called “natural selection”. Those who are too weak to pass along their genes die and are instantly forgotten by history.

Good riddance, suckers.



I would counter by saying that your argument was once true but isn't any longer.

Take a look at the world in which we live currently. Yes, there is a very ,very small chance that we will get some sort of black swan event but it is far more likely that things will continue to suck more and more for all of the generations that come after us.

Any child anyone has is going to deal with economic insecurity and environmental degradation at the very least, and maybe even political and religious chaos.

Now if you are someone with lots of cash who can do all of the genetic screening and pay to make sure that the child will be able to do the Ninja Warrior esque course to be able to have something resembling a good life then yes, kids might be a good choice.

Otherwise it isn't just selfish, it's also cruel.


This whole discussion reminds me of the introduction to “idiocracy”


Nothing says population control quite like mass suicide parties. Come on! Join in the fun of limiting the population!!


@2- Any issues/value judgments/economic arguments aside, having kids is the WORST possible thing anyone can do for the planet.

@1-I have no issue with the first couple of kids, but your "exclusive purview of passion "becomes everyone else's problem when kids # 3, 4 5 6 start using tons of resources and multiplying their effect by breeding themselves.


I was told at age 19 (in the mid-70s) that I could not get my tubes tied because I would change my mind once I met the right man and settled down. Ten years later I got my tubes tied. Am currently in my 60s, live alone and have never once regretted not having children. You can reject the brainwashing of family and society and eventually people will stop pestering you about it. Look at it this way: it's easier to tell people five million times that you're not having kids than it is to attend even one PTA meeting.


6, you're pretty soap-boxy yourself there, binky. I read an article in the Readers Digest in the 1960s about overpopulation and I decided right there at age 11 than I would rather do the righ thing by Mother Nature than have kids. So bite me.


@all y'all: I recommend that the population reduction you all are promoting occur by mass suicide if you indeed believe that there is no hope for future humans. I still have hope for a better future in some form; perhaps this is a fatal flaw of parenting, some kind of hope-brainwashing; or perhaps this is what I was trying to communicate earlier, that people without children cannot comprehend this hope because you don't understand the depth of human connection and beauty because you don't have that kind of connection with your future in a child bearing your DNA. Many of you commenting seemingly do not have any hope for a future of any kind for humans. Rid the world of your inability to be part of an optimistic solution to world problems and help the planet at the same time by reducing your carbon footprint! Kill yourselves and stop pushing other people to do the dirty work for you.

I still have hope despite any drastic changes that may (or may not) come in the future. Humans are more than our negatives. We have the capability of rational thought and the ability to change. We can improve. We HAVE improved in massive ways even though many hugely impactful archaic forms of systemic oppression have reigned without drastic alteration. We have major shit to overcome, but I still think we can (and are).

This idea that we are now in some mode of definitive destruction is simplistic and, frankly, untrue. Even if there is definitive economic and environmental breakdown, I just don't think that we are guaranteed to have some kind of post-apocalyptic Mad Max future for eternity. Many cultures that were wiped off this planet by Western pieces of shit were much more in balance with other humans and the world they lived in; why can't this happen after collapse? And my having children is not by definition perpetuating this downward spiral, especially if I raise my kids to be thoughtful, empathetic, involved and passionate for positive change. Honestly, part of the problem in the world is that there aren't enough progressives having kids to perpetuate thought and action into new, more constructive, just and healthy modes of governance and technology.

Anyway, if Ms. Herzog can push the idea that non-breeders are inherently better than me, I'll push the idea that this isn't necessarily true. I say this all the time on here: if we want a better world, we gotta stop fighting about EVERYFUCKINGTHING. Articles like this lack compassion and seem intended to piss people off more than they are authentically trying to positively impact anything. I'm tired of it. So, if our current (hopefully not future) mode of social critique is more and more people spouting off bullshit to get a rise, I guess I'll spout my bullshit too. :)


12, If you think your personal experience is universal, having kids hasn't taught you as much about compassion as you seem to believe. You might be in a better place than you were before you had them but you've got a long way to go.


Katie, it gets better.
You're right, the pressure and inappropriate personal questions are largely being targeted at you because of your age.
When they inevitably ask if you're worried that you'll change your mind it is entirely your right to look at their precious offspring and say, "No. I can always get a child. Aren't you afraid you'll change YOUR mind?"

Your mention of fostering a troubled teen brings up an important point (even if you were joking) - there are billions of kids in the world who need good adults. There are lots of ways to have children in your life, even if you decide to not make any.

And the condescending "you just don't understand..."
begins to fade away when the kids of those condescenders hit adolescence.

Being a good parent looks like one of the hardest, least remunerative jobs on the planet. No one should ever be pressured into it who does not want it. That's not good for anyone involved.