"B" is for breeding

The population explosion will come to an end ­p; with or without our cooperation.

by Robert Nanninga
n terms of evolution, I think Nature was very kind to our species as it nurtured us to our state of prominence. One would think we would return the favor. Think again. The only thing humans often deem important enough to nurture is a bank balance and their latest sports car.
Before we dive into what should be a very controversial article, I want to make it clear that I am using the over-reproduction of human beings as the foundation of this article. This did not start out to be an population treatise; my original intent was gay pride and environmental awareness. Boy, did I ever open Pandora's box.
The reason I have come to this nature-versus-nurture debate is that July is Gay pride season here in San Diego. Wanting to address commentary at the Gay and Lesbian community, I was contemplating how homosexuality actually benefits the planet by reducing the human birth rate. With ten percent of homo sapiens having been born non-breeders, Mother Nature has built in a fail-safe to help keep populations in check.
But in pursuit of equal rights, more gays and lesbians have been pursuing having children. I know lesbians are physically capable of bearing children, but please correct me if I'm wrong, but no matter how long two women, or two men lay on top of each other, they ain't gonna make no babies. If homosexuals are going to insist that their orientation is natural, then logic follows that them having children is not. I believe that instead of trying to create children out of test tubes and turkey basters, and in the process adding to an already overpopulated planet, gays and lesbians should be fighting for the right to adopt children that are already here. Who better to address the needs of a child who may feel unwanted or abused by parents or a system that doesn't know how to deal with them?
Just so everyone is clear that I don't discriminate against homosexuals, I also feel that some heterosexuals should rein in their desires to breed as well. Proof lies in the number of fertility clinics popping up. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands on a Frankenstein baby, only to prove themselves worthy of God-knows-what, that money would be better spent on adopting a child who needs parents as much as those parents need a child. This may sound cruel, but if nature deems that a man and women cannot have children, so be it.
Some of you are probably asking, "what does this have to do with nature vs. nurture?" Consider this: to nurture the planet that supports our very existence - on the resources of nature - we must control the numbers of our species. This requires that some difficult decisions be made. Instead of trying to mimic their heterosexual siblings in their need to breed, homosexuals should find strength in the fact that non-breeders are part of the solution. Children should not be conceived just to prove you can do it, or to fulfill a selfish desire to pass on your DNA. Just because you have the plumbing it doesn't mean you have to use it.
Our society must stop making a woman feel like damaged goods if she is unable to conceive, or unfulfilled if she chooses not to. We must make child-bearing mean something more than snagging a man or a welfare check. And men must be responsible for where they leave their sperm. Fathering four children does not mean you are a virile stud. What it means is that you lack the information and connectedness to comprehend the full consequences of your actions.
In China, they coerce people into having one child per couple. This is not because they hate the little ones or want or love their children less. It is because they have stared deeply into the future of one billion people multiplying willy-nilly and made the unpleasant decision that manmade coercion now is better than widespread despair and famine later. This is something that they have some experience with - in their lifetimes.
Religion must also be noted as promoting large families. Let's get this straight: when the Catholic Church opposes birth control, it helps ensure that there will always be a lot of Catholics available when they pass the plate. Little baby Catholics grow up to be big Catholics with 9-to-5 jobs. And don't even get me started on Mormonism. I come from a large family, and I can't even begin to count the numbers of time I would have traded my brother and sisters for a new bike. In fact, I'm still taking orders.
Other than the time-proven natural remedies of war, famine and plague, the only true remedy for overpopulation is education. We must learn that preventing unwanted pregnancy is the key. Condoms and other contraceptives, family planning and women being more aware of their cycles, will help keep birth rates in check. Another thing people must learn is that having children for the wrong reasons hurts us all. One child with a good education will be a better provider than six who have been raised in ignorance. And having numerous offspring to ensure that your family name continues on is patriarchal posturing. So all you people who are feeling the need to breed, wake up and smell the disposable diapers. If you really want your name to live forever, follow the lead of Bill Shakespeare and get your name in print.
I did, and the only 3 o'clock feedings I have to deal with are my own.

Robert Nanninga is an independent video producer, actor, vegan and active member of the Green and environmental community.