Utopia Magazine Online: What Is Anti-Natalism? The Ethical and Ecological Motivations

Wait until Faux News and others on Shout TV and on Shout Radio hear about this growing movement.

A good starting point is the rise of veganism. Its increasing popularity means that more and more people are exposed to its principles in their day-to-day lives whether they subscribe to it or not. Veganism, as many people know, is the practice of abstaining from animal products, and while everyone has their own reasons for taking up a vegan lifestyle, the aim is essentially to do as little harm to living beings as possible.

Ecological anti-natalism can be understood as a progression of this philosophy. Ecological anti-natalists assert that humans, just by nature of existing, do harm to other living things, no matter how hard they try not to.

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that having one fewer child per family can save “an average of 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emission per year.” For comparison, living without a car saves about 2.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. Think about how many beings suffer because of human pollution, how much wildlife we displace to make room for our own homes, or even just how many ants you must have accidentally stood on without realizing.

While these acts may not be carried out intentionally or even consciously, anti-natalists believe our species to be one of the most destructive on the planet because of them. Anti-natalists see bringing another life into the world as a way to extend the harm done by humans unnecessarily.


Since anti-natalists understand human action as the primary cause of environmental degradation, it follows that they’re not overly optimistic about the future of the planet while humans continue to dominate it. The fatalist undertones to this philosophy fuel an even more pessimistic view that an individual can affect no real change on their own to counter climate disaster.

I do not agree with that highlighted sentence. Bend down. Pick up a piece of trash. Place it in a waste receptacle so that it doesn’t tumbleweed across America and land in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, where it breaks down and poisons the wildlife and humans who eat seafood.