The other day, I came across a video by the YouTuber LAWF called, "Chatting With A Supporter Of The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement". I was immediately intrigued, as I never had heard of this movement before. So I clicked.
Basically, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is defined, as on their website, as "a movement presenting an encouraging alternative to the callous exploitation and wholesale destruction of Earth's ecology." They ask that each human choose not to procreate until there are no human left. Only at this point will the Earth's natural environment be able to heal itself.
I was expecting a bunch of people wanting to cause some kind of mass destruction that wipes out the human race so in this way, I was pleasantly surprised. However, I do take issue with this belief: the belief that humans do not belong on this Earth and that we need to remove ourselves.
It is very obvious the kind of destruction we are causing on this planet, with every natural disaster, every species that goes extinct, every time a forest or jungle dies or is wiped out. There's no denying that we need to change our ways so that not only our environment and all we share this Earth with survives, but that we survive, too. Maybe we won't be experiencing the repercussions of our behavior directly in this lifetime, but our future generations will. There will, inevitably, come a point where this planet can no longer support life.
Many may argue that overpopulation is in direct correlation with the state of the Earth, and while I agree with this statement, I don't think it's the only reason. Supporters of VHEMT think that the only way to save this planet is to stop "breeding" and encourage those younger than us to not have children as well. They believe that our evolution into fully conscious beings was a "fluke" and that as soon as we developed agriculture, we lost our place in the natural world.
Now, I think this is going a little too far. Many of the supporters of this movement do not believe in any higher reason humans are here, which is obvious. They believe we pose only the destruction of the planet and provide nothing good to the world. There's nothing wrong with being an Atheist or not believing in any kind of spirituality. That's not what I have an issue with. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs.
I think that instead of just trying to get everyone to stop having children, we need to be more focused on reducing our waste and our carbon footprint. There are already seven billion people in this world, and there's no way people will stop starting families. More and more people are not having kids now, which can be a good thing when it comes to our population rate, but that's not the end all be all of saving the planet.
I believe we should all take more steps towards becoming zero waste, or just being aware of the waste we are creating, as individuals. People higher up in corporations or politics can make more of a change on a larger scale, but the average person can only control their own actions and try to influence those around them to do that same. It is obvious that the supporters of VHEMT care deeply about the environment, so they should focus more on their own actions and doing what they can to s=change the behavior of others without focusing so much energy on trying to convince people to stop reproducing.
It's just not realistic. We can do better.