A new child is a already a consumer through the umbilical cord and with all the medical needs a woman who is pregnant wouldn’t otherwise have (let’s think of all the needless animal testing taking place on pregnant mice as part of this consumerism).
Making a baby isn’t a need. Vegans, doing the least harm they can do, still cause unavoidable harm. There is avoidable harm done by procreating, not only to the environment or animals, but to the child themself. There is one certainty: the new being will inevitably be harmed by at least sorrows, illnesses and death. This and the harm they will in turn cause are ends, anything else in their life would be uncertain and fleeting.
A related issue, the only one left out in this great comprehensive post and one which differentiates human and non-human breeding, is that consent cannot be obtained for a life-threatening decision or a life sentence. There is an ethical system or abstinence for anything else concerning a person’s life where a person’s consent cannot be had. It may seem silly but none of us consented to have been born and it is not contradictory that we can thrive, in the same way an animal born in captivity or abuse can thrive or even be happy. There is no alternate state of being we can choose except early death and that is truly the only time at which we can speak of instinct (in death-avoidance). Anything else we call animal instincts or biological urges in humans are probably on par with that urge we get to answer or return a call or send a text, it’s all highly socialised and programmed.
It breaches vegan ethics to harm someone unnecessarily and without their consent.
Even within the vegan and animal liberation communities, principles surrounding family and fertility are not held consistently across species. To remain ideologically and, more importantly, ethically consistent, those who promote total liberation for all animals should not bear children. This can be accomplished either by remaining child free or by choosing to foster or adopt already-born children. The key arguments for childbearing as a valued step in the process of childrearing replicates several ethical and ideological imperatives against which animal liberation advocates argue. It supports biological arguments of superiority, creates unjustified boundaries to delineate hierarchies, values humans over other animals and the Earth, values humans with capital resources over humans in poverty, and neglects the needs of those children who are without families.
(Pro)natalism is a belief that promotes having children. This ideology is dominant and rarely questioned in most cultures. It is also rarely called out and referred to…
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