Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy. But the very thought makes her shudder with horror. Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet. Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible “mistake” of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time. He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - “relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery. Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way. At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to “protect the planet”.
The decision to have children or not is an intensely personal one, so I’m not about to get on Ms. DUMB@$$’ case for deciding that motherhood wasn’t for her. What is worthy of ridicule, though, is her reason for not having children. I can understand the desire to reduce one’s carbon footprint, and there are numerous steps one can take in pursuit of that goal- recycling, driving a hybrid, walking or riding a bicycle whenever practical- but not having children seems a wee bit of an overreaction. After all, there’s the whole “propagation of the species” thing that needs to be taken into consideration here. If the planet is saved, but no one is there to hear it, does it even make a sound?
Ms. DUMB@$$ is free to make her own decisions for her own reasons, of course. I don’t have to agree with her decision (I don’t), and I can consider her reasons specious and silly (I do). If enough women make this decision, we may well eventually have a safe and protected environment with no one left to enjoy it.
I’m sorry, but being spayed “to protect the planet” is just about the silliest thing I’ve heard in quite some time. Children are not the problem here. There are so many other ways that Ms. DUMB@$$ could have chosen to make a difference without doing something as pointless, ridiculous, and poorly thought out. Then again, if rendering herself hors d’ combat makes her feel like Captain Planet, then whom am I to cast aspersions? This doesn’t mean the Ms. Vernelli doesn’t richly deserve her DUMB@$$ AWARD, though.