Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Mercy, Mercy Me”

Earth Day was yesterday and the anniversary of Prince’s death was the day before. And the filthy, hateful madman is in my White House. So many ways to go for this week’s Sunday interlude. But I went with the planet because that trumps (get it?) everything. Marvin Gaye, who left us too soon, inspires with “Mercy, Mercy Me”, released in 1971, and we’re still not taking our home seriously.

There’s something about the jazzy, funky and soulful sound that makes the issue of the planet’s health cool. And it has a rare line about human over-population, a terribly taboo subject today. “What about this overcrowded land? How much more abuse from man can she stand?”

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa mercy, mercy me,
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
Oh, no no, na, na na, na
My sweet Lord, na, na, na
My Lord, my sweet Lord


I was taught humans are stewards of the Earth. I can’t tolerate the devastation to our awesome planet, its water, air, land and other species. It’s why I checked the ego and chose not to make a mini me and why I don’t require animals to satisfy my belly.  These are the two greatest things to limit your footprint. Try it. It avoids a lot of personal denial. I don’t know what else to do, folks. Greed seems to have won.


Environment – Whether You Deny Climate Change or Not, You’re Probably Ignoring the Two Main Causes #atozchallenge

E: Today’s Deb-Blog Has Been Brought to You by the Letter D for Destruction of the Planet and the Letter E for Environment – Whether You Deny Climate Change or Not, You’re Probably Ignoring the Two Main Causes

A friend and I were chatting about how even making a off-hand comment about the weird weather and it’s association with man-made climate change has become a social mine field in this country. The first time I realized that I could be among seemingly intelligent people who denied that the climate has changed, that humans are causing it and it’s threatening our survival was back during the Clinton administration. I jokingly made a light remark to a coworker about enjoying the 80-degree March day in Minnesota, as the up side of global warming. He snapped, “There’s no such thing as global warming!” Stunned, I just walked away.

My friend also made an astute observation that those born after 1984 or so don’t fully understand how extremely different our weather has become. I’d never thought of that before. (Although, I harken back to my concerned post about millennials seemingly disinterested in anything that hasn’t happened in real time for them and thank goodness for video tapes to prove things to them!) I think it’s synonymous with the fact that a frog placed in a pot of water as it’s heated to boiling is unaware of its pending demise. If you only lived when temps can vary by 50 degrees from one day to the next, winters are warmer and less snowy and summers are hotter and drier, you might not fully grasp the shocking difference noticed by those over 30. I can only hope enough of us human frogs can get control over the stove’s knob before we are extinct. But having studied this in college and read much from experts since, that was why I chose not to have kids. And every year that goes by, I am more relieved I did not hand humanity’s future to my child.

Of course now we have an entire political party and a large chunk of mainstream media completely denying the fast-changing Earth atmosphere occurring before our very eyes. But we suffer an even greater problem here, in part, because of (1) our culture’s biological urge to procreate is unfettered and on steroids with a near baby fetishism, fed by materialism and pastel distractions; and (2) our gluttony for animal meat. I am referring to an excessive human population, which is the number one cause of the planet’s troubles and the continued obsession with filling our bellies with the flesh of other species, which is the second biggest contributor to our environmental crisis. Compared to these two factors, cutting down on the burning of fossil fuel is like trying to extinguish a wild fire by putting out a cigarette in your living room. If you are driving a Prius, installing solar panels on your house, planting kale and riding your bike to work, good for you. But if you or your partner gave birth or you still eat even organic, range-free animal meat, I can’t take seriously your efforts because you are only nibbling at the actions you can take to help the future of life on Earth. Now, I don’t want my friends or readers who have offspring to hate me completely. I do believe fully in personal choice. Our government is far more guilty in its complacency. We should have taken massive and sweeping actions decades ago. Unfortunately, the longer governments do little to nothing, the more these two, primary factors will have to be addressed because they will be the only ones that will ensure our survival.

If you want to complain about our mainstream media, blame them for making taboo the discussion of our global population. It’s not politically correct. How dare we talk about the fact that this planet can not sustain 7+ billion people. Your comfy, suburban life may look manageable but you are in denial about what is taking place in less developed countries or poorer countries who not only can’t feed everyone sufficiently, their islands and shorelines are flooding – for good! And while that pot of water gets warmer and warmer, we are fed celebrity gossip, technological distractions and cheap meat. That entitlement and that sense of complacency is dooming us.

I can’t really blame most people for not knowing or even not caring that more people and more people eating animals is destroying us because there is such a media blackout. But a simple Google search and intellectual curiosity will give you the facts. does a magnificent job informing us about the urgent connection to the planet’s human population and our ecology. And and the will change your heart about eating what they and now I call “humanimals,” because we shouldn’t think just because we managed to exploit this planet and other inhabitants, doesn’t make us superior at all. And the vegan recipes are simply delicious. Plus you live longer with fewer health problems. If you followed these sites and read every post in full for one month, I think it would change your choices.

I know there are some who just want to enjoy life and if that means having kids and eating any meat you want, so be it. I won’t be able to convince you differently. Be satisfied with your choices, as I am with mine. My choice not to procreate or eat animal products is living my morality, even if it doesn’t have much planetary impact. I hope we are not heading for mass famine, water shortages and water wars, mass evacuations and die offs, but I think that we are. Since I have no children, perhaps after I am gone, someone will happen upon this post and say this person was right. Little consolation.

Children: Being Child-Free Is the Best Decision of My Life #atozchallenge

C: Today’s Deb-Blog Has Been Brought to You by the Letter D for Dependents and the Letter C for Children: Being Child-Free Is the Best Decision of My Life

Never had the biological urge to have a baby, a child. I distinctly remember hearing some sorority students talking about their biological clocks while I passed them in the hallway back in college. It was at that moment that I asked myself if my reason and intellect was able to rise above any biological urge I might feel in the future, if for no other reason than to distance myself as far as possible from the women having that conversation. I could. I never looked back.

I remember this as a moment of clarity, but it probably was more a culmination of thoughts that crystallized in that instant, because I never have been one to make impulsive decisions, certainly not about the most serious decision anyone can ever make. I mean, who would bring a child into the world to fill a void of external love, to not feel lonely, to keep a mate, secure a marriage, to give the child you already have a playmate or a “spare” should one die, so your ego can see how your DNA looks combined with another, to keep your “unique” DNA living after death, for the hope of having a caregiver when you are old, because your religion or other outside pressures tell you to do it or to ensure our species 7+ billion strong will survive? No one, right? Those are selfish and pathetic reasons rooted in nothing more than one’s ego. And any decision we make based in the ego or insecurity is a poor one and will certainly lead to difficulties. The only sound reason to have a baby is because you want your life’s primary focus to be the nurturing, cherishing, teaching and raising to independence someone from conception to adulthood, so that he or she will live happily and contribute positively. The ego is at the core of this reason, too, but at least puts the child ahead of you.

I won’t win fans from people with kids (adoptive parents excluded) by writing this. But if you are offended then your reason(s) for the birth was probably one of those I noted above. I stand by my claim. No single factor is the cause or the exacerbation for every social ill. Not all cultures have the awareness of the burden of our human population on the Earth but Americans do. And if these words make one person stop to consider this decision, it is worth it.

It is primarily a biological urge. And we override those all the time. We adapt our biological urges to live in a society by suppressing the urge to kill someone who is annoying or threatening, the urge to have sex with attractive strangers we encounter or the urge to grab food from a vendor without waiting to pay for it when we are hungry. You might laugh but learning to curb our biological urge to reproduce may end up being the only suppressed urge left to save our species. The exponential rate of the human population is the reason all our planetary ills are happening at an accelerated rate, from hunger to global warming to rising sea levels and deforestation. More people, more suffering. As my geology teacher said when I was undergrad, “There is no such thing as a natural disaster. What makes what happens naturally a disaster is how it affects humans.” 

It’s a just figure of speech to call childbirth a “miracle,” but there are four human births every second of every day. A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand babies come via natural and scientific processes. If you still think babies are miracles, then society, science and your parents have failed you miserably! I know Merriam-Webster’s dictionary now has included the common misuse of the word “literally,” which is the literal opposite of what literally means, but the only reason someone would intentionally call childbirth a miracle is for religious reasons or to elevate this common occurrence in nature to give it a mystique. Calling childbirth a miracle makes it a whole lot easier for one of our two political parties to make abortion sound like an abhorrent crime, though, doesn’t it?

By now I have turned off or offended someone. But we do ourselves grave damage unless we stop acting like fetishists toward babies. I am glad the occasional comedian talks about this. Bill Maher, Sarah Silverman and a few others have commented on society’s baby obsessions. Personal ads often say they seek a person who “must love children.” I don’t know anyone who hates children but that question is more about finding someone to share in parenting than the degree someone actually loves all children. If our society really and truly loved children and the grown up ones, we wouldn’t let them starve, be sick or homeless. It reminds me of the question, “Do you believe in God?” which reSamanthaally means, “Do you believe in my god?” Let’s be honest, some kids are about as pleasant to be around as some adults! I like and love adults, children and infants to varying degrees of their appeal. Isn’t that more honest? And thank you, “Sex In the City’s” Samantha who, having heard about Miranda’s screaming, colicky child, said of her son, “[T]his one sounds like an asshole.” (13:04 to 13:10 has the line I mentioned: Hey, some infants, kids and adults are assholes! 

Deciding to be child-free is far and above the best decisions I ever made. In retrospect, I should thank that flock of college women with their silly talk about their biological clocks. But no other decision better reflects my morality and politics. Nothing would demonstrate my hypocrisy about my concerns for the planet more than if I had a child. Selfish? I don’t think so. Not having a child has the greatest, positive impact on our planet – even more than not eating animal products. Now, I’m not a perfect reflection of my values but I can defend my stances with those two big contributors! I am extremely lucky my parents did not so much as mentioned whether they wanted their genetics to live on in perpetuity or plant that famous guilt line, “Some day when you have kids of your own…” They neither gave me their insistence or their opinion about this most personal choice. They raised me right!

And I won’t have to worry or witness a child whose existence I caused face the struggles for clean water, food, temperate weather, land and economic shortages to come in his or her lifetime. I don’t know what I’m missing? I submit the same to you.

P Is For Population #atozchallenge

I tend to approach issues at their root cause to find objective solutions and often use the “Conditional Formula,” meaning, “if this, then that.” Therefore when it comes to social and political issues, my life-long, number-one issue is the human population, because there is not one problem that isn’t rooted in our ability to manage 7+ billion humans. I figured someone has to opt out. So I did.

I, hereby, out myself with this deeply-held conviction. Not to compare or minimize what LGBTQ folks endure, but as a straight woman in a society with a near idolatry of all things children, I usually keep my position to myself, thus feeling closeted. I’m a liberal and believe in free will and understand the human desire for fulfillment through parenting.PopulationBabies I understand for those with children nothing is more important in life, as nothing should be. I derive an equal level of joy knowing I am mitigating my impact on this planet the best way one can and in alignment with my core principle. I don’t hate children but I don’t want any. Nor do I think that 250 live human births every minute is a miracle. But I do think describing natural, human biology as a miracle is part of the problem. My parents raised me with free will and not only abhorred the idea of imposing one’s beliefs upon another, applauded and agreed with my decision. However I have been chastised and ostracized.

Thanks to the Internet, I don’t feel quite as alone as I used to with my choice, although most of my friends (no coincidence) don’t have kids, either. The “childless” stigma has abated somewhat in America but is far less taboo in Europe. I share my choice with Helen Mirren, Gloria Steinem, Stevie Nicks, Oprah Winfrey, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Aniston, Ashley Judd, Marisa Tomei, Margaret Cho, Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres, Dolly Parton, Katharine Hepburn, Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Anjelica Huston, Liza Minnelli, Kim Cattrall, Candace Bushnell, Cameron Diaz, Zooey Deschanel and lots of not famous women, all who have spoken out about their choice. (Guys, not that you don’t count because you have options, you just don’t have a womb.) Fortunately being first-world females, we have the choice and the ability to live and support ourselves without needing a husband and a family for sustainability.

While I realize there is more emotion tied to human procreation, I submit it took decades to convince the majority that the responsible thing to do was to spay and neuter dogs and cats to avoid over-population. Except for a few who still breed animals for financial profit (and the dopes who support the industry), this is now the norm. Human overpopulation is far more devastating and we have long surpassed the tipping point to our survival. I know how gloom and doom this sounds to some and I know how defensive people get about this. Unfortunately, every reason I chose for not having children has come true and at a faster rate than predicted. We’ve long passed our planet’s optimal maximum for sustainable quality life (depending upon the study, sustainability is between 1.5 and 3.5 billion) well over fifty years ago. Life as we know it, as we are living, is simply unsustainable. But let’s see if my premise is correct; that population is the root to all our problems:

The environment. First, the only reason we call a “natural disaster” a disaster is because it causes harm to people. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, forest fires, floods, blizzards, mudslides, volcanoes are natural events. But the more people inhabiting the planet, the greater nature’s impact upon us. But the actual, poisonous damage done to the planet is human caused. And the faster we use up our planet’s resources, the harder it will be to continue to sustain 7+ billion. The western world may feel cushioned but not so for island nations in the pacific that are disappearing under water due to the ice cap melt. Still, Florida is raising their highways because of rising water levels, while California is in a drought and has a year of water in reserve. Our ecosystem depends on the rain forests, which is vanishing at a rate of 80,000 acres a day as land and lumber is needed. Fifty thousand species go extinct every year. Our meat-eating costs an exorbitant amount of land, water and resources. And we continue to disregard the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.


The more people, the easier to exploit labor with more people than jobs. Wages fall. More people means more traffic and more aggressive wear and tear on roads and bridges. The more people, the more hungry mouths to feed and the higher cost to produce more food. And poor countries have a higher death rate so people have more babies so some make it to adulthood. So the birth rates in poorer countries is much higher, putting a bigger drain on limited food and water. One third of our global population is under 20 years old and in under-developed, poor countries. We are in military conflicts for natural resources (oil), which is depleted faster due to more people. And the Syrian conflict is actually over water.

Of course there are other factors that impact society’s problems. But the suffering is greater on 7 billion than three billion. It breaks my heart what we did to this beautiful planet. I know no decision we make is more personal. But it also has the greatest impact.