Progressive or Parody? ‘Stop Having Kids’ Movement Raises Eyebrows, Epitomizes Leftist Self-Loathing

2024-04-07 15:00:18

It’s been fashionable in far-left circles for some time now to brag about how you’ve decided not to have kids in the name of the environment and climate change.

As The Guardian reported in their “climate crisis” section in late 2023, “New research has found many people are now basing their decisions not to have children on their fears of climate breakdown”:

The study, by a team of academics at University College London, is believed to be the first systematic review to explore how and why climate-related concerns may be affecting reproductive decision-making.

Their analysis found that, in 12 of 13 studies, stronger concerns about climate breakdown were associated with a desire for fewer children, or none at all.


Uncertainty about the future and concerns about the ecological impact of the growing human population were key factors also identified by research, according to Hope Dillarstone, lead author on the study published in the journal PLOS Climate. Dillarstone and her colleagues found that concerns such as those outlined by [antinatalist Emma] Smart were by no means unusual.

As crazy as so-called “climate anxiety” sounds, it gets crazier. There’s another movement out there that goes way beyond “let’s hold off on/don’t have kids for the sake of the environment.” For the folks at “Stop Having Kids,” people shouldn’t have children because, well, everything is awful:

I have to admit, I thought at first that this movement had to be a parody.  I mean, if you look at their website, most if not all images they have appear to be AI-generated, and some of the “information” they’ve posted there reads just like a parody.

For instance, they describe themselves as “antinatalists“:

Antinatalism is a stance that it is wrong for humans as a whole to procreate. For SHK antinatalism is a philosophical and ethical stance against human reproduction, rooted in harm reduction and rational consideration for future life. Antinatalism regards the implications that procreation has, both for humans, other animals, and the natural world. Many antinatalists consider intentional human reproduction (besides exceptions related to force) an irreversible, unnecessary, indefensible, and enduring form of harm, regardless of circumstances, situations, or consciousness in living.

The spread of intentionally abstaining from procreation can radically reduce suffering, exploitation, and environmental destruction in the world. Refraining from creating new life is the most efficient and effective means of minimizing suffering and injustice for all current and future sentient beings.

But as it turns out, it is a real movement, as noted by the Portland, Oregon-based Willamette Week in 2022:

The boards, at Northeast Killingsworth Street and Interstate 205 and Southeast Division and 106th Avenue, went up Jan. 3 and 12, respectively. Both blare the same terse message: “Stop Having Kids,” in white text on a black background.

The billboards say they are paid for by a little-known organization called Stop Having Kids. That same advocacy group, which got its start in Portland, according to a spokeswoman, put up a third billboard along Interstate 5 near Salem: “A Lot of Humans Wish They Had Never Been Born.”


Stop Having Kids spokeswoman Ashley Riddle says the group started informally in Portland a few months before March 2021 and identifies itself as a “collective liberation movement.” Its website makes the group’s platform clear: The organization is “antinatalist,” meaning it’s against all human reproduction.


State records show, however, that Stop Having Kids was incorporated in January 2021 by Eric Goldberg, a Portland photographer whose middle name is Dietz.

Dietz, who is also an animal rights activist, was profiled by Harper’s Magazine in March:

In the summertime, Alex and Dietz decided to take a road trip. The two had met years earlier on Instagram, as fellow animal-rights activists, and had discovered that they agreed on much more than veganism. Actually they agreed on basically everything, including that new human life is not a gift but a needless perpetuation of suffering. Babies grow up to be adults, and adulthood contains loneliness, rejection, drudgery, hopelessness, regret, grief, and terror. Even grade school contains that much. Why put someone through that, Alex and Dietz agreed, when a child could just as well never have known existence at all? The unborn do not appear to be moaning at us from the void, petitioning to be let into life. This idea—that having children is unethical—has come to be known as antinatalism, and in 2021 Dietz set up an Instagram account for a new organization he called Stop Having Kids.

The Twitter/X bio for the “Stop Having Kids” advocates at the Bengali Antinatalists account reads as follows:

“We dedicate our work of love to tiny palms and innocent eyes, the ones who couldn’t protest when they where being bring kidnapped from their eternal sleep.”

As one might imagine, more than a few eyebrows have been raised about this movement, a movement which in my view epitomizes leftist self-loathing:

What he said.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Progressive or Parody? ‘Stop Having Kids’ Movement Raises Eyebrows, Epitomizes Leftist Self-Loathing


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