Giving birth to a child is “the worst thing you can do” to the climate, says philosophy professor Patricia MacCormack of Anglia Ruskin University.
The professor, author of The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene who describes herself as an “old school goth,” says that the only way to save the planet is to stop having children and allow humans to become extinct.
According to the official description of the book, MacCormack “actively embraces issues like human extinction, vegan abolition, atheist occultism, death studies, a refusal of identity politics, deep ecology, and the apocalypse as an optimistic beginning.”
Due to global overpopulation, giving birth is the worst thing you can do to the planet, MacCormack sustains, while insisting that she is not advocating wiping out the existing population but rather letting it die off.
“Far from advocating mass death, genocide or eugenics, my manifesto is antinatalist,” says MacCormack. “It boycotts human reproduction due to the damage humans have perpetrated on the Earth and its other inhabitants.”
“The manifesto simply asks that humans no longer reproduce – no life is lost, no being is mourned,” she states. “If we no longer reproduce, we can care for all inhabitants already here, human and non-human, as well as care for the Earth itself by mitigating the damage already caused. It’s an activism of care.”
A native Australian, MacCormack says her opinions have been manipulated and misunderstood.
“I simply propose people not reproduce, and it automatically translated into acts of violence,” she has said.
“So, somehow, I want to kill children, which is ridiculous. Somehow, I’m proposing eugenics or some kind of ethnic population control,” she declares, “and I think that what that shows is there is an anthropocentric — or a human — impulse to read acts of grace as, automatically, acts of violence.”
“And that says a lot more about the people not reading the book and just taking over the message,” she states.
MacCormack, who moonlights as a London DJ, said that her position can be “triggering” because it forces people to confront an idea that contradicts their fundamental view of the world.
Along with her opinions regarding the human population, MacCormack advocates overcoming “human privilege” through what she calls “abolitionist veganism,” or the notion that no sentient being should be treated as property of another.
According to MacCormack, her manifesto “questions the value of human exceptionalism, asking are humans really the ‘best’ forms of life, or should we dismantle our understanding of life as a hierarchy for a more ecological, interconnected scheme of living things?”
“There are people living in the apocalypse right now — especially non-human animals — who have born into an apocalypse. They live to suffer and then they’re murdered,” she said.
Among other climate action groups, MacCormack says that those like the protest group Extinction Rebellion have the right idea but are not going far enough.
“Even Extinction Rebellion only focus on the effect this will have on human life, when climate change is something that will affect every living being on the planet,” she states.
Anglia Ruskin University holds up MacCormack’s ideas on climate, but also underscores her expertise in feminism, queer theory, posthuman ethics, animal studies, and horror films.
“Currently she is working on a new impact case study on inclusivity in mental health and criminal justice especially in relation with issues of sexual difference and Trans rights,” the university website reads.