*This photo is evidence that I know better than most how beautiful and amazing that your own baby is*
UNICEF released a report recently predicting that by 2100 40% of the worlds population will be African (Nigeria being the most populous at nearly 1 billion in 86 years). Dude.
Let’s not forget a few things. Africa is a continent, with a ton of space. But, also home to the Kalahari, Sahara and Serengetti. Fertility rates have fallen in most African countries but not as starkly as other global regions. Fertility per woman in Sub Saharan Africa in 2011 was over 5 children. The world average being 2.5. Here’s a super interesting table by the world bank showing countries fertility trends. The U.S is up from 1.9 to 2.0. Look out for the Gold Medal competitors: Serbia, China, Poland, Bosnia and South Korea at 1.3 and less.
In other NOT news: access to contraceptives sucks for African women. According to this story in the economist, 60% of women in the rest of the developing world have access to birth control and condoms yet, in Africa that number is 20%. There’s a multitude of reasons that I’m really not well versed enough to speak to one could assume lack of resources, social ideals, government opinion on contraceptives, lack of education to name a few. And we’re mad about Hobby Lobby, (actually I am mad about Hobby Lobby, here we go again it’s all relative).
We can all debate the consequences of falling below repopulation. There are very real GDP, financial, social implications. Queue Japan’s current predicament anyone?
But, in my opinion (yes it is more than possible to feed way more people than we are globally) natural resource conservation is paramount. And you can’t really do that with 10.9 billion consuming people running about, at least with out a miracle. Maybe we should all do a rain dance or hug a farmer. What we should defiantly do is keep cultivating our collective unconsciousness towards starving children. That’s a real drag, no one likes the ‘Save the Children’ infomercials to interrupt Cup Cake Wars. Who’s fondant sculptures will survive to the trip to the judging table… the suspense is killing me. I mean us. We ‘aint got time for your poor little distended belly…..
2100. That’s in 86 years. If by then we haven’t exterminated ourselves with solar radiation or SARS, Ev will be the tender age of 91 years old. She can sit on her porch swing and tell the neighborhood children about “when I was a kid there were only 7 billion of us”.
What I really meant to rant about was a comment after this NPR article, in response to someone trolling. .
“You shouldn’t be having children because you “like babies.” That’s fleeting. You should be having babies if you’re excited about helping another being grow and thrive.
BTW, many of the people who take birth control like babies – in fact, they’ve usually had one or two of them.”
I used to think that I wanted a BABY, infact I wanted two babies maybe three. Then I had one. And still sometimes the old (pre-IUD) Reagon would get caught up in the throws of ovulation and be reallllll damn sure that she NEEDED babies. She was wrong. She’ll probably be wrong again.
Wanting a baby is like wanting a puppy. Everyone wants them. It’s a shame that our reproductive organs weren’t run like animal shelters. Fill out an application, do an in home visit. Take a three year old out to the yard to run around with for an hour to make sure that you’re real sure. Now precede to fertilization.
Indeed babies are fleeting. Make sure that you’re as stoked about your 7 year old as you are the perspective of cute cuddly (screaming, pooping, puking, restless) but fraking adorable baby. I’m not implying that anyone regrets there children, I’m just encouraging you to be responsible about your reproductive freedom.
We are animals, we breed. We are also capable of higher thought. Think it through. And enjoy that you are one of the 99% of American women who have exercised her right to birth control.