The Center for Biological Diversity distributed 50,000 condoms on New Year’s Eve to raise awareness about the effects of human overpopulation on endangered species.
The condom packages bear artwork of six different endangered species such as the spotted owl with phrases like “wear a condom now…save the spotted owl” or a jaguar with “wear a jimmy hat…save the big cat”, but my personal favorite is the package for the snail darter, a fish living in Tennessee: “hump smarter…save the snail darter”.
The condoms will be distributed by volunteers across all fifty states. California, New York and Florida have the highest number of volunteers giving out the condoms.
The CBD has been distributing the condoms all year but they plan to distribute extra on New Year’s Eve because it is one of the biggest days of the year for condom use. The CBD estimates that 5,000 volunteers worked to distribute the condoms all year, with over 600 of them working just on New Year’s.
Human overpopulation is the primary cause of extinction among all species. The CBD says that our exploding population is endangering 12 percent of mammal species, 31 percent of reptiles, and 37 percent of fish.
Even if we reduce our carbon footprint, eliminate waste, and start to use our natural resources in an efficient manner, the sheer number of humans on this planet means that we can only do but so much without reducing how much we are reproducing.
World population growing fast
The world’s population is expected to hit seven billion in 2011. The number of people on Earth has nearly doubled in the past 40 years. This kind of growth is unsustainable, and we have to start thinking of population control as an important part of environmentalism, as an important part of our commitment to animal rights, and as a part of our commitment to human rights.
By choosing not to reproduce we can not only reduce the amount of resources we use, we can reduce our contribution to the extinction of endangered species, and we can choose to adopt one of the tens of millions of homeless children on the planet.
A commitment to saving animals and to saving the planet requires a degree of personal sacrifice, but we wince at the idea of asking someone not to reproduce. We feel comfortable telling people that they should drive a smaller car, or ride a bike. We are frequently telling each other not to eat certain foods, wear certain fibers, support certain companies. But we stop ourselves from asking the difficult question about whether or not it’s ecologically responsible to have children.
The choice to have children is a very emotional and very personal issue for most people, but that doesn’t change the numbers. We cannot ask someone else to be the first person to make a change.
If we choose to adopt, we not only give a home to a child who is already here, who already needs love, who already needs help, but we also can reduce the impact we are making on the planet and the animals inhabiting it with us.
If you had a chance to pick up a few of the condomes during the festivities on New Year’s Eve, keep a couple with you and remember that your choice to practice safe sex may not just keep you healthier but could mean the health and well-being of hundreds of endangered species.