Orson Marcel makes six the total children/newborns alive and interacting within the circumference of my environment. Granted, I do not participate in this part of my environment, but the adults that do are either related or have been friends long enough that I consider them related. There are two other babies to be born that exist closely within my circle. The carriers, or their inseminators, are not close enough to be considered family. They are work related friends, so they are physically much closer, but philosophically and emotionally much further removed. If you’re counting, that is a total of eight, the oldest is four and the youngest is yet to be born.

In a sense I can consider myself surrounded. I have made a choice that no matter how seductive the offer, I will not create another human animal, but I would donate copious amounts of semen for cash; even though I consider the earth to be over-populated and becoming ever more so with each passing day. For it seems that despite of the overwhelming evidence to this effect I am witness to those of my generation or younger, fully informed of the affects of their actions, indulging in the act of breeding; even if at a far lower rate then that of their parents. My reasons for not breeding are far more selfish then concerns for over-population. I do not want to alter my lifestyle in any way to have to care for or watch a child, even as an ‘uncle’. I could, but there is not only no desire too, but a deep desire NOT TOO! I feel strongly about this for three reasons. One, because I am protecting my lifestyle, two, because I am concerned for the ecology of the Earth, and three, because I believe that quality of life far outweighs living for mere survival. What do I mean by that? That last one, quality of life? Some people will tell you that there is plenty of room on this planet for more people. OK, true. In China there are so many people in one area that they live on top of each other in insectoid honey comb like buildings. In Japan there are those that live in cubicles just big enough for you to lie down in. Is that a life worth living? What about the one billion people that are starving? That’s right ONE BILLION people are starving. Some would say that there is plenty of food; it’s just that the economic system of the world does not allow for them to get their needed sustenance. Is that a life worth living? Being fed just enough to stay alive for the next day so that some privileged American college student doesn’t feel guilty that at any time he can, pretty much, eat whatever he wants? There are going to be too many people on this earth someday for anyone to live a life worth living. That is what I mean by quality of life, living so that basic needs like food, shelter and space are prevalent enough for one to pursue other goals, pleasures and experiences. For EVERYONE. This is not possible at the current rate of human population growth.

By the time my father was my age, he had already helped create four boys, gotten divorced, and possibly remarried, or was about to remarry and help create a daughter. Wow! This is seriously unbelievable to even fathom from my strict bachelor code of a life experience. Do I respect the amount of responsibility and sacrifice it takes to have and raise children? Yes. For my mother (and my father in certain instances) to have done the amazing job she did raising four intelligent, tough yet kind, hard working boys in what at times was next to squalor, is simply an accomplishment beyond words, rewarding in only a way a mother and father would know.

I acknowledge and understand all of this, and yet the very real dark side to procreation is also ever present in my thoughts. I will not begin to express that right here or right now. But those essays are coming and they will be posted, and I can only hope that the people that I love and their ilk will understand that I am merely practicing my right to freedom of speech and expression, and that these are not attacks on their choices, lifestyles, or the people they love and care for. And even, possibly, try to accept that there are others with viable and valuable perceptions and opinions on this very controversial but relevant and timely subject, which will just become ever more so as time moves on.