Woman, 31, reasons that she got sterilized to 'save the planet' but This Morning's viewers slam her for not being motherly
One woman in the US has revealed the reason behind her decision to get sterilized at only 31-years-old and it all has to do with saving the planet. Gwynn Mackellen, who is from San Francisco, has given an explanation of how she has made the brave choice to not have any children. She has said that this is the best thing she can do to help save the planet. The recycling consultant spoke on This Morning and said that she would probably "feel bad" if she ever had children because of the "negative impact" it will have on the planet. British viewers, however, called her "crazy" and one of them even said that she was using environmental issues as an "excuse" and that she is just "not motherly".
The Daily Mail reported that when talking about her decision to be sterilized, Mackellen said: "I would feel bad bringing another person in the world. All the other choices that you can make [to help the environment] are very small in comparison. Once you have that person they have impact, and they could have offspring."
Mackellen went on to say: "I think there are a lot of ways you can have children in your life that don't necessarily involve creating a child." She suggested adopting or fostering a child, or even babysitting or becoming close with family members' children instead.
Mackellen identifies as an antinatalist, who believe that it’s cruel to bring sentient lives, doomed to suffering and to causing suffering, into the world. “Or at least I think our culture is very pro-natalist and it’s to our detriment. I would like to see us voluntarily reduce our population.” But cultural pressures, she says, drive people to have children by celebrating childbearing without acknowledging the consequences for themselves and the planet, reports The Guardian.
This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield took a tough stance with the recycling consultant and asked her if she thought the two of them were "selfish" for having children. Mackellen replied: "I don't want to judge somebody else." She also added, however, that she wanted more people to see the environmental benefits of not having any children or having fewer children. She said: "It's something that's just not talked about, even though it's the most effective thing we can do to reduce our environmental impact."
She did not manage to convince some pretty furious viewers of the show and many of them called her reasoning behind not having children as "ridiculous". One viewer commented: "[E]veryone can do what they want and have their opinions, but sterilized at 31 is crazy." Another said: "She got sterilized to save the planet... If we all did that it would be the end of the human race!" Many others said she was just using the environment as an excuse because she isn't "motherly".
There were other viewers who supported Mackellen's decision to get sterilized. One of the viewers said: "Good on her, there's way too many people on the planet and we've already destroyed it almost beyond repair." Another one took to Twitter and said: "I've been trying to get sterilized for 6 years but because there's no medical reason for me to have one no one will even talk to me about it."
This Morning host Holly Willoughby, however, was less than impressed with Mackellen's logic to the whole situation. The recycling consultant had told the hosts and the viewers that the world should not have any children for the next ten years for the environment to have a chance at repairing itself. This caused some irritation with Willoughby who has children of her own.
Willoughby asked Mackellen why having three children is so bad for the environment. She asked: "I have three children. What have I released onto the planet that is so detrimental?" She cited a Swedish study that that says having one child less is more than 2000 times more meaningful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than recycling.
She said: "All the other choices you can make are very small in comparison. Once you create that person they have their own effects and they have offspring. It's not about not having kids it's the impact of people." Mackellen said that she had thought about getting herself sterilized when she was in her 20s. She also said that she had asked every partner of her's since then to get a vasectomy. She said: "My current partner said if it's so important why don't you do it yourself. I started looking into that and took many years to find a doctor. It was a difficult process."
This Morning's Phillip Schofield then asked Mackellen is she ever felt guilty about her own life and existence after taking such a strong stance on children. She said: "I didn't ask to be born so it wasn't something I caused. I don't feel that way but I feel responsible for making sure any negative impact ends in me." The show's viewers were left stunned by what the recycling consultant was saying on the show and started picking apart the flawed logic.
One of the viewers asked: "If we stopped having children for the next 10yrs what would happen to the economy and schools? And how would we select who had children and who didn't?"
A second viewer said: "But if everyone stopped having kids the human race would die out, then what’ll happen to the planet." A third viewer added: "Everyone can do what they want and have their opinions, but sterilized at 31 is crazy. Our children could grow to make this a better place.. I couldn’t imagine not having my children."