Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or VHEMT (pronounced ‘vehement’), is a movement which calls for the voluntary gradual self-extinction of the human species through abstaining from reproduction. VHEMT’s motto is ‘May we live long and die out.’ Proponents of VHEMT concepts are characterized either as supporters, or as volunteers (extinctionists).

Les U. Knight of Portland, Oregon is generally cited as founding VHEMT in 1991, although he does not take credit for it. Knight is the owner of vhemt.org and acts as a spokesman for the movement. In his mid-twenties, he underwent a vasectomy in support of his conviction that, ‘It’s obvious that the intentional creation of another [human being] by anyone anywhere can’t be justified today.’ During the 1970s, he joined the organization Zero Population Growth.

The primary motivation of VHEMT as a movement is the belief that the biosphere of the planet Earth would be better off without humans. In VHEMT’s view, the human race is akin to an ‘exotic invader,’ whose population is out of control and threatens other species with extinction, and only removal of the human race can restore the natural ecological order. VHEMT’s primary goals are to influence people to choose to not reproduce and to advocate ready access for all human beings to methods of birth control.

VHEMT also questions why humans choose to breed, citing influences such as culture and religion. The informal organization does not advocate suicide, believing that extinctionists have value in discouraging reproduction, nor does it endorse mass compulsory sterilization or forced abortion. According to Knight, VHEMT advocates ‘whatever it takes to avoid creating a new human,’ but the movement does not promote abortion or other methods of terminating life because, ‘Abortion is inconceivable without conception — so contraception prevents abortions.’

One Comment to “Voluntary Human Extinction Movement”

  1. We love to be Vhemt, we love to be.

    Happy new Year.

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