Should vegans have children? Examining the links between animal ethics and antinatalism

Paper by Joona Räsänen, published on February 11, 2023 in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

Ethical vegans and vegetarians believe that it is seriously immoral to bring into existence animals whose lives would be miserable. In this paper, I will discuss whether such a belief also leads to the conclusion that it is seriously immoral to bring human beings into existence. I will argue that vegans should abstain from having children since they believe that unnecessary suffering should be avoided. After all, humans will suffer in life, and having children is not necessary for a good life. Thus vegans, and probably vegetarians as well, should not have children. I will consider several objections against this controversial claim, show why the objections fail and conclude that it would be best for ethical vegans to abstain from procreation.

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2023