Concerned about the overpopulation of our planet and the effect it has on wildlife? Perhaps it's time to talk about the most effective form of male contraception.
The idea of getting "whacked" probably isn't very high on any man's list of things he'd like to have happen to him, but when it comes to helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies, it might be the best choice he can make, short of living a celibate lifestyle.
With a population of some 7 billion and growing, the Earth is experiencing unprecedented pressure on its ecosystems, and while we don't have any definitive answers yet to the question of how we're going to feed and clothe and house and provide power to all of us, we can make a difference over the long term by trying to keep our population in check. And while female birth control has been an effective solution to that end, by helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies, it's also a decidedly gender-specific one, and one which leaves literally half of the population out of the conversation.
To help boost the awareness about how men can be an effective part of one solution to overpopulation, World Vasectomy Day was founded in 2013, and was "celebrated" globally for its first time in 2014, thanks to the efforts of filmmaker Jonathan Stack and urologist Dr Doug Stein.
"World Vasectomy Day is an educational event to promote greater understanding and participation by men in family planning. We believe that vasectomy is an excellent and safe method for men whose families are complete to prevent unintended pregnancies. And while we don’t promote vasectomies for everyone, we do hope that our event will encourage men to participate in this crucial conversation. The message is not just about how many vasectomies are completed, but how many conversations about men’s role in family planning are launched."
For this year's event, on November 13, 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity is offering a little incentive to those men who are willing to make the choice to get a vasectomy and then tell the world why they chose to “Get Whacked for Wildlife.” A free t-shirt isn't much of a reward, to be sure, but wearing your vasectomy on your sleeve, so to speak, could help raise awareness of the issue of overpopulation and one potential action that men can take to help reduce their complicity in it.
Of course, a vasectomy isn't for everyone, and although it's not permanent, reversing a vasectomy isn't nearly as simple or cheap as the initial surgery is, so it's important to fully understand the implications of having the procedure done before making the decision. But other than "shooting blanks," and not contributing to unwanted pregnancies, a vasectomy has no other effects on the man's health, including sex drive and hormone production, so it can be a win/win situation for those who are ready to get "snipped." [Editor's note: The Mayo Clinic notes that for most men, a vasectomy doesn't cause any noticeable side effects, and serious complications are rare; but sometimes there can be side effects after surgery.] And it's said to be not nearly as fearful or painful of an event as many men might think:
"Most men are surprised how little pain it causes, which given the amount of anxiety many of us feel beforehand is pretty amazing. In fact, done by a skilled provider, the most shocking part of this is how fast it is. Fifteen minutes from pants down to pants up."
Get more info at the movement's website: World Vasectomy Day.