Blog / 2022 / Childfree, Meatfree, Godfree, Genderfree

January 10, 2022

I’m a childfree vegan atheist who’d probably also consider herself genderfree if she’d been born a decade or so later. Or, in the words of parents and popes alike, I’m a “self-righteous liberal cunt” who lacks humanity, and me and my kind are plotting the downfall of civilization.

The more charitable among the parents might not be so harsh, but they would still probably consider me a quadruple negation:

  • without children
  • without meat, dairy, or eggs
  • without religion
  • without gender

And while I understand their logic—I was, after all, raised under the same mainstream paradigm of making babies, eating animals, worshipping gods, and being binary—I’d like to make it clear once and for all that I’m not “without.”

I’m childfree, because I love the world.

Many parents love their children intensely. They’d even go so far as to say that they didn’t understand love until they had children, and that’s fine. The problem starts when those parents assume that, because they didn’t “get it” until they had kids, no one else can. It’s shocking to me that I have to say this—and especially to parents—but not everyone is built the same way. Not everyone needs to make the same choice in order to find purpose and meaning in their lives.

I’m vegan, because I love the future.

Yes, I became a vegetarian and then a vegan for health reasons, but, as I enter my thirteenth year of not putting dead critters into my mouth, I’ve got to tell you that I’m thrilled that my food choices make a difference to the planet. A vegan meal is the single easiest way for an individual to contribute to the Earth’s health on the regular. I don’t think people should hate themselves when they eat cheese, but doing a happy dance every time your meal is fully plant-based is definitely worthwhile. It’s how I managed to make the change, one celebratory wiggle at a time!

I’m an atheist, because I love humanity.

I’m not saying that religious people can’t love humanity, just that their love of god or guru is often so intense that they overlook all the harm that religion does. At the moment, that harm is showing up in starkly terrifying terms in our hospitals and schools, which are imploding because too many people insist that science—with its vaccines and its penchant for critical thought—is irrelevant. Some of these people believe that their faith protects them from a deadly airborne virus, but many more are in an in-between state. They’re not strictly religious. Instead, they’re counting on magical positive thinking to bring us through this crisis without requiring us to make any major changes to our daily lives, to the way children and teachers are treated in this country, or to our economic system.

I’m low-key genderfree, because I love myself.

“She” is my pronoun of choice, but I’ll happily accept “they” or even “he” so long as the words aren’t used spitefully. The truth is that, more than an accurate representation of my identity, “she” stands for a victory over the patriarchy and all the ways it tried to persuade me that women are less than men. I like it for that reason, but I still wonder who I’d be if I’d grown up in a world that was more welcoming to the questioning kid I was.

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Though there are children like this one, whom I adore because I adore the people who made them, I doubt that I’ll ever be a huge part of any one kid’s life. And that’s okay by me, because my love for myself, for humanity, for the future, and for the world means that I’m huge part of every kid’s life. My choices make things a tiny bit better, and I’m proud of that.

baby portrait, custom portrait art
Gwenn Seemel
acrylic on wood
12 x 9 inches

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