Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green Sex

Contraception is bad for the environment. Need proof? Try calculating the carbon footprint produced by the laboratory production, packaging, marketing, shipping, stocking and consumption of Ortho-Tryclyclin in the United States alone, and you've got a number that rivals the output of Air Force One on Earth Day.

But seriously... has anyone stopped to consider the very real ramifications of literally millions of couples eschewing sex "au natural" in favor of a more controlled and convenient conjugal collaboration? No? Well, I suppose nobody asked questions about pumping bovine growth hormones into our dairy cows until our nine year olds began menstruating, either, but I digress.

The point is this: for a society so infatuated with the practice of lessening consumer tendencies, it's awfully fishy that no body's pointed a finger at Merck or Wyeth or one of Big Pharm's other big players, asking the tough questions about energy output and the environmental ramifications of pumping billions 0f gallons of estrogen-enhanced waste through our waterways.

I wrote last year about Boulder, Colorado's dirty little secret: one of the "greenest" towns in the USA is turning a blind eye to the mutation of one of their beloved indigenous animal species. A strange phenomenon for a city known to be infatuated with all things animalia... but then, stranger things have come from Boulder.

Dr. Janet Smith of "Contraception, Why Not?" fame spoke her piece on the Pill at Boulder's CU campus recently, where she jokingly retitled her signature talk "Green Sex" for the occasion. She made a good point, though. And it's one worth examining further.

Why aren't we hearing any buzz about "green sex?" Why hasn't there been public outcry over the pollution produced by hormonal contraceptive use? And perhaps most disturbing of all, why aren't women up in arms about the ramifications that even short-term contraceptive use have on their health?

Because going green - in the bedroom - is not the most convenient option. Because we don't really care what we're doing to our bodies, as long as our bodies do exactly what we tell them to.

Because what it's really about, contraceptively speaking, is convenience at all cost. At any cost. For some, the cost will be greater. But every one of us is paying the price.

1 comment:

  1. I forget the researcher's name, but in Great Britain an ecologist did a study examining artificial hormone levels in the water and their effect on the reproductive help of fish, birds, and frogs. His findings were ghastly, to say the least.

    Even without the (numerous) theological and moral arguments against contraception, the environmental, demographic, economic, and sociological reasons are more than enough impetus to take another look at contraception.

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