After reading From IF to When's blog post last night I just had to write this letter. It's not as eloquent or as powerful as some of the letters I have written but I just HAD to do it. I had to throw my hat in the ring. I seriously had a hot flash last night after reading this. I read it to BJ and he just shook his head...he doesn't fully understand but he pretended that he does so he gets brownie points for that. :-)
Dear Ms. Newkirk,
I don't usually write letters like this but I feel such disdain about your vasectomy contest that I can no longer sit quietly by. I think your organization really needs to take a step back and really think about what you are saying when you run a contest in "honor" of a disease that over 7 million people suffer from. Yes, infertility is a disease as recognized by the World Health Organization, maybe you have heard of them?
I have been reading letter after letter and response after response between my fellow infertiles and your staff. One response in particular made my blood boil...literally...I had a hot flash I was so angry. I have pasted the segment below for your review. This came from HollyAnne Dame to a woman that suffers from infertility.
Having one’s own child may be a compelling urge, but it isn’t helpful to act on all our urges, no matter how strong. The issue is not whether one is infertile but whether it is responsible to keep adding people to a planet whose resources are already being stretched. In America, most people eat well, have a roof over their heads, and buy gasoline, but in much of the rest of the world, people are starving, forests are disappearing, and water is running out, and it seems a moral conundrum for some of us to be spending thousands of dollars trying to reproduce ourselves when there are homeless children, including some with disabilities, who want for homes.
Let me ask you this, is it a prerequisite for PETA employees to be sterilized? If I were to apply for a job with PETA would I only be allowed to expand my family via adoption? Would I be fired if I got pregnant on my own?
Having a child is not just a compelling urge to humans, it's the way of the world. If we lived by your standards humans would fade away and who would be here to care for the animals? Every animal I have ever owned (and there have been quite a few) have all been rescued. If you really want the world to stop reproducing then you should think about how that would affect the animal population as well.
The infertile community is one of the most animal loving groups out there. We can't have babies so to fulfill our human need (or compelling urge) to nurture and love, we adopt animals...and lots of them. And we are responsible about it, too. PETA, on the other hand is not so responsible in how they try to get attention for their cause. Holding the contest is not what bothers us so much. It's the fact that you are holding it during National Infertility Awareness Week, a week in which we set aside to educate others about our struggles. A week set aside to bring awareness to our disease and hopefully some understanding as well. PETA is clearly mocking us and we will not stand for it.
I am appalled that you thought this was a good idea. Choosing to get a vasectomy is very different from infertility and should not, under any circumstances, be thought of as the same thing. We do not choose to be infertile. We fight infertility every day with the hopes of coming out the other side. We have to fight against the shame and embarrassment of our disease. We have to fight insurance companies that don't want to treat our disease. We have to fight the ignorance and the misconceptions of our disease with the people in our lives. And now it seems that we have to fight PETA, too. And we will do so. We are strong and we are ready.
And here is the response I received:
"Please be patient. Your email will be sorted and answered or left to await Ms. Newkirk's return. Thank you!"
Maybe I'll get lucky and I'll get a real response later.
UPDATE: - If you would like to send your own letter to PETA you can use this address - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your kind words about my letter...still no real response yet, not even the dreaded form letter. Stay tuned! And FYI - this is a great way to distract me from my sore belly and my crazy hormones. :-)