I’m feeling some hypocrisy coming on…

Have you heard about all the hermaphroditic fish swimming around our waters? And, the very real potential that their sexual dysfunction might crash certain species’ populations? I know I’ve seen some articles about that, which theorized that it was some industrial pollution.

Well, it turns out that there is a very large source of estrogen to pollute water: oral contraceptives. Dom Bettinelli sagely observes:

Imagine if this were not birth control, but some byproduct of fast food or gasoline-powered cars. Groups like PETA and Greenpeace and all the rest of the treehuggers would be demanding action, protesting, holding die-ins, throwing fake (and real) blood on corporate executives, and all the rest of the histrionics.

Cut down a redwood tree and dope-smoking, dreadlocked, unwashed hippies will camp on your doorstep. If there’s even a hint that rabbits or monkeys in labs are exposed not to danger but lack of comfort, they’ll burn our house down. But aquatic ecosystems are being flooded with an artificial chemical threatening some species with extinction due to the die-off of breeding males and you hear not a peep.

Because no one better mess with our right to have sex without consequences. Of course, we know that the no-consequences promise is a lie, don’t we?

He’s exactly right. Our right to “free love” is one of the few things that would certainly outweigh environmentalism in the eyes of its typical devotees. When I see a tax on oral contraceptives to fund cleanup, or restrictions on them due to environmental devastation, I’ll believe it. But, I suspect our fish will remain gender confused for years to come.

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3 Responses to “I’m feeling some hypocrisy coming on…”


  1. 1 Argent May 8, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Are the hermaphrodite fish fertile?

  2. 2 Edmund C. May 8, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    No idea, but I’m doubting it, because it’s rather unlikely that either set of gonads is entirely normal.

  3. 3 Argent May 9, 2007 at 12:36 am

    So, if they can’t reproduce, you’re looking at endangered fish heading for extinction, aren’t you? Oh, the irony…humans controlling their reproductive cycles end up killing off the little fishies in the sea…which in turn endangers the rest of the food chain…hmmmm….that’s certainly one way of taking care of global warming.


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