Two recent images: two ways of messaging about the value of human life.
The first assumes that humans are far too fertile for earth's limited resources and that adding babies to the surface population only increases the opportunity for unequal distribution of resources. This recycled viewpoint was most recently perpetuated by Dan Savage, who proposed forced abortion for the next 30 years in America during a recent debate in Sydney. Mind you, this was in response to a question asking for a dangerous idea that would change the world for the better. But this is not coming from an exciting new idea but from a recycled idea dating to the 1960's view of the world as divided between the West and the Rest.
The second messaging is nonverbal and makes a blatantly emotional appeal, yet also grounds the discussion of the world's dire extremes of poverty back to the imminent prospect of parenthood.
Parenting: the Unexpected
As part of a global sustainability initiative, Unilever's Dove brand posted a short video recently, posing the question: "Why bring a child into the World?" Pointing out that the ad makes use of a strong emotional appeal, a writer for adweek comments it may not be the place of a soap maker to field such questions. Yet, the series of stark contrasts set up in the video provides an intriguing collection for a modernist argument on the problematic nature of becoming a prospective parent.