A doctor from Florida has performed a live vasectomy in a bid to lower the planet’s population one snip at a time.
Doug Stein is a tireless campaigner for men to take responsibility for family planning and preventing unintended pregnancies.
His round-the-world journey, which has been captured in a feature-length film, has now taken him to Adelaide where he has performed vasectomies in front of a live audience.
The vasectomist is somewhat of a crusader in his field, encouraging those who are ready to exit the gene pool via a delicate and relatively simple procedure.
“There’s a real beauty in parenthood and I think everybody who wants to should experience it,” he said.
“I just think that people should have only the children that they want because each of us is a fairly significant burden on the planet and competitors with our fellow species.”
A public vasectomy is an unusual way to approach the very broad and vexed topic of population control and resource management.
Father of four Chris Wiren is one of 16 volunteers in Adelaide who was willing to get the snip publicly for the first World Vasectomy Day.
“I don’t feel like any less of a man and no my voice hasn’t gone up higher. It’s all fine and no it didn’t hurt,” Mr Wiren said.
Dr Stein, who began his quest in his home state of Florida, says it is a viable way to reduce our carbon footprint and it is time for men to step up.
“We’re not really selling vasectomy; we’re selling individual responsibility,” he said.
“Responsibility to your partner, to share in the risks associated with having a healthy sex life but not getting pregnant. In other words, to eliminate from her the female contraceptives.”
Dropping their pants and sharing a story
As Dr Stein’s passion grew, so too did his reach. He travelled to the Philippines and Haiti on vasectomy missions, where he witnessed confronting scenes of poverty and overpopulation.
His journey was captured on film.
“We’re hoping that some of the things we learned in the Philippines can be applied to Haiti,” Dr Stein said.
“We were offering $20 to cover their transportation and their day lost from work et cetera and they came by the busload.”
Emmy Award-winning director Jonathan Stack is behind The Vasecomist, which just premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival.
“I don’t think there’s any more interesting or unique way to travel a country than vasectomy missions,” Stack said.
“It’s just interesting when guys pull their pants down and then share their life story.
“It’s just like you’re not going to get men to literally bare their soul quite like it is when their pants are down.”
Live snips to promote World Vasectomy Day
The film also became the perfect partner to launch World Vasectomy Day, and with it a plan to perform vasectomies in front of a live and online audience in Adelaide and across the globe.
One-hundred-and-eighty-four doctors across 25 countries signed up in an attempt to perform 1,000 vasectomies over 24 hours.
“I constructed the idea as a sort of band of brothers, men coming together for serve a greater purpose, that they would put their balls on the line for mother earth, meaning that we would actually make a sacrifice, that women make the sacrifice all the time,” Stack said.
A small sacrifice, according to Dr Stein. He has given more than 30,000 men the snip so far and has no intention of slowing down.
He says he wants his legacy to be to prevent as many unintended pregnancies as he can.
“It’s a win for the man, win for the children that he already has, win for his partner, and win for his planet,” Dr Stein said.