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"Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population." While most parents view their children as the ultimate miracle of nature, Toni seems to see them as a sinister threat to the future.
It's an extreme stance which one might imagine is born from an unhappy childhood or an upbringing among parents who share similar, strong beliefs.
"When I was a child, I loved bird-watching, and in my teens that developed into a passion for the environment as well as the welfare of animals - I became a vegetarian when I was 15.
"No sooner had we finished our wedding cake than all our relatives started to ask when they could expect a new addition to the family.
"I always told them that would never happen, but no one listened.
Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet. Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery. At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.
But nothing in Toni's safe, middle- class upbringing gave any clues as to the views which would shape her adult life.The eldest of three daughters, she enjoyed a loving, close-knit family life.