Big families are the new green

If people are the problem, let’s have fewer people — so goes the thinking of some environmentalists. (Joe Hargrave touches on this in his piece today called Man Vs. Nature.)

Our own Simcha Fisher turns this “have fewer kids” solution on its head in an article she wrote in Faith & Family. She begins like this:

Got a big family? Then you already know that you’re crazy, a traitor to feminism, and a slave to the pope; you’re neglecting most of your kids and robbing the rest of their childhood; you’re a burden on the system in general, and you probably don’t own a television set.
But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget, you’re also destroying the
earth.

Lately, it’s become fashionable for radical environmentalists to denounce large families as irresponsible, even selfish. Maybe you heard the remarks of the chairman of the U.K.’s Sustainable Development Commission, who said that, out of respect for the earth, couples should be legally limited to bearing two “replacement” children.

And yet, if we can get beyond the inflammatory rhetoric, do radical environmentalists have a point? Should we slow down a little? It almost seems like common sense, especially when you’re having one of those days when you do feel a little crowded by the swarms of ravening locusts — uh, I mean, treasured offspring who share your last name. After all, aren’t Catholics supposed to be good stewards of the earth?

Simcha goes on to discuss the ways large families are usually greener than smaller ones. Having grown up in a big brood, I can confirm all of these things were certainly true in my family, and in most of the big families I’ve known since. This is because it’s all about lifestyle, and not about numbers.

Read Simcha’s entire piece here.

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Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Godspy.com. Zo

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