It has been awhile, so I thought I would write. Really I like writing, but it has been a tough semester. Classes are almost over and this is going to be an entry before finals and then hopefully I'll post a little more frequently.
So Emily left a comment the other day asking about my thoughts on kids. I am of a religious persuasion that believes that we, like Adam, were commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth". When you go to environmental websites and the topic of children comes up it is often considered irresponsible to have kids because of global overpopulation and the resources that it takes to support a growing world population.
Here's how I see it. If you read the scripture where Adam is commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth", that is not all that the scripture says. Read it, it's Genesis 1:28, in the very same verse it talks about subduing and ruling over the earth. I recognize that some Christians believe that subduing and ruling over the earth means that the earth is God's gift for us to use. I have a hard time believing that God would like to see us hurting His creation. I believe that when God told Adam to subdue and rule over the earth, He was giving Adam a sort of stewardship, not to destroy the earth, but to regulate it so that resources could be shared and all generations would have access to the goods brought forth by God's creation.
I think that those two commandments go hand in hand. If we do not regulate the goods God has given us, we may not have what we need to raise our children, and He did also command to have children. As we prepare for our third child (expected in late January or early February), this does weigh on my mind. That is a big part of the reason I try to live lightly on the land, I want to leave the earth in good shape for my kids and I believe that God gave me stewardship over the land (along with everyone else who lives here), and expects me to take care of it until He returns. That is a major reason that I do not eat meat. I do not have anything morally or religiously against eating meat, but beef production is a major source of greenhouse gases, and more importantly, if land were used for growing grains and vegetables it would produce far more food to feed the world's people than using the grains to feed the cows that the people eat. Likewise I don't drive often because I know that it contributes to destroying the earth and I want to minimize that. I still have work to do on turning off lights, recycling grey water, buying local organic goods, etc, but I am taking actions to start doing my part.
In addition, I am trying to raise children who will tread lightly on the land. They too will have to preserve in order to enable their kids to have what they need. I am quite proud that my children do not know what McDonald's is. They have not asked for anything for Christmas because they haven't seen the ads. They know that paper goes in the recycle bin under the sink, food waste goes in the compost and non-recyclable stuff goes into the trash. They know they don't need to flush after urinating, but to flush after #2. They are simple things, but they help preserve the earth.
I recognize that with what the world as a whole is consuming, it may be taxing on the earth to have more kids, but I also feel that if managed correctly the earth can sustain us. We all must do our part to preserve the earth that God gave us.
Wow, I don't usually do the religion thing on this website... but I think this is important. So there is the answer to your question Emily.