Entitlement and Having Children?

Hmm… This seems really interesting! As someone who isn’t really in a place or time to have children yet, (I’m single, finishing high school, and planning on leaving as soon as possible!) I think this question may be a paradox. On the one hand, it could be very harmful to have children now, because most of us don’t live sustainably and so our children would use up a lot of resources. As well, there are certainly too many people alive righ now, and our children would just add to the massive amount of people on earth. A solution could be to adopt, but I have heard mixed messages about adoption, both from close friends and folks on here.

However, the act of raising a child, regardless of whether you conceive the child yourself or not, is part of the essence of culture. Hunter-gatherer children learned stories and taboos, plants and fungi, from a very young age and so their sustainable cultures shaped them more easily than for someone who came from a vastly different culture. I’m having a tough enough time rewilding myself mentally, and I’m a lot younger then most of the folks on here! Raising a child presents an oppurtunity for us to pass on our values, and children have an easier time learning. It’s easier to fill up an empty cup than one with muddy water. So with our values and skill levels, our children could progress farther than we could in developing a sustainable culture, and for those of us who might not live to see the culmination of the collapse, let alone surviving it, raising children would seem like a win-win solution. We can teach them what we know and learn from them as well, regardless of how old they are (I learn so much from the children at the camp I work at!)

I’ve noticed that thinking about morally heavy topics is much easier now that I’m not depressed… The whole question of “do I deserve to have children in this world” seems to stem from the dilemma of a rewilder, especially the one living within civilization: why do I deserve to live if I live in an overpopulated world? When I was depressed, this question used to cause me to feel worse because of the answer: I don’t. Morally, my life has the same worth as the life of any other human. But the question doesn’t stop there. If I have the knowledge and potential to heal the earth, to heal my community, then I shouldnt give up my life to depression. My life in of itself isn’t worth more than another’s because of that, but I simply have the capability, the power, to help the world, so I should simply live and make my changes. With children, it seems very similar. I cannot say that I deserve to have children more than anybody else, but (and hopefully I don’t have children anytime soon!) I could help teach my children to live a healthier lifestyle. Around where I live, there are a lot of homesteaders and sustainable communities, and I’ve noticed that the children from these places are taught to help.

As well, it seems that the desire to have children may not only come from our sex hormones, but from something deeper within. Anyone who feels compelled to have children may as well do so!

Finally, there’s the whole biological point of having children: passing on genetics. Those of us who live healthily (No smoking, no excessive drinking, good diet, etc) can pass on healthy genes to their children. (I’m trying to tread lightly because of the whole “survival of the fittest” issue…) While your genetics do come from your ancestors, you still have a hand in your genetic health: smoking, drinking, and eating poor foods cause damage to your cells, especially in the genetic department. A person who is in better health than another doesn’t “deserve” to pass on their genes more than the other person, but these are still important factors. Also, the person in better health may have an easier time having children, male or female.

Personal story: I was almost aborted. (cue sound effects to trigger shock and excitement!) Both of my parents are of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (meaning that they come from Eastern Europe) and one genetic disease with some prevalence among these communities is called Tay-Sachs, in which the cells of a person with it cant clean themselves/rid the,selves of waste properly, and so people who have Tay-Sachs usually die quite young. The gene for Tay-Sachs is a recessive gene, meaning that there is only a chance of a child having the disease if both parents have the gene, and even then, it is a slim chance (1 in 25). Oh and it’s I curable as far as modern science can tell.

When my Parents thought about having a child, they talked to their doctors and asked if there were any issues. The doctors must not have though about it, so the doctor simply said no. Fast forward some time, and I was conceived. So my pregnant mom goes to the doctor for a check up (this was early in the pregnavncy) and they tell her “oh wonderful! By the way your future child is at risk of developing this deadly genetic disease called Tay-Sachs!” Of course my parents were angry and sad, and so they had some tests done while I was in utero t figure out if I had it or not. My parents had decided that they wouldn’t be willing to live with a child with an uncurable disease that would probably die young, both because treatments for such a child are expensive and because they didn’t want to deal with the whole heartache risk thing. It must be horrible to lose your child like that.

Well obviously I wasn’t aborted, because I didn’t test positive for the disease (also I’m not a carrier of the gene so theres no risk of my posse future children having it). My mother and father had also had some reassuring unexplainable experiences while this went on, and so when I finally entered the world, they chose to name me Samuel from the Hebrew Shmuel (sorry, no Hebrew keypad) meaning “god has heard”.

So yeah… I’m not sure of the relevant message of that story, but I just thought of it.

Anyways, with the whole biological child thing, I think that if you and your partner are willing to have children, to pass on your genes, and deal with the entire thing, then go for it! Especially if you can rewild the process. (like the conception: you could make your partner a romantic dinner of venison filet mignon with some wild grape or elderberry wine, and native aphrodisiacs, and enjoy this dinner… And each others bodies… Late at night in a firelight shelter on top of some finely tanned hides. Just a thought :wink: )

Sorry for the long post, enjoy!

Does having children help or hurt us, or neither? I can see ways in which it could possibly help (more children can bring a community closer, children can grow up leading very responsible lives, and growing the rewilding movement in general)…but obviously there can be a downside to adding to our already booming human population, because children (like all organisms) are going to use yet more resources. I’ve had a very similar conversation with a therian I know who has sworn off having children due to overpopulation.

Either way though, the majority of parents I know DO in fact have children out of entitlement (I recall a thrice pregnant 18-year-old saying literally that having kids is “her right” and that “no one can stop her!” as though it was some sort of rebellious pride.) And she is just one of many, usually young, mothers who have children just because they physically can. The other half of children I know, were completely accidental…so I can’t say there even WAS a motivation for children there to begin with.

And yes, narcissism can be a motivation for children. My father has actually been diagnosed with NPD or having “destructive narcissistic tendancies.” And his entire family was created just out of his sole desire to control and manipulate people into serving him, whether by kissing his ass, or by living your life literally by his handbook, so you can bring him pride/money/etc. Even all of his children (except myself and my only full sibling) were named after him, first and middle names. I don’t think that’s exactly what this thread was discussing though, as there can be an overall community narsissism as opposed to individual, abusive, narcsissitic parents. But both ways, it certainly can be a motivation.

Also, I guess I can see how you could relate having children to defecating or sleeping as they both ARE natural, however, everyone HAS to sleep and defecate, but no one technically HAS to have children (especially at the rate we’re at). And the motivation behind them are entirely different, there can be reasons you want to have a child, but when someone wants to poop, its because they have to poop. Hahaha

I think anything done within an monstrous story is monstrous; and anything done within a story that heals life is healing.

I think a person could do the exact same action - i.e., make babies - and in either story would generate more of that story’s fruits.

For me, it all comes down to the story you are living - ever deeper down to your bones, it’s okay if it takes a while to get down there.

I just came across this related post from our family friend Tracy. It’s called “On Having Children – Or Not?”:


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Oops! Can you get to it now?