Life is a contradiction.
How is it even possible that organic life can defy all the laws of entropy and exist for more than five minutes? More than that, organisms last long enough to complete their life’s mission — almost all of them procreate.
More making is the purpose, and so all organisms make more.
Microbes, to mice and men, getting ready and achieving reproduction in its myriad forms is what happens every minute of every day. All the actions of sentient beings are geared to more making.
This imperative is fundamental to our understanding of how evolution works. Replication with a bit of error and selection for the helpful errors is how life persists and generates diversity. The driver is reproduction.
Humans are not immune. We have powerful reproductive urges that manifest as an often overpowering sense of family, helicopter parenting, and more websites with sexual content than any other category.
History tells us that brothels and breweries are the first essential services in any new town.
Anyone with the self-discipline and conviction to resist the innate urge to reproduce has a powerful tool over others. No wonder the church has used clerical celibacy. The church sees devotion by a man who chooses not to have sex “a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can more easily remain close to Christ with an undivided heart, and can dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and their neighbour.“
Service to others but not to their pets.
Here is what Guardian columnist Arwa Mahdawi had to say about Pope Francis telling everyone that choosing to have pets instead of kids is “selfish”…
Ah yes, choosing not to bring a child into an overpopulated world that is careening towards climate catastrophe is the height of selfishness! I know the pope lives in a palace and probably isn’t too familiar with the current costs of childcare but he might want to look into just how expensive having a kid is these days.Arwa Mahawi
The Pope might be celibate but his parishioners must prioritise kids over their fur babies. They must follow the primary biological directive to reproduce.
There are dozens of posts to write on this deep and meaningful hypocrisy, but the obvious one is this…
Humanity can only survive the next 100 years if we repress our reproductive urges by choice or design because the planet is finite. It cannot sustain post-industrial revolution rates of human population growth and resource demand for another century.
There has to be a demographic transition and a shift to sustainable resource use or else we fall from our perceived pinnacle and struggle to persist.
No matter how important kids are to a celibate white man, fewer children are necessary, and if that means fur babies, so be it.
Hero image from photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash