I am not an environmentalist. But I do believe in taking care of the earth, of not consuming what we don't need, and of being responsible to ensure that what we do gives back. My stance is based on my religious perspective of stewardship.

Biblically, man was commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth", and he was given "dominion" over the earth and all that is on it. That doesn't mean he was told to just have kids and use what he wanted.

Often, the phrase "multiply and replenish the earth" is taken to mean that those two concepts are one and the same. That if one multiplies, one is therefore replenishing the earth. Not so. They are two distinctly different things. If one bears many children, but fails to teach those children to be wise in the use of resources, and to take care of the source of those resources, then one has merely produced a series of parasites - and it does not matter whether a person has ONE child, or a dozen, they may fulfill the first part of the commandment and fail miserably at the second part (in fact, statistically, children from a single family home will consume more resources per person than children from a large family).

To replenish the earth, one must be a good steward. Having dominion over something means you DO have the power to make good or evil decisions. Dominion implies good management, more than any other concept. Use the land in a way that keeps it productive. Raise animals in ways that allow them to flourish. Keep things natural to the maximum extent possible given your individual circumstances. And TEACH children to do the same - therein is the magnification of the coupling of the principle of multiplying, with the principle of replenishing. What we teach the next generation is of equal importance to what we, ourselves, do.

In order to carry this out, you must develop a strong work ethic, and teach it to the next generation. Children become more than just objects to indulge, and become part of the mechanism of replenishment. And they SHOULD be, because they simply won't learn it just by watching. Children need to feel the dirt in their hands, to learn to distinguish weeds from useful plants, to experience the effect of their care (or lack of it) on an animal. They need to see things born, raise them with care, and learn that raising them for human consumption is not cruel, but a means for the life of the animal to have value beyond that of an indulged pet.

My religious convictions teach me that man has a right to meet his needs through USE of the earth. That the resources of the earth can be used, but not abused. That use is good stewardship.


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