Having Children, Keeping Pets, and Other Wisdom from Helen and Scott Nearing

In this installment of their homesteading column, Helen and Scott Nearing answer reader questions about having children, keeping pets, and their preferences in vehicles and soap powders.

| March/April 1979

  • Scott Nearing - keeping pets.jpg
    Scott Nearing, seat at left, viewed keeping pets as a form of slavery.

  • Scott Nearing - keeping pets.jpg

The following are questions readers submitted to Helen and Scott Nearing in their regular column on homesteading.

Having Children

Q: My husband and I have been happily married for five years and will soon have our own homestead. We've though a lot about having children, but, frankly, we're worried about the future. The lack of available quality education, the problem of pollution (especially nuclear), the possibility of economic collapse, and the threat of war on an overcrowded planet all seem to be good arguments against bringing young people into the world. We'd appreciate your views on this subject.

A: In our childbearing years, we already had second thoughts about having children for the reasons you have aptly outlined.

At present, the unsettled social conditions in the U.S. preclude any possibility of bringing up children normally, even in a secluded homestead environment. Television and schools are sure to provide corruptive influences. (However, a young neighbor of ours, Melissa Coleman—when given cheap candy at a school Halloween party—accepted it sweetly, didn't eat it, came home, and put it on the compost pile. She was wise beyond her years.)

Personally as a woman I've felt no deprivation from lack of children. But who knows, a few little Scotties and Scottinas racing around might have been nice. On the other hand, I happen to believe in reincarnation and feel sure I've had hundreds of children in other lives and will have many again. This particular life—free of my own brood—has proved interesting and productive, and there have been plenty of other people's children roundabout.

Keeping Pets

Q: Have you ever tried keeping pets such as a dog or cat? My parents think that having such animals is a waste of time and food. We have farm animals that I like a lot, but I'd love to have a dog and cat, too. What do you think?  

rachel olson
6/29/2008 1:37:36 PM

as a new subscriber i find the system difficult. where can i buy fels-naptha soiap?

rachel olson
6/29/2008 1:34:53 PM

where can i buy fels-naptha soap?

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