Somewhere right around the turn of the Millenium, my generation began our obsession with the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Nerds began buying battle-ready machetes, ya know, just in case. Some bigger nerds began stockpiling non-perishables, because it’s not a bad idea to have an emergency supply, right? Some even bigger nerds built zombie-proof bunkers to house said battle-ready machetes and non-perishables. Some bigger nerds yet sat down and wrote a book called “The Zombie Survival Guide” which became a New York Times bestseller, and has a home on my bookshelf, halfway between “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” and my collection of Peter Kreeft.
There’s a whole section in that book on living through a “class 4- doomsday” outbreak and it is basically a few dozen pages on sustainable living. Say what you want about those zombie fanatics, but they do know two things: how to efficiently dispatch the undead (a shotgun at a distance, a Shaolin spade for close range, btw), and how to live off the land for an indefinite period of time.
Coincidentally, the turn of the Millenium also brought a new fascination with sustainable living for its own sake. What started as a hippies-only crusade is now seen as a public duty, as is currently being demonstrated by Straw-mageddon. Plastic baggies are out, beeswax wrappers are in.
Now, of course, the zombie obsession is silly, but the idea to live sustainably is not. We do have an obligation to be good stewards and to care for God’s Creation; it’s one of the few things that I can agree with my fellow humans on the Left about, and something I continually strive to do better at. But every time I begin to really research sustainable living, one question keeps taunting me: if you care so much about the planet, why are you using artificial contraceptives?
Barrier contraceptives all end up in landfills. Hormonal contraceptives end up in the water supply and wreak havoc on the ecosystem. And suppressing your fertility, just like suppressing any body system is going to have impacts on the rest of the body, creating a need for previously unnecessary medical interventions. Not really a “green” way to go.
NFP has almost a zero environmental impact. You could argue that Marquette test strips end up in a landfill, or that paper charts kill trees, but that is infinitesimal compared to the waste that comes from artificial birth control. And it works with your body, not against it. You aren’t breaking or suppressing a body system, you are letting that system do what it is supposed to do!
Yet, a google search of “sustainable birth control” still points to the IUD or permanent sterilization as the best option. Rewire.com got to the center of the issue the best, I think. “Any form of birth control is significantly more sustainable than having a child.” Ah. I see. This is where I have to really REALLY disagree. We don’t have a population problem. We have a resource management problem.
The environmental and demographic effects of birth control are beginning to show now, especially in countries like Japan where the population is aging at an alarming rate, and Canada where entire species are being destroyed in entire ecosystems, and I imagine they are going to get starker in the coming decades. All the environmentalists (besides Greenpeace who actually likes Natural Family Planning. Yay, Greenpeace!) are going to feel real sheepish then.
But back to zombies. Let’s say we do have a doomsday. I highly doubt it will be zombies, but it might be nuclear fallout, might be a Y2K sort of thing, could just be war or a hundred possible catastrophes. It’s not a stupid thing to prepare for a disaster. If you’re the type of person who has a two-week supply of non-perishables in your basement, I highly suggest learning NFP and adding that skill to your survival arsenal. Bonus: you’ll be helping the planet and staving off doomsday from polluted water at the same time!
Because when the zombie apocalypse comes, the pharmacies will all be closed.
But you will still have your charts.