3/10/2008

Fatherhood

One of the benefits of taking care of my Grandma full-time is that I have more time for reading. The latest book examines the role of animal fathers in the care of their children (offspring).

The chapter about wolves, who are some of the more affectionate and devoted daddies in the animal kingdom, revealed an interesting insight into the effects of contraception. The author, who has advocated in his previous works that animals have feelings and conscientiousness, attests that in domesticated wolves (i.e. dogs), the canine propensity to devoted fathering- as exhibited by wild male wolves- diminishes. Dogs regard their human masters as the head of the pack. Adult male dogs feel no need to father their puppies, knowing that they will be provided for. Yet adult male wolves in the wild are the head of the pack, and they are among the most caring fathers in the animal kingdom, even regurgitating food in small piles, one for each pup. Domestication- in other words, artificiality in the animal kingdom- results in a diminished fatherhood. Adult male dogs become highly promiscuous, ready to mate at any time. Wolves exercise restraint and devoted husbandry, reproducing according to a natural rhythm in concert with their spouses.

This has proven true in human society as well. When contraception (artificial practice) becomes a given, men began to regard women as sex objects, and sleep around with whomever they please, with no regard for the care of their own children. They are like dogs, the juvenile equivalent of the wolf.

But the fully developed male of either the human or canine variety is one that organizes his life around the care of children, even those that he did not sire. He supports their mother while she is nursing, he places their needs before his own, and he introduces the pups to the right behavior necessary for the good of the whole pack. He socializes them and continues to support them from maturation into individual contribution to the pack society.

This kind of fatherhood is the most natural state. When wolves cease being natural, they cease being good fathers. When men cease being natural, they cease to be good fathers. The moral of today's story: stick with natural family planning. It works!

3 comments:

Christian said...

Thank you for your blog, God Bless you :)

Sarah said...

This is a lovely take on NFP and the benefits. Paul VI couldn't have said it better. :)

shadowsgonegrey said...

Hey!

I've joined the NFP conversation a little late, but I like the parallel you drew.

congrats on being engaged!

liz

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