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Replacing babies with pets stifles a person’s capacity to give and receive love, as it wrongly directs our greatest earthly affections toward ourselves.

By Nathanael Blake, The Federalist, August 6, 2021

Nathanael Blake is a senior contributor to The Federalist and a postdoctoral fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Nathanael BlakeIn a recent Fox News piece, sociologist Andrea Laurent-Simpson writes of the emergence of “multispecies families,” explaining that in “child-free families…dogs and cats paw in to fill a longing to nurture” and would-be grandparents “readily shift over to spoiling the granddog as their daughters and sons choose instead to pursue lucrative careers.” But this is neither good nor new.

The ancient historian Plutarch began his life of Pericles with an anecdote about Caesar, who, upon seeing “wealthy foreigners in Rome carrying puppies and young monkeys about in their bosoms and fondling them” asked, “if the women in their country did not bear children.” Plutarch thought this a “princely” rebuke of “those who squander on animals that proneness to love and loving affection which is ours by nature, and which is due only to our fellow-men.” …

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