My cat is greener than your baby.

I try to be a fairly respectful and tolerant individual, but sometimes I lose it when I hear women with a lot of kids bragging about how green they, their families, and their babies are. This post is my ‘Fawk You Friday’ (yup, it’s Tuesday; I suggest you deal with it) to all those smugly self-satisfied ‘green mommies’ and their designer organic onesies, eco-cupcake stands, recycled plastic sippy cups, and far too many babies. Wake up.

10 Ways in Which My Cat is Greener Than Your Baby

  1. Brie has reached her adult weight of around seven pounds. She will never become an average 164lb American woman who devours 6oolbs of dairy products or more each year.
  2. As an indoor cat, she uses sustainable Feline Pine that will neither leave mounds of plastic diapers or e coli in public washing machines. I admire the principle behind cloth diapers, but…eew.
  3. Brie requires minimal stuff. This equals major savings in plastic, raw materials, transportation fuels, and other such things. You: sippy cups, strollers, breast pumps, child seats, pacifiers, educational toys, teething rings, BPA-free bottles, bibs, walkers, onesies, booties, diaper bag. Me: litter box, litter scoop, kitty tree, food bowls, pet carrier.
  4. The cat satisfies my [minimal] maternal instincts at a fraction of the carbon footprint. Huge childfree win.
  5. The average lifespan for an indoor cat is around 15 years. The average lifespan for a human is 70+ years. Guess who will consume more?
  6. Brie has never taken a single tub bath or shower, leading to gallons of water savings every day.
  7. She will need, on average, two to four car trips per year. The amount of gasoline expended on her behalf will be minimal.
  8. Brie is a master reuser of aluminum foil, crinkly packaging, bubble wrap, and twine. The best toys in life are, apparently, free.
  9. Brie creates minimal laundry, for considerable water and energy savings over her lifetime.
  10. Kitty is spayed. She will not contribute to feline overpopulation. Her carbon footprint ends with her. Most parents can’t say the same about their children.

22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by stepher on 08/03/2010 at 15:39


    I’m sharing w/everyone.


  2. Could not have said it better.


  3. Posted by Ginny on 08/04/2010 at 07:07

    Love this post!


  4. Posted by daghain on 08/16/2010 at 18:31

    Oh, this is beyond awesome! I am totally sharing this!


  5. Posted by Astrid on 08/20/2010 at 08:25

    By your own admission, you have “minimal maternal instinct.” For those of us who consider ourselves both green and nurturing, children are a gift. Certainly, people who procreate to add to their “quivers” are harmful – just because one can have children, does not mean one should and it certainly does not mean God wants you to have as many babies as you can (the notion that “God speaks” to anyone strikes me as an absurd fairytale).

    I am happy that you are fulfilled by your cat. I really am. I know that when I became a mother to my only son, my whole notion of love went out the window. A cat is great. I have one. But a cat will never, ever touch the fulfillment of having a child. If you are willing to never know a relationship like that one between a mother and child for the benefit of the environment, you just might be a “better” greenie than me.


    • Posted by ailanna on 08/20/2010 at 19:46

      I don’t have a problem with people who have one or two kids and try their hardest to take care of the environment, and I’m sure there are plenty of greenies out there who don’t have pets or kids and can therefore claim some sort of superiority over both of us. This post was directed at the annoying people who don’t make the connection between curbing population growth and respecting the planet, not at you. However, I do take issue with your statement that ‘a cat will never, ever touch the fulfillment of having a child.’ I’m sure that’s true for you, but you don’t know me — you don’t know my history with animals or with children, and I’ve thought about the issue and my own personality enough to say that having a child would be a terrible mistake for me (and for the theoretical child!). Fulfillment is judged on an individual basis: for me, it’s not about nurturing, it’s about creating, writing, space, and independence.


  6. Posted by Joy on 10/14/2010 at 08:24

    Love it! I have dogs, but the same goes. 🙂


  7. […] Lynn from Upcycled Love recently posted an entry on what her cat Smokey has taught her about personal connections, and it  made me think: non-human animals teach us a lot we’ve forgotten on the long road to opposable thumbs and so-called higher intelligence. And when it comes to low impact living, even your average spoiled housecat is a model of greenness.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember an earlier, maybe slightly snarky post on why my cat is greener than your baby.   […]


  8. Oh god, thank you. I was beginning to think I might be one of the last free-thinking females in an endless sea of baby vomit. Hitting the 30-year-old mark seems to launch everyone I know into maternal yearning, somehow rendering them incapable of being a “whole person” without procreation. Ha.

    My three sterilized dog-children think that your cat has got it figured out. 😉


  9. Posted by Girly on 03/13/2011 at 19:21

    I *love* this post! I thought I was the only woman who finds cats to be superior to babies! I also agree with you when you told that one commenter that cats CAN be just as “fulfilling” as a baby. I truly think that you have women who need to have a baby to feel fulfilled and then the rest of us who would rather save our bodies and the ever-growing population by enjoying our fur-babies (not to mention avoiding all of the unpleasantries that come with having a screaming, vomiting, urinating baby)

    I don’t think that a woman needs to feel “fulfilled” by having a baby and if she thinks that that is the only way to feel like an accomplished human being, then she has some issues to deal with!


    • Thank you! I always thought I was alone, too, but it turns out that there are lots of people (male and female) who prefer pets to babies. It’s still not totally socially acceptable, but as population becomes more of an issue, I imagine some of the social taboos around being childfree will also start to die down.


  10. Posted by Andreia on 03/17/2011 at 21:02

    Hi! Somebody must have really pissed you of with the “baby thing”! Babies are just babies and they are not marketing for eviroment. They are not green, they are what their mothers wil try to make of them. When I had kids I felt really happy about it, but it’s a personal choice. I have pets and kids. I have friends who told me that they would never ever have kids. That’s their choice, and I respect them. Don’t get pissed of. If your cat keeps you company and is your choice, you should never have to justify that to anyone. Maybe I am being patronising, but I like my dogs and love my children, and they all live here producing garbage and poluting, giving me joy and happinnes. We reduce what we can, but it’s not easy. lol


    • Yeah, usually I go by the live and let live thing, but occasionally it gets to me! I’d like to see more people with kids respect the decisions of others not to have them, as it seems you do.


      • Posted by Andreia on 03/18/2011 at 09:22

        The thing is: people seem to think that because it’s good for them, it must be good for others and it’s not that way. Because having kids today is a choice, people think they can force others to choose to have kids, because it’s natural (“You are a woman, you MUST have babies!!!” eerie silence… :-D). We are not born maternal. It can’t be considered a flaw not to have kids. It’s a choice and, for the person who chooses, whichever way, it might be an excellent one! These women who try to convice everyone that motherhood is the epitome of heaven may be trying to convince themselves of it.I am sure you would be very nice to my kids should you meet them, but what people çan’t accept is, you just don’t want them to be yours, lol.


  11. Awesome post, Jennifer, I love it! Well said! I’m a child-free cat mama too and I agree with you. Thank you for the courage to write this and share this, I appreciate it very much.


  12. Posted by loreliloalyn on 05/16/2012 at 06:27

    I have a child. I’ve had cats. I’m allergic to cats. I’m annoyed by children. The vexation either provides is nearly equal. I don’t care if anyone else has kids or not. I’m surprised anyone else gives a damn either. I will say that I get tired of people informing me of what a terrible person I am because I had a child. But, free speech and all, it’s their right to hate my child as much as I hate their cat. For different reasons of course, children cry and cats mew, children need diapers, cats need litter boxes, children need stimulating toys, cats apparently need tinfoil (I suspect they are building a super-conductor somewhere), children’s spit makes me gack, cats make me sneeze. It’s all the same, really.

    Regardless, I don’t understand why people are in a constant shove-and-pull over when and how many children a woman has. After I had my son everyone’s first question was “when’s the next one?” Next one???? I just went through 15 hours of labor to get this one here and you want another one???! This one isn’t even done growing yet! Are you volunteering to carry, birth, and raise it? Because my budget and patience only allows for one. I’m 30-something now and people still prod me over when the “next one” is coming. Never. I’m too old. I don’t want to start over again. I just got this one acting slightly human, why would I want to start from scratch? Heck, if my birth control hadn’t failed me, I would have just adopted a child… perhaps a 16 year old, so that most of the nasty business with diapers, tears, and tantrums is over with.

    To me, the childfree advocates are as zealous as the pro-lifers. I don’t have much time for either. Having kids isn’t a biological imperative, its something you do, if you feel like it, because you want to. Not because the sky god wants you to fill your quiver or leave it empty. Not because you are “green” or not. Not because you have some kind of obligation to use the uterus that came with the female gender normative or because you’re an ultra-elite Captain Planet.

    I did like your article, though. I thought it was funny. And I am genuinely glad your cat makes you happy.


    • Hi there!

      I recently read an article about how boring it is that we all go on so much about our decision to have (or not have) kids, and I generally agree. It’s only when I feel defensive or have been harassed by overzealous parents that a childfree post emerges. This one…what can I say, in the green blogosphere, I’m vastly outnumbered by green mom bloggers, and it makes me a little pissy every now and then.

      I didn’t choose not to have kids for the environment, and I doubt many other people did, either. It’s a choice that has a nice environmental perk, but I’ve never taken it to mean that a) parents are environmental villains; or b) I’m off the hook for the considerable impact I have on the planet, as a citizen of the developed world.

      The way you talk about parenting is totally refreshing, by the way. I appreciate your perspective.


  13. Posted by Jules on 05/31/2012 at 02:15

    11. My cat considerately sheds all over my carpet and clothes, thus dramatically enhancing their insulating properties.


    • Good point! I bet if I collected all the cat hair, I wouldn’t have to bother with blown in insulation for the house, either.


  14. At CK Polymers we believe recycling is great for the environment, great points of view from all!, great post


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  16. There are some interesting closing dates in this article on “My cat is greener than your baby.” however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as well


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