Big Families and the Crazy Discovery/TLC Hostage-Taker

September 15,2010
Erin Dower( )
Reality shows about huge families have garnered a lot of attention, money, and strong opinions in the past few years. Some people have stayed hooked on Jon and Kate Plus Eight (now just Kate Plus Eight) and 19 Kids & Counting (if I'm up-to-date on the latest Duggar family tally). Others think the shows and the families they feature are a train wreck (Jon's messy departure after just a few years in the limelight is case in point).

But no one's opinion of these mega-families and their stardom was as extreme as the Discovery hostage-taker, James Lee, who was shot and killed by police on September 1 for taking over the TV network's Maryland headquarters with a gun and bombs. Lee was an environmental extremist who protested Discovery and TLC "shows glorifying human birthing" because human civilization is destroying animals and the environment, he said in an internet post.

He referred to babies as "parasitic infants." His idea of going green was to end human reproduction. He obviously had some serious issues.

But have we gone too far in our obsession with huge families? Should the Duggars stop conceiving, even if adding a life makes for a happier family and a catchier TV show title?

Are you happy with the size of your family and how did you know if it was time for another child or time to call it quits? Do you think families consider the environment when they decide to have another child or is it strictly a personal decision?