Pets have to go?, 17°

It is a topic that is near and dear to many people, but one that I find often ignored in conversations of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Should Rover go?

The amount of natural resources used to feed, water, tend, and accomodate our domesticated pets is staggering. This combined with the toxic nature of cat litter, dog feces, and aquarium carbon filters makes me wonder if we shouldn't start curbing our companion habits.

When looking at the balance sheet, aren't pets really a luxury item that should fall into the jet-ski and hot tub sector of environmental priorities?

16 replies

The lasting emotional benefits that our pets bring us outweigh the slight increase in carbon footprint they represent so let's at least make our pets the last thing we give-up!

Written in August 2008

Jeff F.

What would the environmental impact be if you raised a dog for 1 year and then ate it? Pound for pound, would a dog have less impact on the environment than a cow?

Written in August 2008

Charles M. 110°

Jeff F:
Every conversion step has waste in it.

Supposing you started out with grain and grass, fed that to a cow/chicken/pig, then fed the cow/chicken/pig to your dog, then ate the dog, you'd have something like this:

1000 food units of grass/grain make
20 food units of cow,50 of pig or 100 of chicken, (chicken and pig are more productive than beef) which make
1,2.5 or 5 food units of dog.

You'd be better off having a pet chicken, pig or cow.

Best of all would be having some pet grass and eating that!

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

Hi All,

I don't know if you guys get the River Cottage T.V. show. It's on Channel 4 in England.

Anyway it started out with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a chef moving back to his childhood country home to start a free holding. Over several years he build up a nice little sustainable farm.

Recently he had a run in with the supermarket chain Tesco. He petitioned them to change from intensively farming chickens to the Freedom Food system after a show he did uncovered that modern farming practices increase fat content in chicken and decrease nutrients such as omega 3. No news to most of you guys I guess.

Pet grass eh? Well when someone invents a strain of grass that's happy to see me when I come in at night I'll consider it. As for eating the pooch. Not on your life.

Written in August 2008

Marcus P. 10°

I woudn't say that pets are a luxury, unless we tend to treat them as one.

Written in August 2008

River cottage rocks. watched every episode. loved every minute. Hugh is a very endearing character.

Written in August 2008

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