Time to Eat the Dog
New Zealand’s Dominion Post published an ‘interesting’ opinion piece today on the supposedly dire environmental impacts posed by pet keeping.
Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.
The couple have assessed the carbon emissions created by popular pets, taking into account the ingredients of pet food and the land needed to create them.
“If you have a German shepherd or similar-sized dog, for example, its impact every year is exactly the same as driving a large car around,” Brenda Vale said.
“A lot of people worry about having SUVs but they don’t worry about having Alsatians and what we are saying is, well, maybe you should be because the environmental impact … is comparable.”
Do you suppose that the Vales took into account the fact that most of the “meat” that goes into commercial dog food is byproducts that might otherwise go to waste? Did they also take into account the fact that most pet owners (present company included) don’t buy a new set of dog beds, crates, bowls, leashes and kennels every time they get a new dog.
What next, a book on the merits of cannibalizing children?
It looks to me like these folks took a page from PeTA’s playbook, using shock tactics to promote themselves. This is one dog-related book I won’t be buying. In fact, I’m not even going to post a link to it.