JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Ditch your family pet to save the planet – I Think NOT!!

EAT TUI? YEAH, RIGHT: 12-year-old Eli Mulheron with his dog Tui.TAKE out the recycling. Check. Save water. Check. Cycle to work. Check. Turn down the thermostat. Check. Get rid of the pet … 😦

A new book has highlighted that a medium-sized dog has the same ecological footprint as driving 6,000 miles a year in a large 4×4 car.

Hailed as the real guide to sustainable living, the book says that owning a dog or a cat is not environmentally friendly and that they should not be kept.

Other options would be not to have a pet, to share one with other families, or to choose an animal with a small carbon footprint – such as a goldfish – the authors say.

The average cat has as much impact on the planet as a Volkswagen Golf, according to writers Robert and Brenda Vale.

And next time a parent considers keeping a child happy by buying a hamster, they should remember that two of the animals are as bad for the planet as running a plasma television.

In Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, the New Zealand-based pair estimate the ecological footprint of pets from dogs to budgies based on the amount of land needed to grow their food.

Meat-eating swells the eco-footprint of dogs, and cats are not much better, the Vales found.

They say a collie eats 164kg of meat and 95kg of cereals a year, giving it a high impact on the planet.

However, rabbits or chickens can make good pets and also provide meat for the owners, they say. A pair of rabbits can produce 36 young annually, which would provide 72kg of meat – thereby decreasing the owner’s carbon footprint.

In the book, the authors say: “For years, animals have been given a good life and their company enjoyed, and then they have been eaten.

“Children are well able to cope with this situation if they know what is going on, and the process links them into the natural cycles of life and death.

“However, even with this background, there are going to be some people who will never cope with the idea of eating their pets.”

A large dog such as an Alsatian has an ecological footprint of about 0.36 hectares, according to their calculations.

This compares to six hectares for the average human in the developed world.

Mr Vale, an architect, said: “There are no recipes in the book. We’re not actually saying it is time to eat the dog.

“We’re just saying that we need to think about and know the (ecological] impact of some of the things we do and that we take for granted.”

He added that sustainability issues will “require us to make choices which are as difficult as eating your dog”.

“It’s not just about changing your lightbulbs or taking a cloth bag to the supermarket,” he added.

“Once you see where cats and dogs fit in your overall balance of things, you might decide to have the cat but not also to have the two cars and the three bathrooms and be a meat-eater yourself.”

By Jenny Fyall

Source:  http://news.scotsman.com/uk

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments