Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Out!

I know I vowed not to mock global warming for the rest of the year. I know that. Gore knows, I've passed up plenty of articles, I'll have you know. I thought I was the master of my environment.

But I'm only human. How am I supposed to pass up this piece prancing on about the carbon "pawprint" of pets?

I'm out! I think I lasted ten or eleven days.

Good grief, the two authors (husband and wife?) are "specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington." Specialists in sustainable living? What the freaking heck is that? And the university has two of them on staff? What? They couldn't hire another resident poet? How can the university need even one specialist in sustainable living?

But even if you need one or more specialists on sustainable living, do you really think that examining the carbon footprint of pets is worth their time?

Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) -- around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.
They also examined cats, hamsters, and goldfish for their carbon footprints. They ignored poets and eco-Lords jetting around the planet to conferences.

Not content to whip pet owners for buying planet-killing kibble, the eco-profs turn on the lower mammals in question as well:

And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

We can't feed our pets with domesticated animal bits processed and shipped to our local stores. And the pets can't eat locally, either! Aren't those pets feasting on local wild animals working to reduce their carbon pawprints? Shouldn't pet owners be encouraged to let their pets eat off the land this way?

Not to worry, the two Vales have an answer for the eco-friendly pet-owner:

But the best way of compensating for that paw or clawprint is to make sure your animal is dual purpose, the Vales urge. Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table.

Since we can't eat the rich, because they are the Vanguard of the Warmetariate making sure we (but not they) live the eco-friendly, impoverished lifestyle, the Vales want us to eat the pets.

I must end with this quote from the male Vale:

"If pussy is scoffing 'Fancy Feast' -- or some other food made from choice cuts of meat -- then the relative impact is likely to be high," said Robert Vale.

Heavens. That can't be sustainable, eh? I think we can all be horrified at the thought of  the impact of pussy scoffing choice cuts of meat.

I'm betting he didn't run that line past the female Vale first.

The Vales should be careful about their insistence that pets have dual use, since I'm not convinced the Vales--with all due respect to their exalted status that one would expect jobs as specialists in sustainable living would imply--have a single use.

I do concede they may have laid an egg with this study.