A little while ago, I did a post pondering why in the world people willingly invite guests into their homes who literally behave like animals (because they are animals). A few days later, I learned that “owning a great dane [should] make you as much of an eco-outcast as an SUV driver“, and that a medium-sized dog has an eco-footprint of 2 acres.
And, pet cats kill whales, dolphins and sea otters with their feces. Killing sea otters?! I’m aghast.
Fortunately, there’s a good news for responsible people who choose to share living space with animals. “Rabbits are good,” he says, “provided you eat them.”
Now, I’m not seriously suggesting that my pet-owning friends should get rid of their dogs and cats, and start raising rabbits. Nor am I unaware that my own hobby of brewing beer stamps its own eco-footprint on our shared earth, and produces a fair amount of CO2. (It’s like having millions of yeast cells as pets.)
I am suggesting, however, as does the article cited, that we should all should consider raising tastier pets. My “yeast pets” aren’t particularly tasty themselves (except, perhaps, in a hefeweizen, where the yeast is sometimes swirled into suspension to enhance the flavor), but their waste products are alcohol and carbonation, so I think they deserve the greenlight. And while I’ve never tasted dog or cat (nor do I intend to, though it’s acceptable in other cultures), I would support controlled hunts in suburban areas by any groups of people who enjoy it. Moving further down the chain, I don’t see why aquarium owners don’t switch from guppies to crappie or sea bass. Similarly, Aunt Mabel’s parrot could be swapped out for pheasant or quail.
I understand that some of the more squeamish among us my hesitate to “harvest” our own pets. No problem. A few tweaks to the format of most pet shows would convert them into gourmet pageants. The people arguing for dog parks would gain support from hungry hunters. Animal shelters would do a booming business, with “adoptions” measured by the pound.
(As I think the cited article demonstrates, it’s pretty easy to find fault with just about any activity done by others. Any human activity has costs and benefits, and those of us who spend our time critiquing the enjoyments of others bring a particularly toxic element of nastiness into our shared environment. A good friend of mine (and a great dane owner) is fond of quoting Chardin – “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” As a corollary, consider what presence that feeling of annoyed indignation might signify.)