Well can you believe it?
There's an article in this week's New Scientist (my favourite magazine, as you know) which asks the question "How Green is Your Pet?". It says, basically, that having a dog is worse for the environment than owning an SUV!
Some supposedly very clever scientist has worked out, apparently, that the average dog has an annual carbon footprint almost twice that of a Toyota Land Cruiser. Mostly because of all the meat we eat.
Well, fellow dogs, leaving aside the dubiousness of the concept of an 'average' dog, this seems to me mighty bad news. Especially for those of us who live in households where the humans are environmentally conscious and into sustainable living. I mean, heaven forbid that we are all going to be forced onto a vegan diet!
Time for a reasoned response - let's not panic just yet.
It it clear to me that these so-called researchers have failed to recognize that a dog can also reduce a household's carbon emissions. Consider the following points:
- As (at least in Europe) it is hard to get on an aeroplane with a dog, we force our owners to reduce the amount they fly, and we all know that flying produces loads of CO2.
- When I am in the car, Gail has to drive more slowly (i.e. in a more fuel efficient fashion) as I stand up and start to look sick if she corners too fast on our twisty Scottish roads.
- When your human has cold hands, they can warm them up by stroking their pet - so much more satisfactory all round than turning up the heating.
- Likewise, many of us perform bed-warming duties too, do we not?.
I am sure that my blogging buddies can think of many more ways in which we dogs are environmentally friendly, and I invite you to leave your suggestions in my comments box. These will I hope form the basis of a strongly worded letter to the New Scientist's editor!
(And in case you're wondering, a cat is equivalent to a VW Golf and a goldfish equates to two cellphones.....)