Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eat Fluffy or Get Rid of the Family SUV?

A tough choice for any family, but according to a new study recently published the family dog looks to be contributing more to global warming than that favorite villain of environmentalists... the SUV. Read the full story here.

This really is disappointing news, if only this study had been published before I went on my carfree crusade I could have saved myself a lot of useless headache. Part of my reasoning for going carfree for a year was to reduce my ecological footprint, but it seems this new study gives me an easier alternative.

Rather than giving up my '83 Toyota Landcruiser that only gets 14 miles-to-the-gallon I could have been practicing a little population control on the neighborhood dogs, having a tasty meal, and saving the planet all at the same time. I could be out there stalking around my neighborhood at night dressed all in black luring neighbor's dogs out with the promise of steak, then capturing them for my planet saving plan... just garnish with some seasoning and a side of baked potatoes. I could still be driving around with a clean conscience and I could have had more of an impact than by giving up on driving... all the while hot having to screw around with riding a bike in subzero temperatures.

Now, I am only kidding as I never intentionally eat such a meal. But it is amazing to think that a pet could be twice as harmful to the environment as an SUV, mainly because of the food that we feed them. I think this study is great because pet ownership is something that most American enjoys and also an aspect of people's live that hasn't received such an analysis. The impact of our transportation and food systems are well known, continually being debated and revised. But pet ownership is something that completely fell under the scope of any analysis. I doubt this will seriously wake people up to the idea of getting rid of fluffy, but maybe it will inspire more debate and a new look at our collective ecological footprint.


Scott Person said...

If a dog is twice as bad as an SUV, imagine how polluting a child is. Logically extending this arguement could get awkward.

Note that the study was for an SUV driven 6200 miles a year. I bet the average is twice that.

CarFree Stupidity said...

I wrote this post mostly as a joke. I don't think anyone wants to get rid of their pets.

The good thing that think may come of this study is that maybe scientist will broaden their search into our environmental impacts. So far most analysis of this kind has focused on our houses, our vehicles, how many acres of forest are being cut down, etc. Maybe this is a first step into a wider analysis of how our everyday lives, especially the small things people don't think about, impact the wider world.

Scott Person said...

Actually, in the long run population control is the only likely solution. If we all cut our energy use by half, but the population of the world doubles, we are marginally worse off than when we started.

Great blog by the way. I'm a long time bike racer, but have only been commuting for a couple of years. I'm learning a good bit from your experiences and tales. Keep up the good work.

velocodger said...

Interesting...because I believe the unstated desire of certain enviros is the get rid of the human race entirely! The logical next step is to remove all domestic animals as well. A human free planet! Maybe the first step is to encourage suicide. And don't forget to kill your dog as well. Just kidding folks, but do you get my point?

CarFree Stupidity said...

Thanks for the sarcasm velocodger... I was simply trying to be ridiculous to illustrate something out of the ordinary.

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