Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time to Eat the Dog?

You know what? I’m a little weary of everything in this modern life of ours being reduced to its impact on the environment.

For example, I’ve written on this blog about our family caring for a stray dog that’s wandered into the neighborhood. The city has no resources to come take it away, so rather than let it starve or be cold, we’ve put out food for it and built it a little shelter in the alley, leastwise until it sheds its timidity and allows us to get near enough to it to read the tags on its collar.

It appears I’m going about it the wrong way. To be environmentally sound, according to Robert and Brenda Vale, architects and experts in “sustainable living” in New Zealand, I should kill the dog and eat it. But not barbecue it. Presumably I should bake it in a solar oven or something, and then eat it, so as to not add to my own carbon footprint cooking the beast.

Think I’m kidding? Read here.

If this craze catches on, you know where it’s going to lead us, don’t you? Right. Planet of the Apes.

We will kill off our pet population in order to reduce our own guilt over carbon footprints, forgetting, of course, that animals in the wild are also eating meat and pooping and doing all sorts of carbon-related activity. Once we kill off the pets, we’ve got to have something to enter our empty little lives, since similar studies also urge strongly against anyone having children any more. (As Child No. 7 out of 8, I find such thinking, well, unthinkable). But back to apes as our masters. We’ll domesticate the ape, teach him environmental responsibility, feed him on home-grown corn and solar-baked cat kibble and then, once we all realize we don’t want smelly, feces-flinging apes living in our homes we’ll nuke ourselves – well, that’s not entirely progressive is it – maybe we’ll just stop breeding entirely and witness a population crash but not before sending a few intrepid yet carbonlicious astronauts into space for a few thousand years so they can come back to Earth in the far distant future to be hunted along with the cave-dwelling, klucke-dragging meat-eating SUV-driving Neanderthals who managed to survive the population crash because they were too busy enjoying the companionship of their large families and their pets to notice that the progressives were saving the planet by using their bodies as compost after they ate their pets. But there’ll be less carbon! And more happiness! Sure, there’ll be fewer actual people (not to mention dogs and cats) to enjoy all the happiness and carbonlessness, but that’s kinda the price you pay for living a progressive agenda.

So do these people APPLAUD species extinction? Of course not. It's because we're producing food for our pets, in the form of pet food. If we let them roam and eat the birdies and the fishies and the mousies and such, maybe that would take the curse off it. But then we'd have Che. That wouldn't be all that bad.

Does that mean I live a horribly carbon-filled lifestyle? Probably, compared to how these nuts would have me live. They obviously won’t be happy until humanity is so scared of releasing methane into the air from farting that we hold it all in, bloat, and eventually explode – once, of course, we’ve climbed the space elevator so we can do our exploding in outer space, where no one can be polluted by our carbon.

Of course, I’m going overboard with this. So are the Vales. Coldly calculating the benefits of getting rid of our pets because of their carbon impact is patently progressive, and patently foolish. I have had much more joy in my interactions with pets (dozens of dogs, dozens of cats, as well as chickens, over a lifetime) than I have had with most human beings.

What it all comes down to is justification. And a misplaced desire to help. Want to help reduce carbon emissions? Encourage nuclear power rather than coal-, natural gas-, or oil-fed power plants. But that’s not Progressive with a big P. Let governments dilly with carbon offsets and solar power, what can WE do to help? Oh yeah. Have fewer (or no) children and barbecue our pets. Thank you for allowing me to justify my childless existence, or at least find solace in the fact that Tiddles or Fido emit less carbon than Kenneth or Julia might, so, since I have a dog rather than a kid, that takes some of the carbon curse off, right? Right? Save us, Dr. Zaius!

On second thought, I wouldn't mind having a breakdancing ape. . .

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