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The carbon pawprint: Time to tax the dog?

Hummer ace11

 
A tax on dog ownership? Perish the thought.

But before we perish the thought of a dog tax — an idea being bandied about at the same time that giving pet owners a tax break is being pushed — we’ll at least afford it some further discussion.

The toll dogs take on the environment — their carbon pawprint, so to speak – is the subject of two recent books, Time to Eat the Dog and Eating Animals. The case that the family dog — primarily because of what it takes to make his dog food – puts a bigger strain on the environment than a road-hogging SUV received some further discussion this week on the website, Ohmygov!

 Ohmygov! (no relation to ohmidog!) is a news website founded by a government executive, a government contractor, and an  investigative journalist to “capture the passion and frustration that only government inspires.”

The ohmygov! piece says the numbers cited in “Time to Eat the Dog” appear solid. “The math may check out. A preliminary independent study has confirmed the claim, much to the chagrin of hippies everywhere. Man’s best friend is Mother Earth’s worst enemy … 

“All told, a 50-pound dog monopolizes two acres of land every year for food production alone. If you feed your dog beef or lamb, that figure is even higher.”

That means my dog is monopolizing five acres a year. Then again, he is supporting the American farmer, not to mention the city of Baltimore. Those of us who pay to license and register our dogs are under the impression we’re already paying something pretty close to a tax, even if it’s not called that.

Still, the ohymgov! piece makes some valid points, and in a pretty level-headed manner — one that even gives a nod to all those “priceless” components of having a canine companion:

“A vehicle won’t lower your blood pressure, or give you an excuse to get out and exercise.  A vehicle doesn’t help fight against depression or protect you from an intruder, and try as you may, you simply can’t teach your SUV to fetch.  Is it time to tax our dogs?  Probably not.  But perhaps it’s time to look beyond the old evils when searching for the answers to our ecological problems.”

Comments

Comment from Anonymous
Time April 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

how stupid, what about the people who own all those cows who emit 10 x more emitions then humans or dogs,and what about the ones that own goats, sheep and horses

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