Another book has come out that makes the case for eating our dogs.
On the heels of “Time to Eat the Dog,” by New Zealand professors Brenda and Robert Vale, who admit their title is mostly a shock tactic and who don’t actually propose consuming our pets, comes Jonathan Safran Foer with “Eating Animals,” who says eating our dogs would be no more barbaric than our consumption of pigs, cattle, chickens, etc.
For Foer, interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, the idea of consuming dogs makes even more sense, on some levels, than eating animals raised to be food.
“For the ecologically-minded,” he writes, “it’s time to admit that dog is realistic food for realistic environmentalists.” That last part sounds almost like an advertising slogan, doesn’t it?
Foer’s book was also excerpted in the Wall Street Journal last week, so it’s probably OK if we cut off and chew on a little piece of it here:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: books, books on dogs, brenda vale, cattle, chicken, consumption, dog, dogs, eating animals, eating dogs, environmental. ecology, factory, farming, foer, humans, jonathan safran foer, livestock, meat, pigs, robert vale, time to eat the dog, vegetarian, vegetarianism
New Zealand professors Brenda and Robert Vale say the title of their book was partly tongue-in-cheek, partly shock tactic.
“Time to Eat the Dog?: A Real Guide to Sustainable Living” — and we’re thankful they at least used a question mark — doesn’t actually propose pet owners eat their dogs and cats, but it does suggest switching to pets like chickens and rabbits, which then can be eaten.
Of course, if their fate is to be eaten, they wouldn’t be pets. They’d be livestock. But the Vales, both New Zealand professors of architecture and non-dogs owners (as maybe you’d guess), don’t seem to see the distinction.
By eating our pets, the Vales say, we’d reduce their carbon footprint.
And dogs and cats, granted, make some pretty big ones — according to the Vales, the amount of land and energy it takes to make one dog’s food for a year makes for twice the carbon footprint of a Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,213 miles a year.
A cat’s carbon footprint, meanwhile, is “slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf.
New Scientist magazine, in an editorial, stopped short of backing the authors’ suggestion – that we should recycle our pets by eating them or turning them into pet food at the end of their lives – but it did call for reducing the impact of pets on the environment, and for the pet food industry to be more environmentally responsible.
“In a world of scarce resources, can we justify keeping pets that consume more than some people?” the editorial asks. “… Giving up our pets in the name of sustainability may seem like a sacrifice too far, but if we are going to continue to keep animals purely for our enjoyment then we have to face uncomfortable choices.
“At the moment, pet-food manufacturers thrive by selling us the idea that only the best will do for our beloved animals, but once owners become more aware, what they demand from the industry is likely to change,” the editorial notes. “The first manufacturer to offer a green, eco-friendly pet food could be onto a winner. Sustainable lifestyles require sacrifices, and even cats and dogs can be made to do their bit.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, brenda vale, carbon footprint, cats, chickens, dogs, earth, eating, editorial, evironment, greenhouse gases, new scientist, new zealand, pets, pigs, robert vale, sustainability, time to eat the dog
My amazing eight days in Seoul — which I’ll tell you a thing or two about in the days ahead – are over, and I’m almost home.
One more flight to go, from San Francisco to Baltimore, and that’s not for another few hours, giving me time to sit in the airport and reflect on things such as why we humans transport ourselves much like we transport our livestock.
Why is it those in charge of moving us non-grade A/non-first-class humans from one place to another feel we must be cramped and sweaty, packed in like these pick-up truck pigs I snapped a picture of in Yongin, about 40 miles south of Seoul.
Sure, we humans get beverage service, and perhaps headsets to listen to music, and reclining seats, but other than that — and the fact that we’re not slaughtered when we reach our destination — the experiences have some parallels. And if we were to look at subways, there’d be even more.
Subways are cheap and fast and, as crowded as those in Seoul could get, I never found myself resentful about feeling like part of the herd. With airline travel, because of the hefty cost and all the extra hassles, I’m more likely to oink about it.
I wonder if it might send a message if we all took to mooing and squealing as we trudged through the line on our way through the airport security chute. Or should we just be thankful that they don’t use cattle prods to speed us along?
Granted, the average economy airline seat offers more room than these pigs get — but not much more, especially if the passenger in front of you has his seat fully reclined.
Fortunately, I slept through most of my last 10 airplane-seat hours — and I hope to do the same for most of the upcoming six. It’s not exactly quality sleep, what with some stranger’s elbow in your side, but it makes the time go by, and allows you to recover from the treatment you’ve just received from the security wranglers.
I think that’s why, even when one sleeps for the entire journey, one is still exhausted upon arriving home — the stress and cramped conditions of air travel. Still, I’m grateful for this much:
When I get to my final destination I might be toast. But at least I won’t be bacon.
It’s hard to top something like the “Running of the Pigs,” but the Pigtown Pooch Pageant, also scheduled as part of this weekend’s Annual Pigtown Festival, will give it a shot.
Dogs will be exhibiting their talents and wardrobes Saturday, and judges will be awarding prizes to the three that make the biggest impressions.
The festival — on the 700 and 800 blocks of Washington Boulevard in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood – also features food, drinks, music, community booths and children’s activities. It starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m.
If you plan to enter your dog in the pageant, you need to register at the festival a half hour before the event.
The pooch pageant is sponsored by Doggie Style, 1130 Light Street, in Federal Hill.