18 November 2009

Time to Eat the Dog?

Time to Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living is a new book by Robert Vale and Brenda Vale, authors of several other books about leading an environmentally conscious life. You can't buy it (yet) in the US, but you can look at it at the UK arm of Amazon, where it's described as "one subversive read," or read about it in The Guardian.

I'm not going to pay for international shipping, so I won't be reading the book until it's published in the US. And I'm not about to eat our pet, who has been a beloved member of the household since he adopted us almost two years ago. But here are some of my own ways of trying to reduce his environmental impact.

He eats vegetarian kibble. I researched dog nutrition when we got him and found out that dogs need taurine, an amino acid found only in meat. But the vegetarian dog foods contain synthetic taurine, so we're okay there. I also buy him a vitamin compound to mix with his food, just to be sure.

His dog beds consist of old blankets and towels. Easier to wash than one of those nice thick beds, and already around the house. Toys, leashes, sweaters, carriers .... you can go crazy buying all kinds of new stuff like that, or you can buy one or two items and stick with them until they've fallen apart.

No, I don't want you to eat your dog. And I have no intention of eating ours. But I am asking you to take the pet into consideration when you make decisions about consumption.