Day 589: Your Pets are Destroying the Environment

Are our pets good for the environment? The answer appears to be more emphatically no than many environmentally-conscious pet owners might care to acknowledge. There are 61 million dogs and 76.5 million cats in the United States of America, all of which power an industry worth $55.7 billion, everything from plastic toys to kitty litter to custom clothing. The food required to feed the pets of America has the same environmental impact as “the combined populations of Cuba and Haiti“, and American pets are as obese as their humans. A dog’s carbon footprint may be equivalent to that of an SUV. Domesticated cats kill more than 26 billion birds and mammals each year. - Salon

Yes, blame the animals for our actions born from greed and ignorance. Only we are capable of this kind of gross distortion of reality. We, who are slowly killing all life on earth. We, who have made money more important than basic rights to life. We, who torture and kill for profit.

How can we blame animals for our creation of the "pet industry". We determine what they eat, what they eat out of, how often and how much they eat, what they do or don't wear, where they do and don't go - we absolutely dominate their lives - and now we decide to blame them for that? We build the factories, we drive the industry - we are responsible. We are the ones who are "bad for the environment".

Everything we do, the way we live, the way we produce, extract and consume resources is bad for the environment. We are producing all sorts of products that end up simply being trash, with no real practical purpose. We are designing our products to break after a certain time period in an attempt to keep our economy going - an economy that we created and keep in existence of our own free will. We are the ones who refuse to consider alternatives to what we are doing now. We are the ones who create corporations and make profit more important than health or even our continued existence.

I am absolutely flabbergasted at the sheer gall and stupidity of the human race. I am ashamed of my species. Instead of discussing and investigating sustainable solutions that ensure not only the survival of the beings with whom we share the earth but also ourselves, we talk about how we could shift the responsibility away from us and onto some other party like pets.

The simplest solution for this entire debacle is to stop turning everything into an industry with the main goal of making as much profit as possible. Products and services should be of the highest quality and produced with consideration for our collective future. Life is not an industry, we are not supposed to be trying to buy as much as possible and make as much money as possible - we should be creating the infrastructure and support to give all life on earth the space, respect and dignity to live happily and in peace.

If we continue blaming everything around us we will not solve any of the problems we are facing or that we may face in the future. We keep placing the focus on irrelevant parts of the picture, mostly the symptoms of the problem, without investigating what the root cause is. Continuing in this manner will mean that we will most likely never address the actual causes of problems and therefore continue experiencing the problems. Chances are that the problems will continue escalating and we will end up dead or dying, all thanks to - Oh wow, what a surprise! Us!