August 14, 2013

"Can you start a post and thread on the adverse economic and environmental impact of pets?"

Asked Phaedrus in the comments to "If you really care about global warming, stop all unnecessary travel."
The same tree huggers that yammer on and on about the environment allow their pets to use everyone else property, public and private as a restroom for their animal. Human waste has to be treated under all kinds of regulatory requirements. Pets are allowed to deposit equivalent waste at will wherever as if they are wild animals which they aren't. And don't get me started on what it takes to feed them, the grain, meat etc. You could feed a lot of starving people using the grain that goes into pet food.
Consider this that post. And let me also call attention to my 2010 post "If you really believed in global warming, you would turn off your air conditioning," which had an addendum with a list of 6 more things people should do to demonstrate actual belief in the coming calamity:

1. Your weight should be at the low end of normal, indicating that you are not overconsuming the products of agriculture.

2. You should not engage in vigorous physical exercise, as this will increase your caloric requirements. You may do simple weight-lifting or calisthenics to keep in shape. Check how many calories per hour are burned and choose a form of exercise that burns as few calories as possible.

3. Free time should be spent sitting or lying still without using electricity. Don't run the television or music playing device. Reading, done by sunlight is the best way to pass free time. After dark, why not have a pleasant conversation with friends or family? Word games or board games should replace sports or video games.

4. Get up at sunrise. Don't waste the natural light. Try never to turn on the electric lights in your house or workplace. Put compact fluorescent bulbs in all your light fixtures. The glow is so ugly that it will reduce the temptation to turn them on.

5. Restrict your use of transportation. Do not assume that walking or biking is less productive of carbon emissions than using a highly efficient small car. Do not go anywhere you don't have to go. When there is no food in the house to make dinner, instead of hopping in the car to go to the grocery store or a restaurant, take it as a cue to fast. As noted above, your weight should be at the low end of normal, and opportunities to reach or stay there should be greeted with a happy spirit.

6. If you have free time, such as a vacation from work, spend it in your home town. Read library books, redo old jigsaw puzzles, meditate, tell stories to your children — the list of activities is endless. Just thinking up more items to put on that list is an activity that could be on the list. Really embrace this new way of life. A deep satisfaction and mental peace can be achieved knowing that you are saving the earth.

35 comments:

Mark Trade said...

#2 sounds a bit much, or at least vague. How many miles should one cap one's walking, running, biking, etc.? Or rather how many calories must one restrict one's self to using? Can I buy calorie credits by forgoing fossil-fueled transportation?

William said...

Please limit your consumption of beans and other legumes as the subsequent methane emissions add to global warming.

Belial said...

I like air conditioning, but if I turned it off, under the Codex Althousicus I'd be allowed to wear shorts. So there's that.

jimbino said...

And above all, stop the breeding. A woman who breeds is doubling her carbon footprint.

Carl said...

What the hecky heck is so wonderful about the Earth de novo that it should be "saved" anyway? I mean, I like trees as much as the next person, and probably more: I spend more time actually outdoors and know more about them than most people my age, and I would not willingly whack one down without sound reason.

But the most ignorant African goatherder is a far more astonishingly wonderful creation than a sequoia, waterfall or domestic cat. His mind, stunted as it might be through the lack of a Harvard degree in Gender Studies or Social Ecology and internship at the World Bank, holds thoughts, ideas, perspectives, reflections, and digestions of experience that are wonderful to behold and contemplate. Unlike a bird, he doesn't just look at the stars and deduce which way is north, and unlike a hyena he doesn't just regard stumbling upon the skull of a friend as serendipitous food or a warning of nearby carnivores.

I wouldn't carelessly waste the Earth, or abuse it, but the crowning achievement of Gaia is intelligent and reflective life -- H. sapiens, with all his flaws -- and it's entirely reasonable that she adapt to optimize his existence.

Who the hell are we saving it for? God -- sorry, the Goddess -- will look down at the silent empty planet, after the last chattering noisy farting cooking copulating human has gone to his grave, see the riot growth of weeds and lemon trees over his villages, the dumb as a post duikers free to again swarm across the plain in the thousands and....what? Say "Well done, humans? My charge to you was...be barren and diminish, my entire purpose in creating you was for you to relinquish purpose and growth and fade back into the dust?"

What strange thoughts. People who think that way need a good strong cup of coffee, maybe a hug, raise, or blow job.

urpower said...

Perfect obeisance to the environment can be obtained only by lying still. An inconvenient truth.

D. said...

"If you really care about global warming, stop all unnecessary travel."

I don't care and they don't care:

Most Geoscientists Reject Global Warming Theory

traditionalguy said...

The pets of empty nester Baby Boomers are getting whatever anyone is selling. They are the service dogs/cats for the abandoned patriarchs suffering from Post Traumatic Children Moving Away Syndrome.

Now if we could only rent dogs, hmmm.

And what about the Gourmet Wild Bird Seed orders that you have been seeing on Amazon.

Good news is that the Global Cooling for 16 straight years has gone critical everywhere. Now most scientists are doing an about face on the Myth that there even are Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere at all.

Carl said...

I guess I can see the attraction for lefties, though. These are so often people who hate themselves, and extrapolate that individual self-aware existence itself is a curse. They think the only source of beauty is in the rich interplay of unaware -- even robotic -- elements in a vast complex ecology.

What a pity they are blind to the enormous ecosystem within the individual human being -- the seething complex mass of ideas, contradictory impulses, struggles between character and id, agents of both creative and destructive impulse, even the labyrinthine dynamics of biochemistry. Their attitude towards that ecosystem is as contemptuous and anxious as the attitude they impute to the Scrooge McDuck industrialist. God-damned mess! Cut all those wild trees down, plow the land, put in a monocrop, raze those troublesome hills and feed the ores to this nice shiny factory that turns out uniform billets of useful steel. You wonder where their inner Lorax is.

Edward Lunny said...

Well, as has been said. When the hysterical warmists begin to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, they'll be deserving of more attention. Until then they can all ,individually and collectively, bugger off.
A good start would be for them to tightly wrap dry cleaning bags about their heads until such time as they'd stopped breathing. Think of all of the carbon sequestered. And those bags could be recycled.....for their brethren and acolytes. How green is that ?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Phaedrus ought to know that there are pet owners who do not meet his/her specifications. I have two cats, who are confined to this house. Their waste products are double-bagged and put out in the trash.

And don't get me started on what it takes to feed them, the grain, meat etc. You could feed a lot of starving people using the grain that goes into pet food.

You could feed a lot of starving people on the grain that we are putting into our gas tanks via Federal law on biofuels, too.

For that matter, you could confiscate all the pets in the United States, slaughter them, and make them into tasty fricassees for the starving millions. (Don't leave out the horses. There's a lot of meat on a horse, or so I understand.) Why do I think you're not going there?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Well, what I said before: I have two cats, who are spayed/neutered (one each) and aren't allowed outside. They aren't defecating or urinating on anyone else's property, and I resent the implication that everyone with pets obviously lets them do so. Around here, I see people walking their dogs; they all pick up the "leavings" in baggies.

If your position is that it's obscene for grain to go to pets when there are people starving, I presume you also think it's obscene for grain to go to top up automobile fuel when there are people starving. I could name a couple of point people in Congress that you might like to contact about this.

Harrison said...

To traditionalguy: You can rent a dog in a number of large cities, most notably New York and San Francisco. It's as close as a Google...

Sam L. said...

"urpower said...

Perfect obeisance to the environment can be obtained only by lying still. An inconvenient truth.
"

Naaaah, just kill yourself.

wildswan said...

Dogs are great pets and I pity anyone who doesn't know that. But still sadder is a person who stares out at people playing about with their pets and thinks about shit.

Ann Althouse said...

Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?

Henry said...

I enjoy the fact that I reject the premise of guilt while being very low-carbon out of personal inclination. I ride my bike to work. Is that good enough? I ride my bike to the light rail and ride it again on the other end in the dense resource-efficient city.

Our compost bin is enormous and our fluorescent bulbs intractable. I love getting up early. We go to the library all the time!

But when I throw the carbon-burning-kids into the carbon-burning-SUV and drive them across state lines to eat barbecued carbon with our friends, I laugh at the Prius-driving handwringers in the ditches.

Life is good.

pst314 said...

Ann Althouse "Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?"

Because that's just so bourgeois.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?

I mean, not to be crude here, but unless you and Meade have separate, dedicated toilets, someone in your household is dealing with someone else's shit every time the toilet is scrubbed out. I think Ann-minus-Meade, or Meade-minus-Ann, would be "sadder" than Ann and Meade. Even if one of you has to scrub out a toilet you both use.

Richard Dolan said...

Many of these ideas -- particularly the ones focusing on the use of electricity -- are in the for-show-only category. As it relates to the production of CO2, the key metric for electric generation is peak load. Using electric power at non-peak periods adds essentially nothing in terms of CO2 because the power is being generated whether or not you use it. At peak load, add'l usage requires add'l generation which in turn requires the conversion of some other source of energy (by, e.g., burning fossil fuel) to generate the extra power.

But so much of all of this is just for show. In almost all of these categories, the key metric is aggregate demand. Whether any individual's usage adds to aggregate demand, in a dynamic environment, is a proposition requiring proof, not an axiom self-evidently true.

tim maguire said...

As I get older I get more tolerant of some things and less tolerant of others. I am becoming more and more angry about the dog crap that people don't pick up. Most dog owners are responsible, but there are probably 100 dogs on my streeet. If every one of them dumps twice a day and it takes two weeks for the crap to decay, then even if 95% of owners pick up, that's still a lot of crap to step in.

Meanwhile, the liberal elite will never be environmentally sound because there's nothing trendy or sexy about it. Being green isn't about sporting the latest ecotech scam. It's about being frugal and not wasting. Don't buy what you don't need. Don't throw away what's still useful. Don't live in a house that's bigger than you need. Don't fly when you can drive, don't drive when you an bike or walk. Everything in moderation.

Who would do all that when all you really need to do to feel superior to those damn Republicans is put a solar panel on your McMansion and use diapers made from recycled material on your European vacation?

cubanbob said...

Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?"

Shit is natural, a part of nature. It's everywhere. Even if all pets were banned it would still be everywhere. Where does wildlife shit? Wherever it shits. It dries and part of it gets blown in to the wind and you know what that means. Swim in the ocean or a lake? The fish got to shit somewhere. The world is covered in shit. There is no escaping it. Personally I don't make a habit of thinking about this shit, why aggravate myself over something that can't be changed? Turn a negative into a positive and revel in the glory of shit, life truly is shit and in the circle of life when we finally go we become worm shit. From dust to dust and from shit to shit.

Henry said...

As for pets -- we're researching the ones we can eat.

howzerdo said...

Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?

What makes this a simpler life?

Carl said...

Using electric power at non-peak periods adds essentially nothing in terms of CO2 because the power is being generated whether or not you use it.

This is unfortunately not true. It's true the voltage is maintained whether you use any amps or not, but the power required to do that goes roughly like (volts)x(amps), so the more amps you draw, the more watts it takes to keep the volts up at 117, and therefore the more kg of coal or methane you have to burn per second. TANSTAAFL.

If you have the occasion to use a generator, you will notice that the engine sags under a significant load (and consumes lots more gas) if you start flipping on floodlights connected to it.

Ken Mitchell said...

From an old World War II poster:

"Use it up!
Wear out!
Make it do, or do without!"

As Conservatives, we ought to be CONSERVING things. We should be preserving the natural environment of the Earth.

Heavy industry should be in space, where there's no problems with weather or darkness messing with your solar power arrays.

stlcdr said...

Nothing wrong with a simpler life. The key word is life. Whether you believe in (a) God or not, life is for living.

All the 'greenies' (or whatever you want to call them, or they want to call themselves, it doesn't really matter) chastisement really smacks of zealots screaming "you are going to burn in hell for your sins!"

tim maguire said...

So much great stuff here. I'm with you Henry. I have a small carbon footprint but it has nothing to do with concern about global warming. In fact, the average denier has a smaller carbon footprint than the average believer.

Fun fact for the day: a portion of every glass of water you have ever drunk was at one time in the digestive tract of some animal.

sdharms said...

Yeah, and if they wanted to feed starving people they would protest the use of corn to make ethanol for fuel. And if they really believed in evolution, why would they worry about a species becoming extinct? Evolution is SURVIVAL of the fittest no matter what the stressor is. And there is no mention of stopping air travel, or space exploration by the global warming believers. The list of hypocrisies is endless.

Kirk Parker said...

MDT,

... it's obscene for grain to go to diluting automobile fuel...

FIFY.

Peter said...

"Naaaah, just kill yourself ..."

Before about 1800CE people did live in an mostly closed ecosystem (Hello. Malthus!), in which (almost) all that was consumed would be returned and truly recycled, world without end.

BUT if people can't or won't live that way now- well, why not Save the Planet by loosing a universally fatal virus? (Or at least one that totally disables reproductive ability).

Is this not where all radically Green philosophies must inexorably lead?

ALP said...

"Why is it sad to choose a simpler life that does not contain a daily interaction with another being's shit?"
********************
I interpret "shit" broadly here:

Shit = those things my partner does that drive me crazy.

I would say that is a pretty good definition of marriage or a long term relationship: two people that have decided to put up with each others shit because the "non shitty" parts of their personalities made it worthwhile.

Sadness would be the likely result of withdrawing from social interaction to such an extent that you are free of ever having to deal with the shit of another human being. Literally or figuratively. It is simpler, but much lonelier.

John Cunningham said...

Carl wrote-
What strange thoughts. People who think that way need a good strong cup of coffee, maybe a hug, raise, or blow job.
I think these anti-life, anti-human Leftist scrotes need a knuckle sandwich and a good kick in the nutsack. whenever I hear these green scum bleating, I chamber a round in my AK-74.

Ralph Hyatt said...

Pets are allowed to deposit equivalent waste at will wherever as if they are wild animals which they aren't. And don't get me started on what it takes to feed them, the grain, meat etc. You could feed a lot of starving people using the grain that goes into pet food.

Even the retired pastor that comes to our church once a year to solicit for Food for the Poor (a charity that distributes, not surprisingly, food to the poor, and otherwise attempts to alleviate poverty) admits that hunger today is a political problem.

More than enough food is produced to feed the poor, the problem is getting it to them. That is why Food for the Poor distributes food aid directly, because if you give it to the government (of the country you are distributing food in) it will end up sold and the government officials pocket the money.

Smilin' Jack said...

You could feed a lot of starving people using the grain that goes into pet food.

But those people would then generate much more CO2 than pets do.