Would you consider NOT replacing your pet to save the planet?
According to Donnachadh McCarthy, an environmental auditor, by owning a pet, you are doing more damage to the environment than you might realise.
He says “When pets can emit twice the carbon emissions of our homes’ electricity and kill up to 200 million wild prey in the UK every year, we cannot stay silent. Unfortunately, in many cases pet ownership is simply another form of destructive consumerism.”
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) conducts an annual survey of UK pet ownership. In 2019, they found that 50 per cent of adults own a pet, with 10.9 million people owning a cat, up from six million in 1981. These figures increased during the lockdown. The Kennel Club reported a 25 per cent rise in pet registrations, with people buying pets on impulse for company during lockdown.
The Mammal Society estimated in 1998 that 63 million small mammals, frogs and snakes and 27 million birds were killed every year by UK cats. Of real concern is the vulnerability of endangered bird species in habitats close to urban cats.
But it’s not just wildlife. 20.8 million dogs and cats consuming just one tin or unrecyclable plastic package of cat food per day results in 7.6 billion containers being manufactured each year, just in the UK. Add to this, another 3.6 billion plastic bags for picking up the estimated 1.2 million tons of dog-poop and then there is the issue of disposing of 200 million tons of cat waste.
Most clumping cat-litter is made from bentonite clay, which is an unrecyclable mineral mined using open-cast strip mining, which removes trees and soils to get at the clay.
Then there is the actual high-carbon, high-cruelty fish, chicken and meat that goes into the tins and packets that eventually produces the poop. The meat content of dog and cat diets, at about 33 per cent, is significantly higher than that of the average American human diet, at about 19 per cent.
It would seem that the UK cannot achieve its carbon goals or protect our remaining scraps of biodiversity if we maintain this unsustainable huge number of pets.
What are your views? Are you a pet owner? Would you consider NOT replacing your pet when it goes to pet heaven?
What are your views?
We'd love to hear your comments
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!