New planetary burden: Meat-eating pets

March 22, 2009

Paul Greenberg opines today in the New York Times that dogs and cats should go vegan. Writing about his cat, Greenberg says,

Coco, like most American cats, ate fish. And a great deal of them — more in a year than the average African human, according to Jason Clay at the World Wildlife Fund. And unlike the chicken or beef Coco also gobbled up, all those fish were wild animals, scooped out of the sea and flown thousands of carbon-belching miles to reach his little blue bowl.

The use of wild fish in animal feed is a serious problem for the world’s food systems. Around a third of all wild fish caught are “reduced” into fish meal and fish oil. And yet most of the outrage about this is focused not on land-based animals like Coco but on other fish — namely farm-raised fish.

But if you feel that a vegan pet would “go against nature,” Greenberg says you should “rethink a pet’s potential footprint before acquiring one”:

A carnivore, be it a cat, a dog or a salmon, is a heavy burden for the environment and should not be brought under human care lightly. In my family, this has become a topic of debate as we consider our next animal. Coco was an interesting and unique creature, and I argue that he cannot be replaced. To me, a vegetarian substitute is seeming more and more appealing. Lately, I’ve had my eye on a guinea pig.

Hats off to the New York Times for allowing Greenberg to share his thoughts with the world — otherwise, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

9 Responses to “New planetary burden: Meat-eating pets”

  1. evilbughead Says:

    wow another NWO scum sucking zombie trying to dictate how we should live. Palease making a cat vegan would be trying to make me gay. Not gonna happen. Cats need special enzymes and proteins which can only be found in meat to survive. Better do some more research there Kool-Aid drinker and learn your facts before spewing shit which makes your “carbon footprint” A BIG FUKIN WASTE of space and time.

  2. dublds Says:

    He should try feeding his cat vegan and learn what non Kool-Aid drinkers already know: that all vegetable diets lack essential vitamins, enzymes, chlesterols and proteins. This is why most veggies/vegans have pale skin, weak hair and poor cardiovascular health and underformed brain matter, despite their multimillion dollar campaigns to convince you otherwise. Cats are meat eaters, and have simpler physiologies. Put Coco on a vegan diet and he’ll look like Mr. Bigglesworth in 3 months.

    That said I’d love to see this happen. To have the whole thing backfire via a simple dose of reality, and The unwitting Coco become the poster child for eating meat. At which point the ALF or PETA would firebomb this guy’s house if that happened. That’s the beauty of wacko idealists. There’s always some other wacko idealists to step up and challenge their wacky ideas with wacky ideas of their own.

  3. […] New planetary burden: Meat-eating pets Paul Greenberg opines today in the New York Times that dogs and cats should go vegan. Writing about his cat, Greenberg says, […]

  4. […] Green Hell Blog Monday, March 23, 2009 […]

  5. […] Green Hell Blog Monday, March 23, 2009 […]

  6. wrmarsh Says:

    Dogs can live on a vegetarian diet. Don’t try this with cats! They lack several enzymes for essential amino acids and can’t survive without some type of animal protein.

  7. imjetta Says:

    Oh for pete’s sake! Who bought the cat’s food??? You’re right, you can’t make this stuff up. Sigh.

  8. justbeau Says:

    The late Coco did not wade out into the water with a fishing rod. Greenberg fed his cat meals containing fish. This was his free choice. If he thinks feeding fish to cats is a problem, he might change his own behavior and walk the talk.

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