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Author Topic: Pets  (Read 6153 times)


  • Nilas ice
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« on: August 22, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
With regards to pet-keeping, what can we do to reduce the climate impact?

The big thing, to me, would be to rescue rather than incentivise the breeding of new pets where possible. With a side mention of also feeding them as sustainably as possible, while keeping them well-nourished (cats need meat/fish, for example), and neutering where appropriate. Anything else?


  • New ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 02:41:50 PM »
I put the dogs droppings in the compost which I've heard is a bad idea but I only use the compost on none food areas so I hope it's not an issue.  I've never had a detailed explanation why dog poo is bad in compost. Anyone know why?


  • Frazil ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 09:17:03 PM »
and so it goes


  • Nilas ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 04:50:19 PM »
The keeping of pets is certainly a valid topic in environmental/sustainable terms.  But I would be more comfortable if a whale was making the claim that there were too many dogs vice a human.  Especially when humans are the single most overpopulated species on the planet.

But then I am a dog person to the bone.  We are after all symbiotic species. 

There is no doubt in my mind that there are only a handful of people in this world I would save should the choice fall that I had to choose between the option of saving my dog or the human.  To my mind almost any of the Earth's creatures is more valuable than any random human.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Bruce Steele

  • Young ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 06:40:55 PM »

    The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941


  • First-year ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 07:25:41 PM »
WOW !!!


  • Frazil ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 09:55:47 AM »
With cats, rescues nearly always make sense, except in one case that I heard of a particular cat whose kittens were such good mousers that the owner had a waiting list a few years long for future kittens.  Other than mousers, humans don't have a lot of "working cats".  With dogs, though, if your only purpose is a companion, then it makes sense to rescue.  With working dogs, you need specific breeds, they have been bred to develop instincts to do specific tasks, which makes training completely different.   We need to stop stigmatizing breeders as bad people and instead encourage responsible breeding.  Humans have been breeding animals for tens of thousands of years, and the process creates a form of domesticated evolution.  With both plants and animals, the art of selective breeding creates life forms that are more suited to our needs with each generation.  With plants and animals for food especially, we need the ability to raise creatures that are more resilient to changing environments, that are better able to meet our food needs.  The same is true for working animals, to a lesser degree.  Also remember, all working animals have the same potential to be carbon neutral that we humans do.  I strongly advocate transportation by horse! 

Also remember, if you drive out responsible breeders, you will only be left with the irresponsible ones, and the general decline in animal genetics will follow.  If you have no interest in animal husbandry and never plan on breeding your animal, it's YOUR responsibility to keep it from accidentally getting bred.  These unwanted litters are the main reason for the current problem with pet overpopulation, well... that and people who decide they no longer want their pet.  Also, if you have a very good reason for not being able to keep a pet anymore, then it's your responsibility to find it another "forever" home (for example, if you've become too sick to care for it, NOT because you want to move to a place that doesn't allow pets.  Although if you HAVE TO move for financial reasons and there's no other alternative that you can afford, then I understand).

Genetics and selective breeding are a form of evolution, there is no upper limit on achieving genetic perfection.  It's one of the few remaining resources that is undepleted, and that's because it's something you can't possibly deplete.  We could all use some experience with selective breeding, although I recommend starting in your garden. 


  • Young ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 12:47:20 PM »
Just like climate change.....FACTS are a good place to start:

I have to take the other side of the issue from anotheramethyst regading breeders.

I am a HUGE dog lover....and really an animal lover of all types.  But the last thing we need on this planet....are several million more pets, when we have pets who need a home already.

When we stop euthanizing 1.3 MILLION dogs a year....then I'll cut the dog breeders some slack.  NOT UNTIL THEN.

I owned a bred dog years ago.  LOVED HIM.  But that was before I found out how many dogs needed a home.  I will NEVER...EVER....get another dog from a breeder.

I'll take a "SWAG" (simple wild assed guess) and say that less than 5% of the dogs that are bred....are used actually USED by farmers.

FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."


  • Frazil ice
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Re: Pets
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 11:43:40 PM »
I despair at the practice of keeping exotic, wild animals as pets. Creatures like lizards, turtles and snakes are never pets. They are simply captured, imprisoned to satisfy the ego of the captor. 

Dogs and horses have obviously been bred to be companions are work animals for us humans.  Indeed, most domestic dogs would probably die pretty quickly in the wild without a regular food supply from their carer.  Our family has a 14 year old Jack Russell bitch that we adopted from an animal shelter when she was about 5.  She was a wonderful companion for the kids as they were growing up. The key is to get children to take responsibility for the care of the pet.  I think that caring for an animal teaches important life lessons for children because the animal won't care how rich or good looking you are, only that you are consistent, fair, reliable and affectionate.  Good qualities for any human.  What that's quote from Mark Twain - "If you take a starving, wretched dog then feed it and care for it then it will not bite you - that is the chief difference between the dog and the human."

But, having said that, too often I see people, mostly young aggressive males who use a dog to extend their own angry peronality into the world.  They will get a pit-bull terrier, allow it to become aggressive and not train it at all.  Then they put on a studded collar and laugh when it snarls or threatens to attack.  Just ignorant, egotistical people who pervert the natural instincts of the animal.  They use the animal as a status symbol, along with their tattoos and pickup trucks.

I have no time for cats.  Being an Australian, I know that domestic cats gone wild are killing off native marsupials and birds at a staggering rate. Threatening extinction in many cases.  In my opinion every single domestic cat should be put to death, in Australia and New Zealand at least.  I am not impressed by their qualities as a companion either.  Dogs can read and respond to human emotions, they are social animals that need to be with you.  This is why they are being used in many aged care facilities and are increasingly used to ease the anxiety of autistic and abused children. Cats just want to be fed and care not a jot about you. 

The answer to the question about the effect of pets on the enviroment is, not surprisingly, - "it depends".  Just as one billion Asian subsistence farmers do much less damage to the planet than 100 million people living the North American lifestyle, so too does a responsible pet owner have much less impact than someone who only feeds their animal from a can and lets it run free.

We make our own food for the dog, a mixture of brown rice, peas and corns, accompanied by left over chicken or lean red meat. She nearly died from the excessive fat content in canned food, but has never been healthier since we started making it ourselves.  Most canned pet food is very low quality, designed to look like meat, but it doesn't actually contain much. Its also designed to appeal to the senses of the human buyer, not the animal eating it. Maybe if the manufacturers were required to display pictures of all the slaughtered race horses, deer and kangaroo that go into these products then more people would make their own pet food.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 12:08:35 AM by Stephen »
The ice was here, the ice was there,   
The ice was all around:
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,   
Like noises in a swound!
  Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge