Our Planet Just Can't Sustain Pets

Erik Assadourian: We need to change pet culture drastically
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2014 12:34 PM CDT
Our Planet Just Can't Sustain Pets
Erik Assadourian holds that it may be time to reconsider the world's attachment to pets.   (Shutterstock)

In a piece that may not sit well with some pet owners, Erik Assadourian argues that pets are detrimental to the planet—and it's time to take action. "Two German Shepherds use more resources just for their annual food needs than the average Bangladeshi uses each year in total," Assadourian writes in the Guardian. "And while pet owners may disagree that Bangladeshis have more right to exist than their precious Schnookums, the truth is that pets serve little more societal purpose than keeping us company"—and our planet just can't keep supporting the millions of cats and dogs that inhabit it.

Assadourian doesn't suggest that we all get rid of our pets, but that we "prepare for the contracting future." He wants to see our animals spayed and neutered (with triple the tax on those that aren't), the marketing of pet products banned, and a limit on the healthcare we provide to our pets. He'd also like to see people turn to pets that serve other purposes, like giving milk, laying eggs, or supplying meat. Otherwise, when climate change sends food prices skyward, people may be forced to dump their pets en masse, Assadourian notes. "Perhaps at that point the pet issue will solve itself—as these packs of dogs become a bridge food for the hungry unemployed masses." Click for his full piece. (More pets stories.)

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