Turn Fido into a Climate Hero

Help your furry pet do their part for the climate revolution.

| May 2018

The Parent’s Guide to Climate Revolution  by Mary DeMocker shows parents how to do their part for the climate revolution. She encourages readers to stop stupid environmental decisions and start taking smart actions to better the environment. This section shares how to keep pets while minimizing the sometimes negative impacts of domestic animals.

"The average carbon paw print of our dog or cat is higher than an average human from countries like Haiti or Afghanistan."— Larry Schwartz, Salon

 When I was growing up, my family had a menagerie that ranged from gerbils to Welsh ponies, with the occasional piranha thrown in. Mostly, though, we were Dog People. Purebred German shepherds kept showing up because my sister befriended a dog rescuer who knew DeMockers couldn’t refuse a lonely shepherd in need of kids and a yard. This is how, at fifteen, I came home from camp one summer to find Linda awaiting me.

Suddenly, I had a built-in best friend. Linda was a patient listener, uncomplaining jogging partner, and foot warmer who greeted me with joy the moment I opened my eyes each morning. She offered the unconditional love that drives countless North Americans every year to impulsively bring home big-eyed puppies. Dogs are good for the human spirit. Or, as my friend Tim says, “Dogs and people — we go way back.”



The only problem with this interspecies lovefest, climate-wise, is dog food — or any pet food, really. Some use palm oil, which is a ruinous ingredient for our climate or palm oil derivatives. And pet foods collectively use a lot of carbon-intensive beef.

If you have a pet, consider some of these solutions — though always pay attention to your pet, and consult your vet, to meet your lovable fur-ball’s particular needs. Many dog-lovers buy palm oil–free food made from soy or a variety of other meats (which have less environmental impact than beef). Also, you might buy meat by-products from local butchers, which reduces packaging and transport. For our dogs, we picked up a monthly supply of frozen and bloody cubes to toss into the basement freezer (which made my every trip into the dark, underground room for Linda’s food feel a bit like a scene from a horror movie).






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