Doggone it


Everyone loves dogs, right? Don’t be so sure. In its spring issue, Earth Island Journal reviewed the book Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale. The Vales found that the carbon impact of a dog is double that of an SUV, that a dog of medium size chowing down on store-bought food eats 360 pounds of meat a year and 200 pounds of cereals, and that it takes more than two acres to grow the food for just one pooch. Dogs and house cats also attack wildlife and devastate the bird population. The Vales say the best pet is one that serves a dual function, like a chicken, which also lays eggs, though rabbits are good, too, “provided you eat them.” Dogs have their champions, of course, and in Wyoming they even have a life coach in Beverly Morgan, who calls herself a “dog listener,” reports the Cody Enterprise. Morgan says that when a dog owner comes home after a long day, the dog’s proper response should be to lie down and face front, sort of the equivalent of a curtsey, rather than jumping up and down. You don’t want to reward rambunctious behavior, she says. Morgan came to respect dogs while working as a rancher in Nebraska: “I employed dogs because it was cheaper than a man. I found a good dog not only can do excellent work but ended up saving my life.” A dog’s nature, she added, is so generous that the animals “deserve the best life they can have.” This almost certainly does not include ending up as an entrée.

In a freak accident, a huge elk apparently fell into a deep sandy hole and then got trapped, hung up by its massive antlers, reports the San Juan Record. Pictures verified the animal’s startling demise, though elsewhere, in an ad, the weekly paper acknowledged that 100 percent accuracy was elusive: “We leave some mistakes for you to find. Enjoy your reading.”

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