For the record, I do like animals, especially baby animals. For various reasons, I have no pets: cost of food, supplies, veterinarian visits; space in apartment; rules of apartment; time to give pet attention it deserves; having to make arrangements for traveling; allergies; they start out as cute cuddly puppies and kittens, but then they grow up . . . really, the list goes on and on. And now I have one more reason.
However, most of my immediate family members do have pets that are very important to them. If you already have a pet, the article offers some suggestions for reducing your pet’s environmental impact:
- Look for pet food (especially for dogs), that has a lower percent of meat ingredients. There are also organic options. (If you cringe at the thought of how much this might cost, refer back to my list of reasons for not owning a pet.)
- Do not walk your dog in wildlife-rich areas.
- Keep your cat inside.
Are you contemplating getting a pet?
Due to the overabundance (just visit an animal shelter) of pets, there are many ways to interact with animals without contributing to the demand for new animals. Pet sit for a friend or relative. Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog that sits penned up all day. I would say volunteer at a shelter, but this often ends with having a pet.
Look for alternatives. Nurturing a garden, or an air-cleaning houseplant, provide some of the same rewards as owning a pet, without the negative environmental impact. If you like having something to pet, find someone who enjoys back rubs. (To help you out, I will happily receive a back rub at any time, just say the word!)