"I've always wanted to read an environmental book that was brutally honest about the size of the sacrifices the greens are demanding of average people. Now Brenda and Robert Vale, two professors at New Zealand's Victoria University and winners of a United Nations Global 500 Award for Environmental Achievement, have filled that market niche. Their new book is provocatively titled: Time to Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living.
"They argue that the carbon pawprint of a typical canine is twice that of an SUV that's driven 6,000 miles a year. The main reason is all the energy that goes into producing meat for its diet. Keeping a cat is the equivalent of owning a Volkswagen Golf. Two hamsters are as bad for the planet as owning a plasma TV.
"In order to stave off global warming, the Vales suggest pet owners swap dogs and cats for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits. 'There is certainly some truth in the fact that if we have edible pets like chickens for their eggs and meat, and rabbits and pigs, we will be compensating for the impact of other things on our environment,' the authors write.
"The authors issue a dire warning about the eco-hazards of a wealthy lifestyle. If everyone shared the standard of living of Americans, they say, humanity would need five planet Earths to sustain itself. Thus it's allegedly time to take drastic measures: People should ride bikes for all but the longest errands, and they should give up holidays. The authors even offer marriage advice: Don't get divorced until you find a new partner so you can save the environmental cost of maintaining two homes.
"Robert Vale says the couple wrote their book because current efforts fall so pitifully short in tackling the world's environmental problems. 'There are so many wussy sustainability books out there. It's a bit more complex than grocery bags and light bulbs.'"
-- John Fund, Wall Street Journal