Are Dogs Worse than SUVs?

As a dog owner, I read with interest Time to Eat the Dog, a book by Robert and Brenda Vale. The book argues that the carbon impact of a dog is double that of an SUV, that a typical dog eats 360 pounds of meat and 200 pounds of cereal a year and that it takes two acres to grow the food for just one dog. Dogs also attack wild animals, so, according to the book, the best pet is a chicken, which serves a dual purpose because chickens lay eggs, or rabbits “provided you eat them.” Of course, if you eat your dog, you get a dual purpose, which I guess explains the book’s title.

There really is no need to forsake dogs and the solution to the carbon dog footprint problem problem is obvious: environmentalists need to give up their big dogs and turn to small dogs to save the planet. Take me, for example. I own a 3-pound toy poodle. I guarantee that a 3-pound dog leaves very small footprints, carbon or otherwise, yet provides the companionship of bigger dogs. And, to date, my 3-pounder, Moxie, has not brought down any deer, elk or bears, although the coyotes in my neighborhood are terrified whenever Moxie walks onto the porch. In short, the time is at-hand to begin cross-breeding dogs for smallness.

But why stop with dogs? If we encouraged large humans to cross-breed with dwarfs and midgets, and if we got a little help from genetic engineers, I think we are capable of producing a race of 60 pound humans. Just think of the advantages: 60 pound people would consume a quarter of the food of typical obese Americans; cars could be half the size and 2-lane highways could immediately become 4-lanes; planes could carry twice as many people; two small people could share one coach seat; two small people could share one bag of pretzels. The upside is almost unlimited.

In fact, let’s start the cross-breeding with the authors of the book, Time to Eat the Dog. We already know their brains are only half the size of normal brains.