Katharina Schwirkus says: “Four-legged friends not only pollute parks and sidewalks, but are also an unnecessary burden on the climate. They should finally disappear from our cities and from our lives
One wrong step in the park, it goes flat. It’s stuck to my shoe. I’ve walked in dog shit. It’s annoying and thought-provoking. What are four-legged friends doing in a big city anyway? Nothing. Neither do cats.
Besides their disgusting excrements, pets are also bad for the climate. For they eat meat and thus contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide. The life cycle assessment of a dog corresponds to an annual car mileage of 3700 kilometres, that of a cat 1400 annual kilometres. An average vehicle in Germany travels 13,000 kilometres per year.
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So the CO2 footprint caused by dogs and cats seems to be negligible, but you have to let the following melt on your tongue The ecological footprint of a German cat is on average the same size as that of an Egyptian. The values given assume that the animals are fed conventional canned food. The better the food, the worse the balance for the climate.
Especially wealthy and especially animal-loving owners* buy luxury food for their companion, which consists of 75 percent high-quality meat. The good supply increases the life expectancy of the animals, which in turn increases their ecological footprint.
In Germany cats often exceed the life expectancy of 15 years. The owners are also prepared to ensure the well-being of the dog or cat by taking cures and regular visits from vets. In the meantime it is even normal to go to physiotherapy with a dog. Of course, the therapy is dedicated to the animal, not to the owner.
It shows that many people are already prepared to spend a lot of money on their faithful companions. So we can also think about higher taxation of pets and choose from a variety of dog canned food for them. Recently, it is no longer only dogs that are polluting the cities with their excrement. Also the horrible plastic bags with which the owners are supposed to dispose of the manure are increasingly becoming a problem.
They hang in every park and fly around loose or with contents. The fact that plastic bags are a climate killer is now part of general knowledge. In supermarkets they are no longer available free of charge, and a price for so-called vegetable bags is also currently being discussed. A further problem with dog shit bags is that they can only be used once. Recycling: No chance.
If you want to do something good for the climate, you should neither get a dog nor a cat. In the long run, breeding of the four-legged friends should be stopped. Even in the country they are a burden on the environment. On the one hand, dog and cat excrements are extremely badly degradable. On the other hand, cats follow their natural hunting instinct, but do not eat the captured animals, they only train their instincts.
Regardless of whether one manages to ban cats and mutts from big cities, the romantic image of pets must finally be deconstructed. Children should be made aware at a young age that it is absolutely selfish to keep a dog or cat in a city. The topic could be taken up by the “Fridays For Future” activists. Ten to 18-year-old schoolchildren who are calling for an increase in dog taxes would show how serious they are about protecting the environment.
But society as a whole must also do something. The tolerance for cat and dog owners is much too big. Animals should be consistently excluded from cafés, supermarkets and restaurants. In addition, sanctions must be introduced to make dog owners responsible for not taking care of their animals’ dirt. Anyone who lets their four-legged friend shit in a park or loses a dog poop bag must not get off scot-free.