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Discussion Starter #1
I'll wager that this will piss everyone off as much as it did me.

Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man's best friend - Yahoo! News

Although not explicitly stated, this is especially targeted toward raw feeders since we all feed premium cuts of meat rather than by-products and meat has an enormous "carbon footprint" according to these nuts. So nature created carnivores but these idiots think there is no room on the planet for them due to their "impact on the environment".

Gawd I'm sick of this green crap and how intrusive it has become to our lives. There is plenty of evidence to support global warming but absolutely NONE to support the claim that it is man-made. These kooks are trying to make people feel guilty for living. Why don't we all pop a cap in our dogs then do ourselves in to save the planet? That'll make 'em happy! :mad:

Now, in addition to my SUV and my guns, I have to add my dogs to the list of things that the left-wing nuts can have when they pry them from my cold dead fingers. Just to honor this article, I'm going to gas up my SUV, drive to the mountains with my guns and dogs, shoot some game, and feed it to them right there. Then I'll send these jackass Kiwi's Robert and Brenda Vale the video. :biggrin:
 

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HAHHHH ....I was going to post up this article earlier, it's unbelievable...I was almost laughing reading it.

Damn ...does Al Gore have a dog? He better get of that carbon footprint immediately or they're going to take his Nobel Prize away
 

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Actually it's funny that you posted this! I was just about to myself, but towards another end. This is actually another good argument for feeding dogs the nutritious scrap, bone and organ meat that we don't eat ourselves. For those concerned about their carbon footprint, our diet is actually a solution! Not that I'm against feeding them the 'good' cuts either mind you, our pets are worth it.
I didn't read it as an attack on 'us' at all really, as they state in the article, if you feed you cats a nutritious fish head it lessens the impact. Even if you feed such by-product as a percentage of your pets meal it's better from that perspective as it's not additional carbon- that animal was slaughtered anyway for human consumption.

Please know that I'm not trying to push climate change on anybody. But for those of us that are concerned with such things, there can be an upside to this diet that kibble feeders will always be unsure of.
 

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I don't see how. Dogs can't live on meat by-products. They need meat, bones, and organs, not carcasses. By-products are what the commercial dog food manufacturers use and that is where most of the meat by-products that come from human food manufacturing plants end up. Where can you go out and buy wholesome meat by-products even if you wanted to?

I buy my meat from purveyors who sell it for human consumption, the very target of this article. The way I read this article according to the nimrods who authored it is that the least offensive pets are the ones who eat the stuff we don't eat (by-products) and low quality fillers. The most offensive animals are the ones who eat human-grade meat (i.e. dogs and cats on PMR that eat meat from the supermarket and sold for human consumption). I don't eat fish heads or pork kidneys but a lot of people do which is why they are sold in stores. A fish head or a bag of kidneys sold in a market has no different "carbon footprint" than a fish fillet, a steak, or a roast. It all came from an animal that was sold for human consumption.
 

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That's true, there is human use for all parts that I would feed to my dog (stock if nothing else) but to be honest most people don't use the them. I'm talking about chicken backs for instance. How many people are conservative enough to use them even though they really could? If he gets a thigh and a back, that's half scrap there, and so less impact then if I ate the thigh and threw the back away. I don't even buy chicken without buying it whole.

I was talking to a butcher last year while I did his taxes. I'm a culinary school graduate and there's lots of things I would like to find that you kind regularly find in supermarkets anymore. For instance I was bemoaning the fact that I just can't find anything as basic as brisket anymore (let alone oxtail!) tougher cuts that you would just have to stew to make something good out of it, or just tougher cuts to prepare. He was saying that's cause most people just don't know what to do with it! Well if you're eating a 'cows' worth of meat a year but it's mostly the good stuff, it's a shame if some of that cow is just trashed that shouldn't be. I don't have any knowledge of where that meat ends up though my local Vons has meat specials on Sunday that is just about to get trashed. I buy it for myself, but not everyone will. When you get into things like green tripe, you're looking at a creative use of by-product. I don't think that anyone is slaughtering additional cows to supply that market, and I doubt that even the bleached tripe is being eaten enough to use up the supply either.
The ideas I've seen on this site as well regarding asking for old meat from freezers (via CL or whatever) is also better! That's like instant recycling for those cuts that would otherwise wind up in the trash one day.
I've been kicking around the idea as well to start ordering half carcasses of cattle that are grass fed and local to me (not for the dog but for myself) just the way that they are raised is already more environmentally sound so any cut off that animal is going to represent less growing of corn (none) less shipping of feed and even less shipping of the meat to slaughter and then to the supermarket! That's an enormous difference there. I'm pretty sure this article is assuming the very worst practices (as far as the environment goes) so much of that carbon is coming from the petroleum products used to fertilize feed, ship it, ship cattle, ship meat, etc.

Other ideas that are more 'carbon neutral' would be hunted meats, and I do hunt as well. Jack rabbits don't find their way into a lot of pots, but there's nothing wrong with that meat for the dogs, and I can hunt them year round (coyotes too- but I haven't been successful with them yet, lol)..
My dog is very fond of the sardines and anchovies I get from the fisherman at the harbor as well. They are wild raised and locally caught as well, so their impact is quite a bit less. And not just for him, but me as well, some of my favorite dishes can be made with them.

I'm not honestly trying to make my dog carbon neutral anyway, he doesn't need to work that hard to justify his worth to me. But there is plenty of of things that we can do to lessen his effect (and our own) if we're so inclined.

I'm not trying to get preachy on you or anything- I don't mind what you do, and it's not my goal here to convice you of anything, but I'm just saying that I see a better silver lining, with this diet compared to the very large UNKNOWN of sources in the kibble. Could be that the kibble sources are more carbon neutral than the article gives them credit for if they would wind up in the garbage anyway, lol. I just don't know, but I can know all about what I buy for my dog myself.
 

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Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to add, unless a fish head is eaten for every 2 fillets, then I guess they aren't by-products in the sense I mean. I don't have the knowledge that they are, but I doubt it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
tom_e, I see you are in Port Hueneme. The next time you get down to the L.A. area go check out some of the ethnic supermarkets and that is where you will find the cuts you won't find at Vons. There are probably some in Ventura county as well.

I live in a very ethnically diverse area and we have tons of markets within a 6 or 7 mile radius that cater to all sorts of different ethnicities. There is a market near me that a lot of African-Americans (is that the current, PC term?) shop at where I get turkey necks, pork ribs and brisket. Also near by is a Chinese supermarket where I get pork roasts, ribs, organ meat, chicken feet, and ox tail. There is a Korean market near me too that has a lot of the same type of meats the Chinese place has but I always price-shop between them. Both also have a lot of seafood. Forget the Japanese markets like Mitsuwa. All premium meats and seafood and priced accordingly. There are quite a few Mexican supermarkets as well and they often have the types of meats you won't find in supermarkets that cater to a predominately caucasian customer base.

Most of the lower priced chicken leg-and-thigh quarters include the split backs. You can't find backs around here because they are sold as part of the thighs in the ethnic markets.

When I was a kid growing up in a lower middle-class primarily white neighborhood all the mainstream supermarkets had brisket, chuck roast, flank steak, ox tail, and all the tough, lower quality cuts. I learned to cook with a lot of these types of cuts but they are hard to find today unless you know where to look. Nothing like a delicious ossobuco made with a piece of beef or lamb shank. I don't know what happened to change that but you can't find that stuff any more in a typical American supermarket and when you do, the prices are outrageous! I can buy prime rib for $3.78/lb. here but I can't find a round steak or shank cuts for that. Go figure!
 

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I don't know what happened to change that but you can't find that stuff any more in a typical American supermarket and when you do, the prices are outrageous! I can buy prime rib for $3.78/lb. here but I can't find a round steak or shank cuts for that. Go figure!
EXACTLY! That was what has been blowing my mind and what I was talking to the butcher about. I mean that stuff is supposed to be cheaper than tender cuts, but they treat it as a special order these days, lol. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has noticed that.

Whether or not we are the same on the environmental aspect of things, I think we agree on the common sense part. I'm not as crazy as those who likely wrote that article, but what I view as being a good steward of the environment is common sense stuff that is actually about being efficient and conservative with how we use those resources. I eat meat so, there's my carbon footprint already and that's not negotiable. My dog NEEDS to eat meat so PETA can just bite me, lol. But I would like to support use of as much of that carcass as I can reasonably. If that doesn't reduce the carbon footprint, then I just am at a loss as to how the writers of this article are measuring such things..:cool:
 

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Woo don't have time to read through all of that right now but I must say that tom e has a point, I do feed my dogs the parts that no one else wants in addition to the "good cuts" as well. This also makes my dogs' poops more biodegradable and therefore more eco-friendly! Besides, I'm a pescatarian (fish-eating vegetarian) so I'm giving up my portion of meat to my carnivores :biggrin:

If they really want to complain about it, they should target McDonalds and humans in general since - let's face it - most dog food companies don't put much real meat in their products anyway *shrug*

Either way, they're not going to ban SUVs or meat any time soon and my dogs aren't going to become herbivores anytime soon either, so we must all learn to peacefully co-exist.
 

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Back to the topic (and I hope not too far off) of pets and resources, I would say that climate change or no, it's a good policy to be conservative with our resources. Meat, oil, timber, and water are all of our concerns. If we strive to be wise about how we use them everything else will fall into line. I think we can all agree on that being fundamentally true as the way of nature- even as dogs eat meat and bone. Balance is key between predator/prey relationships as it is in our relationship with the earth.
Sometimes it seems that the resource we are all REALLY lacking in is understanding for each others' perspectives. I know that conservation as a concept was given it's beginnings from the right, we owe a lot to them for that and many other things!

I'm sorry RFD, I won't comment on this again, unless someone wants to move the conversation to the proper place.
 
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