Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Blind Spot in Their Eco-Consciousness

'Twas about 4:50 a.m. when I heard a barking outburst from across the street. Ah, yes, it's the oh-so-green-and-sustainable neighbors' dog, announcing itself to the work.

Oops. Excuse me. What's that? An hour later, the dog's having another front yard conniption. People, let the dog back into the house. I'm sure it's been outside long enough to do its business.

I don't know the dog's owners very well -- they live behind a high wall that reverberates every time their dog barks. I don't know anyone else around here who's friendly with them. They don't spend a lot of time chatting with the neighbors.

What I do know is that the dog owners are a couple who are quite into the eco-consciousness movement. To the point of both being employed by the same environmental organization.

However, I'm here to tell you that I think that they have a blind spot in their eco-consciousness. I find it hard to believe that they can ignore all the barking that their dog is doing. The list of things that set this dog off is quite long. Here are just five of its barking triggers:
  1. Children walking to the school bus stop
  2. A disabled adult in a motorized scooter
  3. A couple pushing a baby in a stroller
  4. Teenagers bouncing a basketball as they're heading over to the courts in the city park
  5. A lady walking her dog on a leash
Mind you, none of these things pose the slightest threat to the dog or the property where it is kept. So, what's up with all the barking? Are the owners too busy saving the earth to train their dog?

I suspect that this dog was adopted from a shelter. The eco-consciousness people tend to be into that sort of thing. No going to the breeders for them. That's unsustainable.

However, I think that more than a few of the eco people have something in common with those who are involved with the animal rights movement. I've noticed that a lot of them have difficulty relating to people, so they immerse themselves in big causes like The Earth or Saving Animals.

Okay, neighbors, so you've saved this dog from euthanasia. Good for you. Now, could you save your neighbors from the chronic barking?

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. At the risk of repeating myself, here I go again. The goal of this blog is to make chronic barking as unfashionable as secondhand smoke. Which, as we know, is a form of pollution.

For your ecologically conscious neighbors who can't quite make the leap from one type of pollution to another, here's a bumper sticker for your car. Perhaps they'll read it and take the hint -- "Barking Is Noise Pollution." Or how about a tee shirt for your pleasant strolls through the neighborhood? Your "Barking - Ruining Our Quality of Life - One Neighborhood at a Time" shirt will surely get some attention.


  1. What size dog is it? Any hard-core environmentalist who houses a large dog or several small ones is a total hypocrite.

    Tell them to dump the dog and get a Toyota Landcruiser, YES it uses fewer resources!

    Print off this information and send to your Earth First buddies - http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427311.600-how-green-is-your-pet.html?full=true

    Highlights from the article: "As well as guzzling resources, cats and dogs devastate wildlife populations, spread disease and add to pollution. It is time to take eco-stock of our pets.

    To measure the ecological paw, claw and fin-prints of the family pet, the Vales analysed the ingredients of common brands of pet food. They calculated, for example, that a medium-sized dog would consume 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food. At its pre-dried weight, that equates to 450 grams of fresh meat and 260 grams of cereal. That means that over the course of a year, Fido wolfs down about 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals.

    It takes 43.3 square metres of land to generate 1 kilogram of chicken per year - far more for beef and lamb - and 13.4 square metres to generate a kilogram of cereals. So that gives him a footprint of 0.84 hectares. For a big dog such as a German shepherd, the figure is 1.1 hectares.

    Meanwhile, an SUV - the Vales used a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser in their comparison - driven a modest 10,000 kilometres a year, uses 55.1 gigajoules, which includes the energy required both to fuel and to build it. One hectare of land can produce approximately 135 gigajoules of energy per year, so the Land Cruiser's eco-footprint is about 0.41 hectares - less than half that of a medium-sized dog."

  2. If you are unable to view the full text of the article I just posted, view it here: http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/060406-2009-10-25-eat-your-dog-save-the-earth.htm?EdNo=001&From=News