Like many of us, I watched Chris Packham’s excellent programme called 7.7 billion people and counting. I didn’t want to watch it – the reality of over-population on our planet is yet another stress to add to that of climate change and the destruction of our oceans, but I watched it with an open mind and tried to gain the most out of it that I could with everything I do.
The underlying message of the programme is that as a planet, we are sustainable and birth rates are decreasing, but the main enemy is consumerism. If the UK alone continues to consume at the rate we do, then Chris Packham said we would need 2 planets to sustain us (and 4 planets for the rate of US consumption). So it all boils down to us having just too much stuff that we really do not need!
Waking up the morning after this programme aired, I was immediately struck by a topic that BBC Good Morning focussed on – the way we spoil and treat our pets. They had invited the CEO of Pets at Home who proudly told how their profits were increasing handsomely as the UK pet loving nation continued on an upward trend of spending on their pets.
I had been guilty of this just last week! While scrolling through my Instagram feeds, like 90% of us, I was immediately drawn by the advertising of the Bambone – it looked perfect – chicken flavoured and made of bamboo and bone shaped – everything I knew Ruff would love (well I thought he would love). So in an instant without any thought; I clicked all the buttons and paid for this ‘Bambone’ only to realise that it had to come all the way from America but was made in China; and when it did arrive, Ruff sniffed it and it now lies unloved and untouched on our lounge floor – what a waste of resources!
Chris Packham was a guest on the BBC One Show a week before 7.7 Billion People and Counting had aired. The BBC One Show team had been out to interview the public asking them what changes they were making to protect the planet at the start of the decade. A few mentioned buying electric cars or even better, getting rid of their car; but one young woman very admirably announced on TV that she had made the choice not to have children to prevent this problem of overcrowding. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had a dog however, as having a pet is worse for the environment than having a child.
The thought of having no pets in our lives is unimaginable to us as animal lovers, so the only solution that we should all embrace is to feed our dogs a vegan diet and stop treating them like ‘mini-me’s’. We must stop accessorising them and treating them with high plastic, non sustainable rubbish that only feeds our need to buy when at the end of the day, all they want is our love and attention!
Our pets live perfect naive lives that are unspoilt by flashy advertising and they would much rather sniff the bush at the bottom of the road, than have the latest fashion accessory or new food bowl! With this in mind, feeding your pets a sustainable healthier plant-based option and offering them only what they crave, would have a massive impact on our problem of over-consumering.
I just have to count to 5 and stop when I next see something enticing on my Instagram feed or shared on Facebook that I think Ruff would love…….and we all have to try – it is the easiest change we can make to our lives that may have the greatest impact.
The BBC has written an article with the 5 top facts following on from the programme of 7.7 billion people. They very sadly have omitted the biggest concern of over-consumerism that needs to be curbed to protect our dwindling resources so that we can live sustainably.
As a vet, mother and pet lover, surely just reducing consumer spending on our pet’s food and accessories would have a huge impact on the UK’s overall consumer spend!
Live simply and love your pets and your family generously – Just be Kind!
All of the above offers a kind and sustainable solution to pet care and to our planet.
No one says what we are all thinking better than Greta…..
She has written the article with such an in-depth understanding of the importance of dogs going plant-based – all just so positive for the future!
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