Sustainability and Pets

I have heard many arguments that you can’t be sustainable and a pet owner. True, there is a lot of waste that comes with pet ownership. But still, achieving a minimal waste home with pets is not impossible, and I really want to change this mentality.

My first question to those who disagree is, what is your solution? I have heard people go as far as saying, “get rid of your pet.” or “Dont adopt more animals.”

So, where should that pet go? And what should we do about all the animals in shelters?


Kill them all? 

“Get rid of them.” or “Stop adopting them!” Yes, these have has been suggested in sustainability threads.

I was shocked.

Firstly, let me just say, that’s pretty evil.

Secondly, it’s not sustainable. I’ll tell you why:

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Animals are euthanized with a barbiturate called Euthasol or Beuthanasia. This toxic chemical makes it unsafe for animals to be buried in the ground: the poison can reach ground water supplies and is deadly to any animal that ingests the carcass.

So, these euthanized animals are cremated. But this releases carbon and requires the burning of fossil fuels.

As it is,  the U.S. euthanizes approximately 7.6 million shelter animals every year.[1] This isn’t a sustainable or compassionate solution. Let’s end this policy.

Moreover, simply “getting rid of your pets” (also suggested) or “Stop adopting animals” (yep, heard this a lot too) are not viable options either. Where are these animals supposed to go? Exactly. Kill shelters. This just perpetuates the original problem.

If you still disagree, message me, we can have some words.


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instead, here’s a humane solution…



snip away overpopulation. Whaaaat? Sorry Kitty, gimme ‘dem balls.

(FYI: “Neutering” is a blanket term that is performed on both males and females, it means to remove sex organs. “Spay” on the other hand is just for females. All animals with sex organs removed are neutered, only females with sex organs removed are spayed.)

A MUCH kinder way to mitigate stray animal populations is to NEUTER THEM. Bob Barker had it right. THIS INCLUDES FERAL ANIMALS.

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Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) Programs are happening across the country with great success. Feral cats are trapped, taken to a shelter where they are neutered and often vaccinated, then returned to their original location. This allows these cats to live the life they are used to without increasing cat colony populations.

(There are also areas with HUGE colonies of stray dogs, like in Russia, Mexico and Thailand. But it’s not just foreign countries. Even in San Jose or Los Angeles, California it is not uncommon to see stray dogs or even stray dog packs).


Are pets wasteful?



Are pets WASTEFUL?!? No! Did your chihuahua go out and buy two non-recyclable bags of Blue Buffalo cookies, a giant Alpaca squeaky toy, and that red rubber Kong that looks like a butt plug you stuff peanut butter in? No. You did. Why are we blaming the dogs? We should only be blaming them for farts.

Did your cat tell you to buy a plastic litter box and non-compostable litter so it could stop pooping in God’s toilet (outside)? NO!!! YOU DID! Did your cat make you buy that laser pointer? Okay, maybe he did.

They are very purr-suasive.

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WE HUMANS ARE WASTEFUL. We need to stop putting our shit on animals. This is asinine. Also, we should not be making carnivorous animals vegan. I’m sorry, it’s just not healthy. I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this, but guess what, it’s human’s addiction to beef that’s creating such a huge greenhouse effect (tons of cows = tons of methane farts, seriously). These animals could eat other forms of protein happily.

It’s not like stray Siamese cats are hunting cows. That would be impressive.

My point is, animals don’t have morals. Nor should they. Animals are not “good” or “bad.” And since the massive amount of stray animals are a product of human ignorance, we need to address the issue sensibly and kindly, not go out on a mass killing spree because we can’t figure out what an environmentally-friendly solution for their poop.

We need to amend policies regarding animal welfare.


Vegetarian Ricky Gervais on dogs

Zero Waste Rescue

I guess this is a great time to segue into a bit of news….

This year, I plan on starting a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization for zero waste animal rescue. This is something I am extremely passionate about, and having worked as a vet tech and adoption counselor for private practices and shelters, I am very eager to get started.

Rescue Goal: To rescue and re-home animals who’s time is up at kill shelters across the United States.

Why?: To me, euthanizing a healthy animal is a waste of life. And I hate waste. Obviously.

I was struggling to come up with a name for the rescue for a couple months, and honestly, I might just go with Zero Waste Rescue. If you have any suggestions, let me know.


Be a Sustainable Dog Parent:

If you want some more tips on zero waste dog parenting, we have a whole page dedicated to it here. I’m working on one for cats, too.



More Tips

For some more zero waste tips for pets, follow on Instagram.

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The Green Pet Project

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