Global warming is a real crisis that is affecting everyone around the world.
Animals who dwell on the north and south pole or in an extremely cold habitat are the most affected.
There exists a certain population of people who deny the factuality of climate change and believe that everything is a mere conspiracy, but the rising temperature and melting glaciers do not lie.
It is a real problem that needs to be addressed, as more and more animals are becoming endangered and the endangered species are nearing extinction.
The blame is often placed on the human species for lack of discipline and abusing the earth’s natural resources. But did you know that your pet also contributes to global warming?
First of all, what causes global warming?
- Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). These gases prevent heat from escaping our atmosphere, resulting in what is known as the “greenhouse effect.”
- Burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are extremely important because they are sources of energy. There are many alternative sources of energy such as solar and geothermal energy but the extent of their usage is very limited.
- Widespread deforestation. Trees are one of the easiest natural resources to deplete because it has become a primary material for furniture and modern infrastructures. They also produce palm oil which is widely used as an ingredient for many foods. Trees are vital in controlling the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. They absorb CO2 as part of photosynthesis and release it back to our atmosphere as oxygen.
- Animal husbandry. This is where our pets come in the picture. The entire process of raising livestock for human consumption not only exhausts our natural resources but also causes global warming. Carnivores or meat-eaters causes a higher demand for meat, resulting in an increase in animal livestock production. In addition, ruminants such as cows who regurgitate their food belch out methane. And since our pets are also meat consumers, they too contribute to global warming.
Is having a pet a problem?
Involving our pets as contributors to climate change may seem a bit far-
fetched, but we have to remind ourselves of the growing population of dogs and cats, especially in Asian countries where their population is getting out of control.
Dogs are being bred and sold everywhere. In some countries, acquiring a specific dog breed becomes a status symbol. When a dog reaches a certain age or when a breed is no longer a trend, they would dump these dogs somewhere where they would eventually become strays.
This often results in overpopulation, too many rescues waiting to be adopted, and overloaded shelters.
Cats, on the other hand, can produce up to 12 kittens in a year, and together with all of its offspring and their succeeding generations, they could reach up to 2 million in just 8 years!
This is more likely to happen in less developed countries where spaying and neutering are almost unheard of.
The bottom line is, while our pets can be considered contributors to global warming, the human greed for money, status, and power is the main reason behind their overpopulation.
Until such time when we can think beyond our own selfish desires, the effects of global warming will continue to threaten us.
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