Monday, October 26, 2009

Dog eat dog? Well, not exactly

Nice title, eh?*

Time to Eat the Dog? probably comes from the fertile mind of a marketing guru. The authors seem too serious-- hemp clothing serious-- to tease us like that. It isn't even available in the U.S., I think. Amazon's website went catatonic. Barnes and Noble came up with some cutesy substitutes. I had to go to Amazon in the Mother Country to get a peek at the cover. Gift wrapping available (with recyclable paper, I hope).

The title continues: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, which is probably what the authors wanted. Fantastic Read headlines a five-star review at the British Amazon. Dangerously Dull, responds the one-star review:
It's possible that this book might inspire people to think a bit more about the consequences of their actions and steps they can take to live more sustainably. However I suspect the endless statistics, tables and often preachy and negative tone may have the exact opposite effect for some people, and lead them to draw the conclusion that nothing can be done anyway, that all the things that make life pleasant are unsustainable,and they might as well just give up now.

My other half has a PhD in mathematics, and after reading the introduction to this book, he abandoned it and declared that he was unconvinced that the authors had any real understanding of statistics.
The juicy, quotable stuff gets picked out in all of the articles: a large dog has twice the carbon 'footprint' (pawprint, they all guffaw) of an SUV; a cat equals a Golf**. The book of course is about appliances, lighting, packaging and a host of other wasteful habits we enjoy.

On the U.S. side of The Pond, in the Land of the Hopelessly Literal, most stories focus on the, er, juicy parts. Some bloggers never bothered getting past the title.
"The title of the book is a little bit of a shock tactic, I think, but though we are not advocating eating anyone's pet cat or dog there is certainly some truth in the fact that if we have edible pets like chickens for their eggs and meat, and rabbits and pigs, we will be compensating for the impact of other things on our environment. -- Professor Robert Vale
I haven't seen PETA's reaction.

I've had fun with this, but it's because I really do believe in sustainable living... if it's not too inconvenient and doesn't cost too much more.

* I learned about the book from a Canadian news aggregator. It's a beta website-- probably why it loads slowly in the browser-- and they seem to think hockey is as important as Iran's nuclear program, but pretty good overall.

** Save The Earth: Eat Fluffy
Barking Mad!
Reducing Your Carbon Paw Print... You get the idea.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I am going to buy this book!