So, you love animals and you want to be responsible because you love the environment? Maybe you have children or grandchildren and you want them to be able to enjoy the things you have enjoyed? You have studied the science and realize that pollution and climate change are both real crises that we are facing. That is me. I am a grandmother and I love hiking and camping. I love pristine beaches and watching seals and sea lions basking in the sun at the local beaches. I want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy these things too. I want to do my part to clean up the mess we have made as a society. This article is not for people that think climate change is not real. It is real and we are running out of time to limit the damage. This is a scientific fact.
You would think that loving animals and having them in your home would not conflict with being environmentally responsible. But, the pet industry creates a lot of waste. A LOT - pet food containers, plastic single-use poo bags, flea and tick plastic pill containers, dog toys, collars, leashes, brushes, shampoos. Much of it made cheaply out of non-biodegradable or non-recyclable plastics or packaged in even more plastic.
For anybody that has tried to go zero waste, you know it is nearly impossible in most locations. So, the goal here is less waste. Let’s start with doing what we can and striving to do more and more after we have changed some basic habits. Where to start? Wherever you can! By being mindful before you make a purchase, you can make a huge difference. The first step to lessen your waste is to think before you buy. There are four basic principles of reducing waste. These principles apply to everything you use in your daily life. Let’s look at how they can apply to pet care and I’ll even add a couple bonus tips that apply just for dogs.
Photo by Ian Williams on Unsplash
Here in Los Angeles, mountain lions also known as California cougars or pumas can be spotted frequently in urban neighborhoods thanks to the prevalence of surveillance cameras. The estimated cougar population in California is 4000 - 6000 as of 2018. It is just an estimate though as the animals are very elusive and hard to locate and count. Adult males weigh up to 200 pounds and 8 feet long. The females average around 120 pounds. They are usually shy around humans and will avoid you. Attacks on humans are rare. They will eat your dogs or cats without hesitation though. Mountain lions are filmed often in local backyards. More than half of California is considered to be mountain lion territory. Although, they can be found anywhere in California. They are considered an apex predator at the top of the food chain. An adult female will have 1-2 kittens that will stay with her for 1-2 years before breeding again. The mother will teach them all of their survival skills. Fewer than half of all kittens survive to adulthood. Predation and forest fires are major risks to kittens. They generally live anywhere there are deer but they will eat other animals and pets. Deer are also very adaptable and can survive in most parts of California. Many animals scavenge the leftovers of mountain lions. Mountain lions keep the deer population in check. Their biggest threats are car accidents and depredation permits which allow them to be killed if they have killed a pet or livestock by law in California. Trophy hunting is illegal in California. They play an important role in our ecosystem. They are also a sentinel of contamination. Many mountain lions have rodenticide present in their system during autopsies.