How Far Would You Go?
Amber Byfield
Nov 9, 2009

Going green means making decisions that might seem silly to others (eliminating dryer sheets? no more plastics?), but are probably very important to you. Otherwise, it seems, everyone would just do it, right? Like many of you, our home is getting greener all the time, but we're finding that the hardest decisions to make revolve around food...

Until recently, we've been ok with being conscientious omnivores. We think about our food choices, and make sustainable ones about 80% of the time, slipping up with occasional slice of pepperoni pizza. But it's quickly becoming clear to us that eating meat has dire environmental consequences.

Read 20 pages in to Foer's Eating Animals, or Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, or watch Food, Inc. (the list goes on and on!), and the facts about factory farming are hard to ignore.

So eliminating meat from our personal diet is no longer the question (and we know it might not be for everyone; we're not here to preach). But one thing we realized this weekend is that our beloved dog, who has had dietary problems since puppy-hood, eats a very strict salmon-based diet. And nowhere on the package does it say, "sustainably harvested salmon."

Here's where we are torn. Obviously we love our dog very much, and invest a lot of money and time in her health. It took us two years to find a food that she would not only eat, but didn't cause severe diet problems for her. With our newfound concern about eating fish and meat, do we take it to the next level and—gasp—convert our dog to vegetarianism? It doesn't seem like that would be the healthiest route for our dog, regardless of how healthy it would be for the environment.

In the scope of things, our household is pretty green. We recycle, we cut energy and water usage, we shop locally, and we make decisions about new products based on their eco-friendliness. That means making the right decision about dog food is important to us. Granted, there are other options like homemade food, or finding a sustainable salmon substitute.

If you're reading this thinking, "crazy," or "overboard," we get that. But we're wondering:

Do you have a hard time drawing the green line, or is it a line that simply doesn't need to be drawn?

What does it take for you to make a change in your lifestyle, and how far do you extend that? To your pets? Your kids? Influencing your friends and family?

Related posts:
• Simple Green: The Half-It Principle
How to Convince a Landlord to Go Green?

(Image: Flickr member Kanko licensed under Creative Commons.)

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