Et In Arcadia Ego

5 Responses to “Et In Arcadia Ego”


  1. 1 alaspooryorick August 19, 2018 at 11:08 am

    waiting, watching. free roaming cats have decimated bird populations in cities and suburbs throughout the US. keep your cat in at night.

  2. 2 Susan August 19, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Beautiful cat in Paradise.

  3. 3 F jones August 19, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I’m afraid all our millions of pets’ Which we seem to need for our sanity take a bigger toll than we realize on the natural world ie birds..and dog poop n pee especially in the numbers they are in nyc …why do we need these pets so much?…I ask myself that ..because we are so removed from nature ?
    Isolated from our fellow man ..relationships require too much work ?pets under our control so much easier to deal with?
    Any thoughts?

    • 4 mthew August 20, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Good questions! And excellent hypotheses about why the recent need for pets.

      Because this is definitely a change. Pet ownership has exploded: the industry is worth $85 billion annually and growing; one of the biggest trends is multiple dog families. Check out the rah-rah here: https://www.packagedfacts.com/Pet-Outlook-11270807/

      The dog population in this country has increased something like 20 million since the turn of the millennium. Anecdotally, here in NYC it seems like there has an exponential increase in dogs (the most visible pet; most others are kept inside; but we know that feral cats are legion, too). Companion animals, status symbols, surrogate family members…

      What are the social-cultural-environmental consequences? All those animals raised for pet meat, for example has a huge cost, not least for climate change.

      • 5 jesse.anne.o August 20, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        I keep my pet cats indoors and I’ve spayed/neutered cats who are not going to be pets for behavior reasons. I’ve had colonies of 17 that I’ve taken over go down to 5, then 2, then none. Ideally (for me) all outdoor cats would be sterilized so that there are less (and thusly, less cats in shelters and rescues). But the colonies have to be managed or it has to happen on such a large scale that the numbers actually go down overall – and that should be the goal. So that is what I recommend to folks. I’m not sure why people insist on letting pet cats outdoors – it’s dangerous for them and the existing wildlife doesn’t need them. Though in some cases removing them has offset other populations which have then negatively impacted wildlife populations so YMMV.

        Personally I’m vegan so I don’t eat animals or dairy but I do feed my cats other animals. Ideally I’d like for lab grown meat to succeed so I don’t need to feed them meat, but at least the people in our house are offsetting what they eat. I am always curious how many folks who note the meat cats and dogs eat having environmental impact reduce their meat and dairy consumption themselves. To me, that’s an easy step.

        Socially I don’t think there’s any easy answers as people have and handle animals for all different reasons with all different POVs.


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