Thursday, April 12, 2007

Animal poop in a virtual world

God! We are such idiotic animals. It's like that old wrap-around theory that says genius is just one step away from insanity. Maybe it takes an animal with intellect to be as stupid as we. Perhaps we'll never know, unless we have visitors for dinner from Alpha Centauri.

How did we reach the point where everything that's good for the soil and contributes to its ability to support life is considered waste by our species, to be replaced with obviously superior, man-made crap, artificial fertilizers, chemical pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified plants designed by man? We cut the hay from the field, feed it to the cows in a barn, scoop up their shit and drop it on a big festering pile at the end of the barn for the rain to wash bits of it into the streams and rivers or to sink down through the soil into the aquifers.

For millions of years nature recycled all of the excretia from all of the animals and enriched and built up life-supporting top soil. Then we come along and strip it off the land to build a new sub-division of houses on the bare, sterile sub-soil and go out to a garden centre and buy a load of sod (which comes complete with a whole half inch or inch of top soil to replace the half-foot or foot we stripped away) to put over it and then fertilize it (because we've killed all the micro-organisms in it) with NPK because everybody knows that's all plants need.

Sorry about the rant.

The city council in my nearby city (Toronto) are debating a new by-law this week. It epitomizes the extent of stupidity in our modern society.

It is a very popular past-time in Toronto (I don't know about other cities but I assume it is the same) to take the doggy to the park for a run with all his other doggy friends. Toronto has a poop-and-scoop bylaw so owners are expected to pick up their doggy droppings or, as our politicians euphemistically call it, pet "waste".

Those politicians are now upset because 26% (not 25, not 27 but 26.... I wonder who counted) of the "waste" in park waste receptacles is "animal waste". The new bylaw will require pet owners to take their "pet waste" home and put it in their own garbage. This while the city has in the past year implemented a "green bin" recycling program where householders can put their compostable waste out at the curbside in a green bin (right next to their bag of grass clippings).

Does anybody else see a huge disconnect here? Is it any wonder that our soil fertility is shot when animal poop is considered "waste"?

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