Practicality vs. emotion

Don’t click on this link if you are of delicate constitution or recently grieving a deceased pet. I’m warning you. And skip to another entry if you don’t want to know anything more.

UPDATE: I’ve put the rest under the More tag. It is kinda gross.

For the rest of you, this was an article about a televised news report in St. Louis that claimed that euthanized dogs and cats from the local animal shelter were being sent to rendering plants where they wound up in a variety of places, including possibly pet food. This sparked a huge outcry, which in turn caused the shelters to stop sending remains to the rendering plants.

Before you chalk that up as a win for decency and humanity, read this:

In the short term, with freezer space limited, the county has been forced to send its dead dogs and cats to a landfill. The city of St. Louis has taken the same route, arranging for a refrigerated trash truck for pickups.

This makeshift solution has prompted still more concerns. If the landfills are not properly lined, the decaying corpses could leach into ground water. If they’re not promptly covered, scavengers can pick off the dead dogs and cats.

Rendering has long been considered one of the most environmentally friendly ways to dispose of animal carcasses, because it recycles them into useful fat and protein. By far the bulk of rendered material comes from slaughterhouses. But some plants also mix in road kill, the trimmings from supermarket delis, dead farm animals and euthanized pets from shelters.

That’s a pretty high price to pay for a feel-good solution, isn’t it? Can we please check our emotions here and get back to the practical solution?

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