Monday, December 20, 2010

Doing it wrong, again

Last time we saw conservationists trying to prepare baby pandas for life in the wild by confusing them about the difference between a panda and a human in a costume.

Today we look at another case of humans trying to solve animal problems in a deranged fashion.

At the same time that we're driving wild animals to extinction, we're loving our own pets to death by overfeeding them. In one poll, vets said that 45% of their canine patients and 57% of the felines were overweight.

(And it's not just pets. Strangely, we're such a bad influence that some animals are getting fatter just by being nearby. A recent scientific study found that not only are average weights for lab animals going up, so are those of the feral animals like rodents roaming our streets.)

Of course, where there's a problem, there'll be an entrepeneur trying to make money solving it. Cats don't read diet books or join weight loss support groups, but in England, your cat won't have to worry if he gets too fat to fit through his cat door:

More Than pet insurance and TV vet Joe Inglis have teamed up to launch ‘Cat Flap of the Future,’ an extra large cat flap with sliding doors operated by a paw recognition system.

At 32cm by 35cm, the fat feline’s futuristic dream is twice the width of a regular cat flap.

And if you’re wondering how your overweight moggy will make it to the cat flap, you don’t need to worry on that front either.

The new invention also includes a cat conveyer belt to carry your feline friend from ground to flap level.

People: think about it. Your pet can't open the can or the cabinet on its own. You feed it with a measuring cup. If it's overweight, how about you try feeding it less?

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