I spend a lot of time thinking about my cat, but almost no time thinking about what happens to his poop after I throw it in the garbage. On this fourth episode of OK... So What Now? I follow the poop around (metaphorically) and speak with experts about the effects of what goes in my cat, and what goes out my cat.
Ashley Byrne is a senior campaigner at PETA. We talk about reasons why not to feed other animals to your companion animal and meatless meal alternatives. This interview features perhaps the least controversial statement PETA has ever released - cats are often more finicky than dogs.
Next, an interview with an environmental advice column writer about how she approaches answering the tough questions we face when making choices to reduce our impact on the earth. Susan Cosier is a Senior Editor at Audubon and author of the Green Guru column.
Dr. Patricia Conrad is a veterinary pathologist and Co-Director of the One Health Center at University of California's Global Health Institute. We talk about the potential dangers hidden in my cat's intestine, how I should be disposing of his waste, and how that poop could be killing sea otters hundreds of miles away.
So what happens to a bag of cat poop once it hits a landfill? Jeremy O'Brien, the Director of Applied Research at the Solid Waste Association of North America, takes me through the world of landfills, from compactors and decomposition to leachates and methane recovery.
Finally, some good news about pets and their waste. It turns out, a lot of it is being wasted. Matthew Mazzotta is the conceptual artist behind the Park Spark Project, a methane digester installed in a dog park in Boston. As a trash can, fuel source, work of art and template for community involvement, Park Spark finds one last use for animal waste - lighting a public space.
PETA's guide to Meatless Meals for Dogs and Cats
Susan Cosier's Green Guru column on cat poop
The Sea Otter Alliance
How to bring the Park Spark Project to your community
The OK... So What Now? theme is II by Björn & Gorden remixed by The Starry Tides Additional Music by Nic Bommarito