Dear Peter Brown,
I have just listened to your series Tooth and Claw, the episode debating whether or not we should eat dog.

When it comes to the eating habits of animals, we should surely consider what we have learned from the science of ecology.

The above summarizes why the natural world has very few big fierce animals, as explained by Paul Colinvaux in 1980 in his excellent book "Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare".

If hunamity were to develop a serious taste for dog, then we could be sure that dogs would be farmed like chickens (not nice). Worse much more of the natural world would have to be subsumed in order to feed the vast human population with such inefficiently produced food.

As for your guest who had the temerity to suggest that we should eat dogs that are in excess of human requirements for pets, well why not eat human corpses? "Soylent Green", anyone? Of course, we do such things when it makes the difference between life and death (starving and stranded at sea, surviving in Asia?).

Contrary to your guest, humans are not at the top of the food chain. Indeed, the vast human population would not be possible except for the fact that we often eat grains and other plant produce --- ie because we lower ourselves to the level of a mere herbivore.

Dogs are carnivores, they are truly at the top of the food chain. Humans are omnivores. Perhaps we should be feeding the excess humans to the dogs??? No, we shouldn't... but that's another story for another day.

Sincerely, Brian Sanderson

PS The whole notion of humanity doing triage with the existence of other animals is a nonsense. The only reason why other species are in trouble is because humanity has been so inhumane as to subsume most of the habitat and production of the planet.

Forget about knocking off this or that species in favour of the other! We should look towards the reasons why our religious, plutocratic/business, and political leaders insanely promote further growth of the human population!

Now that would be a debate worth having!