Things My Dogs Eat:
- Bread people throw out for the birds;
- Chips given to them by the neighborhood urchins;
- Scraps of kebab and other unidentified matter on the sidewalks;
- Things I leave unattended on the coffee table;
- Ghetto cats
Things My Dogs Do Not Eat:
- The imported $90/bag of American kibble, painstakingly sought out and selected to meet the specific dietary needs of their advanced ages.
This conflict has inspired a number of lively inter- and intra-species debates. The lines of argument in the latter are pretty one-sided and consist mostly of me declaring that, under the current ruling regime, hunger striking is not an effective tool for bringing about social change.
The interspecies debates are a little more complicated. Some, such as the Correspondent-Formerly-of-Bekaa-Valley-now-of-Beirut, posit that paying $90/bag for kibble is absurd and I should simply cook up a big batch of chicken, vegetables and rice every week for them. As someone for whom cooking for herself is a daily burden, I find this suggestion, in polite terms, unrealistic. Furthermore, think of the precedent homemade meals would set! Would these dogs ever go back to eating kibble? I think not. Perhaps she would like to move to Istanbul and be their personal chef.
Nevertheless, this situation illustrates an interesting cultural debate. Which is more decadent? Purchasing expensive food for dogs who eat cigarette butts on the ground? Or buying ingredients, carrying them home, cooking them up and individually packaging meals for easy consumption? I guess the answer depends on which a culture values more: time or money.
I'm thinking of just turning them loose on the pile of garbage in front of my apartment.