I Have a Moral Responsibility To Let My Dog Pee on Your Lawn.

An Opinion Piece from an Anonymous Morristown Resident and Morristown Minute Reader/Contributor.

This is going to alienate a good percentage of you. It’ll make you mad, you’ll disagree. It’ll be hard to wrap our heads around. Some may read the title and vomit their perspective into the comments before they’ve read two words of this article — but nonetheless, it’s being written.

We have a grass problem in the United States — in North America, actually. Over 40 million acres of land are covered by lawns in the continental United States — lawns made of grass that, most of which, is not native to this continent, let alone the U.S. This 40 million acres of “invasive species,” which many of us happily water throughout the summers, may require as much as 695 to 900 liters of water per person (living in that ecosystem) per day to maintain. (This is a complex statement explained in more detail here.)

Kentucky bluegrass (poa pratensis, for our arborists) is native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa — it is perhaps the most widely used type of lawn grass in the United States, but it’s not from here. Kentucky bluegrass found its way to North America with traders and settlers from Europe in the early 1600s.

Bermuda grass, our sports fields and golf courses come from Africa, Asia, Australia, and even Southern Europe — but not North America, it was introduced in the mid-1800s as pasture grass (it fed the grazing cattle).

Centipede grass, the pros call it Eremochloa ophiuroides (don’t bother), great for a thick, mat-like turf that requires little maintenance, popular in warm coastal regions like the Texas Gulf Coast, is native to China and other parts of Southeast Asia — but not North America.

Zoysia grass, popular in the U.S. due to its thick growth and tolerance for cold, is indigenous to Asia. Tall fescue, used for lawns all over the U.S. but particularly in the Northeast, originates from Europe. Perennial ryegrass, often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, gives off a nice shiny appearance and germinates quickly, and it’s native to only Europe, Asia and North Africa.

Instead of listing every other type of grass and their origin, let’s just skip to the point and call the North American lawn exactly what it is, an invasive species (no quotes this time).

Let’s take a break. I know this has been a lot to process. Our delicate sensibilities have been threatened. Our thirst for social approval, the desire to rise to the top in a capitalist system that has its constituents feeding on themselves, has driven us mad, absolutely f**king insane. We are hitting ourselves over the head and paying the people making the hammers. But I promised a break, so look at these “lawn alternatives:”

In a better world, 2% of United States wouldn’t be covered in lawns and Americans wouldn’t spend over a collective $105 billion a year to maintain and grow this invasive species. In a better world the average American family wouldn’t use over 100 gallons of water per day to maintain their lawn, 50% of which is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and irrigation systems.

The environmental impact of our communal decision to not just maintain, but in some homeowners associations, mandate the maintenance of a neat lawn can not be overstated: Lawns are the number one contributor of ecological homogenization in North America. Our ecosystem is becoming less diverse, and the health of the planet and every single living thing on it is feeling the detrimental impact of this ecological homogenization.

I have a plan, and it’s simple. We let the dogs do their business.

Have you ever seen something like this?

The solution is the opposite of the photos above — let the dogs pee, poo, and more all over that lawn, destroy it for the good of the planet, for the good of humanity!

So yes, I will let my dog pee on your lawn.

I consider it my moral responsibility — and yes, this entire opinion piece was about my dog’s right to pee on your lawn.


*This has been edited and posted on behalf of a reader by Morristown Minute.

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