View Full Version : Your pets are killing the planet!!

Art Read
12-22-2009, 01:04 PM
:eek: Are you STILL ready to "walk the walk"?

Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man's best friend

by Isabelle Toussaint and Jurgen Hecker Sun Dec 20, 3:23 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) Man's best friend could be one of the environment's worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

But the revelation in the book "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living" by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers.

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year.

Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) -- around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.
To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same.

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat," Barrett said.
Other animals aren't much better for the environment, the Vales say.
Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.
But Reha Huttin, president of France's 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation says the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating.

"Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly," Huttin told AFP.
"Everyone should work out their own environmental impact. I should be allowed to say that I walk instead of using my car and that I don't eat meat, so why shouldn't I be allowed to have a little cat to alleviate my loneliness?"

Sylvie Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs -- the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars -- says defiantly, "Our animals give us so much that I don't feel like a polluter at all.
"I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations.

"I don't want a life without animals," she told AFP.
And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.

And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo -- owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease.
But despite the apocalyptic visions of domesticated animals' environmental impact, solutions exist, including reducing pets' protein-rich meat intake.

"If pussy is scoffing 'Fancy Feast' -- or some other food made from choice cuts of meat -- then the relative impact is likely to be high," said Robert Vale.

"If, on the other hand, the cat is fed on fish heads and other leftovers from the fishmonger, the impact will be lower."
Other potential positive steps include avoiding walking your dog in wildlife-rich areas and keeping your cat indoors at night when it has a particular thirst for other, smaller animals' blood.
As with buying a car, humans are also encouraged to take the environmental impact of their future possession/companion into account.

But the best way of compensating for that paw or clawprint is to make sure your animal is dual purpose, the Vales urge. Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table.

"Rabbits are good, provided you eat them," said Robert Vale.

12-22-2009, 01:11 PM
if you think your pets are bad wait till you see the carbon footprint of your children!

there has been two articles over on a hippy site I visit about the impact of children. One article suggested they should be taxed, heavily. The other was about population control and sounded a little too far to the right.

12-22-2009, 01:14 PM
wtf, how do you get the energy out of an acre of land to build a car?

Bob Adams
12-22-2009, 01:20 PM
wtf, how do you get the energy out of an acre of land to build a car?

Well not directly out of it, they heavily tax the acre and use those funds to buy the energy to build the car. Pleases you, eh?;)

12-22-2009, 01:27 PM
that's right Bob, all that matters is the liberal treehuggers taxing the American businessman out of existance, that's it in a nutshell, say no more.

12-22-2009, 01:33 PM
Six of my "pets" have hooves and make lambs.

Four have little webbed feet and make eggs.



Bob Adams
12-22-2009, 01:38 PM
that's right Bob, all that matters is the liberal treehuggers taxing the American businessman out of existance, that's it in a nutshell, say no more.

You do, of course realize I was joking, right?

12-22-2009, 01:43 PM
Oh man, don't let Matt J. see this thread!



12-22-2009, 01:44 PM
You do, of course realize I was joking, right?

"pleases you, eh?" I don't of course given your prior efforts to reduce my statements on oil taxes as an effort to drive business into the ground.

So, do you think the carbon footprint of feeding a pet is equal to the carbon footprint in a cars construction and lifetime use? I don't see it.

Bob Adams
12-22-2009, 01:50 PM
OK, no joking with you, Merry Christmas.

12-22-2009, 01:53 PM
Merry Christmas to you.

Tom Montgomery
12-22-2009, 02:37 PM
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." -- Ronald Reagan, 1981

"Facts are stupid things." -- Ronald Reagan, 1988

paul oman
12-22-2009, 02:44 PM
Most of the c02 on the planet is not associated with your dog, but locked in the oceans. If you fear c02 only two things to do: stop breathing and drain the oceans.

My dog sleeps on a leather couch. I understand cows put out lots of methane which is much worse than c02 - so best to eat all the cows and turn their hides into recliners, and leave the dogs alone.

12-22-2009, 03:35 PM
So does my dog ...

Thus- this quote will solve our problems:

My dog sleeps on a leather couch. I understand cows put out lots of methane which is much worse than c02 - so best to eat all the cows and turn their hides into recliners, and leave the dogs alone.

Well put!


12-22-2009, 03:58 PM
I'm waiting to hear from ELF (aka Emily) on this, the resident self-righteous environmentalist. She's been aggressively bashing other forumites on environmental issues, for instance accusing some people of being wasteful for using a snow blower when she doesn't think one is needed.

Well, guess what? Emily loves cats. If I remember correctly, she has one, maybe more than one.

So how about it, Emily? One cat has a carbon footprint ALMOST AS BIG AS SOME CARS, and is much more wasteful than anyone's snowblower.

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Are you willing to get rid of your cat? Will you now start aggressively challenging friends who own a cat or dog?

And for that matter, do you eat meat or dairy? If you do, then you're worse for the planet than a vegetarian with a snowblower.

12-22-2009, 04:10 PM
Cat has bigger carbon footprint than an SUV?


Anyway, I guess that's one more loudmouthed fool that I'll know not to bother listening to.

This message is hidden because riptide is on your ignore list.


12-22-2009, 04:13 PM
Reading but not comprehending, eh, riptide?

Moving right along.....

I like this part.

two hamsters equates to a plasma television

If I breed hamsters, can I exchange them for electrical appliances?

Art Read
12-22-2009, 04:26 PM
Hmmm... If dogs and cats are killing the planet, it stands to reason all those other pesky critters in the wild are too, no? So the solution is... mass extinction right? Or isn't that what the whole fuss is about in the first place?:confused::D:eek:

12-22-2009, 04:46 PM
A small point...no one is killing the planet, the planet is fine. We are simply making it difficult for Humans to survive. I have no doubt the planet and the rest of the creatures inhabiting it would do just fine without us.
Enjoy your life.:D

12-22-2009, 06:14 PM
Okay, so I should read more carefully. A large dog has a carbon footprint as big as an SUV. A cat's is smaller, but still nearly as big as some cars.

That doesn't change the basic point -- any cat owner who wants to accuse someone of being wasteful for using a snowblower (Elf, for instance) needs to take a hard look in the mirror.

12-22-2009, 06:34 PM
Just trying to figure this out from a eco-religious engineering standpoint. :D

Just keep it in the abstract OK buddy.........no experiments.

L.W. Baxter
12-22-2009, 06:49 PM
Smalser posted this a couple months ago. I started to write a reply but got distracted by a game of fetch. Then I forgot all about it, as well as several other stupid things that were bothering me.:)

12-22-2009, 06:58 PM
My dog is a copious producer of methane, that is what we are talking about, right?

I, Rowboat
12-22-2009, 11:25 PM
Hello? You're all missing something. We know that Armageddon will commence any day now so the environment is hardly what you should be worrying about. What you should be asking yourself is "How will my pets' welfare be provided for when I'm sucked up into the sky to meet Top Management?" It seems that even if you love Jesus and you've dedicated your life to Him, that doesn't mean he's gonna let Fluffy past the Pearly Gates. Is your pet Rapture-ready? Put your money where your faith is:

12-22-2009, 11:33 PM
Another rowboat classic!


12-22-2009, 11:42 PM
Not sure how this truly weird and crashingly stupid analysis was taken seriously. A dog has the footprint of an SUV?

GTFOH (NYC expression).

Was the interstate highway system built for dogs? Oil-and-gas drilling, pipelines, tankers, refineries. Gas stations? Or any of the massive auto-infrastructure? Parking garages? Auto dealerships and repair shops? NASCAR racing?

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors travelled with dogs. Domestic pets do cause problems, but this seems like an evasive maneuver.

12-22-2009, 11:45 PM
A dog eats a pound of meat per day? I find that hard to believe.

12-22-2009, 11:47 PM

That is classic.

12-23-2009, 12:17 AM
Yes, my dog eats more protein than I do.
However my dog is not a vegetarian but I am.