SUVs owners are often castigated by treehuggers for their Earth-unfriendly lifestyle. A new book argues that pets are just as bad.
New Zealand authors Robert and Brenda Vale’s book, “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” is an exhaustive analysis of the environmental impact of common pets such as cats and dogs. The authors studied the carbon emissions created by pets, including the ingredients in their food and the land required to grow it. And the results don’t bode well for Fido, who compares poorly to that SUV.
The Values noted that a medium dog consumes 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food. They then determined that Fido wolfs down about 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals per year.
It takes 43.3 square meters of land to generate 1 kilogram of chicken per year — far more for beef and lamb — and 13.4 square meters to generate a kilogram of cereals. So that gives him a footprint of 0.84 hectares. For a big dog such as a German shepherd, the figure is 1.1 hectares.