Dog's carbon footprint twice that of a Land Cruiser?
New Scientist reports on a study calculating the carbon footprints of various pets. The worst, chiefly because of its consumption of meat, is a dog:
A medium-sized dog would consume 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food.…That means that over the course of a year, Fido wolfs down about 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to generate 1 kilogram of chicken per year – far more for beef and lamb – and 13.4 square metres to generate a kilogram of cereals. So that gives him a footprint of 0.84 hectares…Meanwhile…a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser…driven a modest 10,000 kilometres a year, uses 55.1 gigajoules, which includes the energy required both to fuel and to build it. One hectare of land can produce approximately 135 gigajoules of energy per year, so the Land Cruiser’s eco-footprint is about 0.41 hectares – less than half that of a medium-sized dog.
The article leaves the reader to draw the conclusion that his or her own meat-eating is a significant contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions, a point of view detailed here.
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