Pets and global warming

Well this was bound to happen.

Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats by Gregory S. Okin 
Published: August 2, 2017 

In the US, there are more than 163 million dogs and cats that consume, as a significant portion of their diet,
animal products and therefore potentially constitute a considerable dietary footprint. Here, the energy and 
animal-derived product consumption of these pets in the US is evaluated for the first time, as are the 
environmental impacts from the animal products fed to them, including feces production. In the US, dogs 
and cats consume about 19% ± 2% of the amount of dietary energy that humans do 
(203 ± 15 PJ yr-1 vs. 1051 ± 9 PJ yr-1) and 33% ± 9% of the animal-derived energy 
(67 ± 17 PJ yr-1 vs. 206 ± 2 PJ yr-1). They produce about 30% ± 13%, by mass, as much feces as 
Americans (5.1 ± Tg yr-1 vs. 17.2 Tg yr-1), and through their diet, constitute about 25–30% of the 
environmental impacts from animal production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuel, phosphate, 
and biocides. Dog and cat animal product consumption is responsible for release of up to 64 ± 16 million 
tons CO2-equivalent methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gasses (GHGs). Americans 
are the largest pet owners in the world, but the tradition of pet ownership in the US has considerable costs. 
As pet ownership increases in some developing countries, especially China, and trends continue in pet 
food toward higher content and quality of meat, globally, pet ownership will compound the environmental 
impacts of human dietary choices. Reducing the rate of dog and cat ownership, perhaps in favor of other 
pets that offer similar health and emotional benefits would considerably reduce these impacts. Simultaneous 
industry-wide efforts to reduce overfeeding, reduce waste, and find alternative sources of protein will also 
reduce these impacts.

Alain

In comparison to birds of prey, bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, weasels, mind, martins, fishers, raccoons and a few others what is consummed by dogs and cats is insignificant. This is just a different approach by those who hate animals calling themselves animal rightists.

Frances

Our cat is not a pet, she is a rodent trap. Without her, we would be invaded by mice. As it is, we have to set traps in areas she doesn’t go.

Back in the day, bird-loving neighbours complained when our cat would ascend their tree and eye the birds at their feeder. Accordingly, we kept him indoors until he one day escaped and we never saw him again (we suspect a neighbour further down the block who was using tuna as a bait). Shortly thereafter, the cat bylaw was brought in – all cats to be indoors – and the bird-loving neighbours began complaining about being overrrun by mice.

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