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environmental impact of dogs and cats

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qimidyue
760471.  Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:55 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Rumtopf wrote:
It definitely should have been more thoroughly researched.

How do you know it wasn't, Rumtopf?

In fact we were aware of the criticisms you mention, re-researched the question in light of them, and satisfied ourselves that our line would stand up to scrutiny.


I'm open to persuasion. What exactly did the research tell you that this thread might have missed?

 
Neotenic
760472.  Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:01 am Reply with quote

Quote:
We eat way less than cows. Producing 1kg of beef takes around 13kg of grain and 30kg of hay



Yeah, but man can not live on bread alone.

 
Ion Zone
760661.  Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:14 pm Reply with quote

Quorn and tofu help. ;)

 
samivel
760722.  Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:14 am Reply with quote

So do pigs and cows.

And cake.

 
Flash
760737.  Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:58 am Reply with quote

qimidyue wrote:
I'm open to persuasion. What exactly did the research tell you that this thread might have missed?

This idea was originally sourced from a book called Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living by Robert and Brenda Vale, two architects who specialise in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. It was picked up for the New Scientist by Kate Ravilious, who we interviewed; she in turn consulted John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, whose figures tallied almost exactly with the Vales’, and David Mackay, a physicist at the University of Cambridge and the UK government's energy adviser, who also agreed with their conclusions.

With reference to one particular objection which has been raised here, some people suggest that the mileage suggested for the car by the Vales was unrealistically low, slanting the calculation in the car's favour and against the dog. However, over half the energy the car uses in its lifetime is the energy used to produce the thing in the first place, so mileage doesn't actually count for as much as people think.

 
QI Newbie
760788.  Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:58 am Reply with quote

This caught my interest because I am vegetarian, but I have a dog on a meat diet, so I looked up this company: www.veggiepets.com, who only sell Vegetarian pet food and asked them how it it is manufactured and they said the Pet food is put together by the same nutritionalists that manufacture the brands you see in the supermarkets. As well as carbon footprint, they mentioned people buy it for ethical, religious and medical reasons like allergies.

 
Zebra57
760816.  Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:11 pm Reply with quote

Hi QIN and welcome there is another thread in the Green Room dealing with this topic you may find QI under House and Home.

 
memeweaver
763461.  Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:28 am Reply with quote

Landcruisers don't tend to live off the byproducts of human food production as domestic pets do. Most petfood comes from material that would otherwise be thrown away in the process of making food for humans.

If resources are priced rationally, then my 45kg dog's annual fuel bill works out at less than 2 months of filling up my car ( and ignoring all other running costs ). He indirectly lowers my personal running costs by having me outdoors more often and thus reducing my potential medical costs.

 
vive l'emoticon!
781422.  Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:50 pm Reply with quote

How many hectares does it take to regenerate the steel and materials used in the manufacture of the car if indeed this is possible?

Is the fuel used in the car from a renewable source? The animal's is.

Have you included marketing and distribution costs of the car?

Simply reducing the equation to energetic terms: DOGj > SUVj is not good enough but you know that don't you?

 
PDR
781432.  Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:14 pm Reply with quote

vive l'emoticon! wrote:
Is the fuel used in the car from a renewable source?


Yes, it's made from trees (although it does take a while). Have you considered the detail that in the western world most pet dogs are fed on canned dogfood. The food is processed (which has a carbon consequence), and that metal also has to be mined, refined and processed? Plus the fuel used in distributing the food through wholesale and retail supply chains...

Quote:

Have you included marketing and distribution costs of the car?


The strict answer is "yes", but remember that this is about carbon footprints (and pawprints) rather than costs, so the marketting is not that significant.

Quote:

Simply reducing the equation to energetic terms: DOGj > SUVj is not good enough but you know that don't you?


Not good enough for what? All that was discussed was a rather counter-intuitive answer to a calculation of carbon footprints - not a moral or value judgement. Although one could refelct on the fact that cars do actually perform a useful function, where pet dogs are simply an indulgence.

PDR

(speaking as a past and present owner of many dogs)

 
bobwilson
781774.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:09 am Reply with quote

There's another thing which doesn't seem to be included in the calculations - when a cat / dog kills another animal that killed animal no longer is consuming.

 
PDR
781793.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:40 am Reply with quote

Well yes, but very few domestic dogs actually hunt and kill animals - even domestic cats (which are generally an evil and malicious species) rarely hunt much. So I'm not sure it contributes significantly to the carbon claw-print.

PDR

 
Arcane
781804.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:17 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Well yes, but very few domestic dogs actually hunt and kill animals - even domestic cats (which are generally an evil and malicious species) rarely hunt much. So I'm not sure it contributes significantly to the carbon claw-print.

PDR


Feral animals in Australia cause much harm to our environment, both by affecting the animals killed (dogs and cats) and the erosion it can cause (rabbits) - estimates can be as high as 18 million native animals killed each year. It is estimated one cat alone could feasibly kill up to 30 native animals per year, including birds and mammals. It isn't just the animals they kill directly, but things like parasites and diseases they spread.

 
PDR
781838.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:45 am Reply with quote

True, but not relevant because the assertions we are discussing relate to the carbon tailprint of keep domestic dogs (and cats). Not the carbon footprints of wild animals, or feral animals (animals that were once pets but have taken to a more indepeandant lifestyle), or working animals, or livestock.

PDR

 
Arcane
781843.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:08 am Reply with quote

Thank you for the definition of feral animals, I was actually aware of that... XD

What is should have read was "Feral animals cause much harm to our environment....etc.....estimates can be as high as 18 million native animals killed each year BY DOMESTIC DOGS AND CATS. (I managed to leave that part out, it's called "trying to sneak a quick post in whilst daughter is hogging the computer").

"Domestic pets, particularly cats, are among the greatest of threats to our wildlife. The number of native animals killed by dogs and cats nationally each year is estimated to be in the millions - with the highest published estimates at 18 million native animals a year."

From BrunswickValley Land Care.

I am not aware if there are any figures of domestic/feral animals that cause harm to native wildlife in the UK, if anyone would like to contribute those, it would be interesting.

 

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