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environmental impact of dogs and cats

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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.

 
suze
782019.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:28 pm Reply with quote

It turns out that the subject of the damage done by feral cats in Australia is a rather controversial one. A lot of the "blame" which has been attached to feral cats probably belongs actually to foxes - when Western Australia had a deliberate policy of trapping foxes but not cats, numbers of various small mammals increased quite sharply. (Abbot, 2002)

What's more, one of the things that feral cats do is perceived as a benefit in much of Australia - they kill rabbits. And only one species of bird - the Paradise parrot, Psephotus pulcherrimus - has gone extinct on the Australian mainland since European settlement, and that event is not generally blamed on cats (more on humans, in fact).


As for the UK, well the RSPB quotes figures which reckon that 275 million animals per year are killed by cats. Most of these are birds (and it is noted that the species most often taken by cats are not in decline) and mice (especially house mice, which most people consider a pest).

These figures include pet cats, and I can't immediately find any which consider only feral cats. I'd expect the main victims still to be birds, mice, and rabbits, although there was a press report a couple of years back about a bunch of feral cats attacking a dog.

As for feral dogs, they are practically unknown in the UK.

 
Arcane
782155.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:43 pm Reply with quote

[quote="suze"]It turns out that the subject of the damage done by feral cats in Australia is a rather controversial one. A lot of the "blame" which has been attached to feral cats probably belongs actually to foxes - when Western Australia had a deliberate policy of trapping foxes but not cats, numbers of various small mammals increased quite sharply. (Abbot, 2002)

What's more, one of the things that feral cats do is perceived as a benefit in much of Australia - they kill rabbits. And only one species of bird - the Paradise parrot, Psephotus pulcherrimus - has gone extinct on the Australian mainland since European settlement, and that event is not generally blamed on cats (more on humans, in fact)./quote]

Was that according to one report suze? I have never heard of that information regarding foxes, I would have to look to see what the situation is with them in Queensland. And I have also never heard of feral cats being viewed as a benefit. FWIU, there are simply far too many rabbits for the feral cats to even make a dent in the population. And it isn't also about extinction, but those species that are threatened, nor the animals directly killed, but what they spread to animals and humans (toxoplasmosis).

 
sjb
782223.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:12 pm Reply with quote

Feral pigs are what worry me. :\

 
samivel
782225.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:23 pm Reply with quote

Will Ferrell worries me.

 
sjb
782228.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:29 pm Reply with quote

You mean Steve Ferrell? (Thanks Daily Mail. You're always good for a laugh.)

 

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