Are your four-legged pets are not environmentally-friendly? Our cats’ and dogs’ eating habits are responsible for creating almost 64 million tons of greenhouse gases every year. Based on current research that’s the same as 13 million cars on the road. There are more than 163 million dogs and cats in the US, and they just love to eat.
Cats and dogs in the US consume about 19 percent as many calories as people do in the US, or about as much as 62 million Americans, according to a new study published in Plos One. Because much of that food is meat, and meat production is known to heavily contribute to climate change, our pets leave a significant carbon footprint on our environment.
It takes 50 lbs of carbon dioxide to make 2 lbs of pork. By calculating the number of dogs and cats in the US, their average weights, and ingredients in pet foods, researchers at Plos One estimated the carbon footprint of our animal friends. His findings: American cats and dogs consume about 19 percent as many calories as people do in the US; and because they’re mainly meat-eaters, they consume about 30 percent of the animal-derived calories that people consume.
They also produce 30 percent as much poop as Americans do. All in all, American cats and dogs are responsible for producing about 64 million tons of methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, according to Okin’s calculations.
You could investigate taking your four-legged friends vegan, but it would be a challenge say most vets and experts. Cats are almost by design carnivores and need meat, dogs less so but protein is a crucial part of their diet. The trend towards grain-free diets is making the demand for meat-based foods increase – even though there is no reason why dogs should eat food with grain in it.
One solution…the development of foods based on insects, especially Crickets. But that’s some way off from being widely available, though Wild Earth, produce ‘Chipper Pet’ which is a dog treat in peanut, pumpkin and cricket flavor, with the tagline: “Save water. Save land. Chip in.” One other major problem…giving your pets just too much food, like with their human owners, many pets are becoming obese…