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Author Topic: Now My Dog is Worse For the Environment Than My 4X4 - Eat Your Pet (Merged Topics)  (Read 21688 times)
Ben
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« on: October 23, 2009, 06:24:24 AM »

My alternate solution? Feed the enviros to my dog.

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http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/2987848/Save-the-planet-time-to-eat-dog

Save the planet: time to eat dog?
By TANYA KATTERNS - The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 22/10/2009


The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.

Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.

The couple have assessed the carbon emissions created by popular pets, taking into account the ingredients of pet food and the land needed to create them.

"If you have a German shepherd or similar-sized dog, for example, its impact every year is exactly the same as driving a large car around," Brenda Vale said.

"A lot of people worry about having SUVs but they don't worry about having Alsatians and what we are saying is, well, maybe you should be because the environmental impact ... is comparable."

In a study published in New Scientist, they calculated a medium dog eats 164 kilograms of meat and 95kg of cereals every year. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to produce 1kg of chicken a year. This means it takes 0.84 hectares to feed Fido.

They compared this with the footprint of a Toyota Land Cruiser, driven 10,000km a year, which uses 55.1 gigajoules (the energy used to build and fuel it). One hectare of land can produce 135 gigajoules a year, which means the vehicle's eco-footprint is 0.41ha ľ less than half of the dog's.

They found cats have an eco-footprint of 0.15ha ľ slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf. Hamsters have a footprint of 0.014ha ľ keeping two of them is equivalent to owning a plasma TV.

Professor Vale says the title of the book is meant to shock, but the couple, who do not have a cat or dog, believe the reintroduction of non-carnivorous pets into urban areas would help slow down global warming.

"The title of the book is a little bit of a shock tactic, I think, but though we are not advocating eating anyone's pet cat or dog there is certainly some truth in the fact that if we have edible pets like chickens for their eggs and meat, and rabbits and pigs, we will be compensating for the impact of other things on our environment."

Professor Vale took her message to Wellington City Council last year, but councillors said banning traditional pets or letting people keep food animals in their homes were not acceptable options.

Kelly Jeffery, a Paraparaumu german shepherd breederwho once owned a large SUV, said eliminating traditional pets was "over the top".


"I think we need animals because they are a positive in our society. We can all make little changes to reduce carbon footprints but without pointing the finger at pets, which are part of family networks."

Owning rabbits is legal anywhere. Local bodies allow chickens, with some restrictions.

YOUR PET'S MARK

The eco-footprints of the family pet each year as calculated by the Vales:

German shepherds: 1.1 hectares, compared with 0.41ha for a large SUV.

Cats: 0.15ha (slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf). Hamsters: 0.014ha (two of them equate to a medium-sized plasma TV).

Goldfish: 0.00034ha (an eco-finprint equal to two cellphones).
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 06:46:11 AM »

Quote
One hectare of land can produce 135 gigajoules a year...

This makes my American brain hurt.
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 07:27:39 AM »

Awesome! I have three Great Danes. That means I cancel out three hippies! Whoo hoo! Doin' my part to stave off the ice age!  laugh
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 07:28:39 AM »

Our chickens aren't pets.

The dogs help protect the chickens from predators.

The cats mostly live off the land, and keep us from being totally over-run with vermin.

The horses I expect to be our primary transportation in a few years after the enviro-nazis get done. Sad
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 07:47:12 AM »

Awesome! I have three Great Danes. That means I cancel out three hippies! Whoo hoo! Doin' my part to stave off the ice age!  laugh

Three Great Danes can eat three hippies.  A week!  How's that for sustainably living?  grin
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 07:48:51 AM »

Three Great Danes can eat three hippies.  A week!  How's that for sustainably living?  grin

Nah, I wouldn't want my dogs to catch something nasty. Besides, can you imagine the cleaning those must require?
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 08:11:00 AM »

I think it's very interesting that an SUV supposedly uses less energy than a doberman. I also think their concepts are seriously flawed to get such a result. I get the idea that they are using the energy costs at the factory and not adding in the mines where they get the iron ore, or the places they get the vinyl and whatnot for the seats, etc.
Oh wait. That 10,000 KM comes out to about 6300 miles a year, 525 miles a month, 17.5 miles per day.
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 08:22:34 AM »

Their numbers are skewed, I believe.  Even my biggest 100lb. Loafenpinchenhund probably emits less waste than a given rabid environmentalist.  Wink

(Says the APS resident semi-environmentalist/conservationist...)
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 08:40:59 AM »

Three Great Danes can eat three hippies.  A week!  How's that for sustainably living?  grin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zZZpZvpDnM
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 09:15:39 AM »

(Says the APS resident semi-environmentalist/conservationist...)

No sir, you are not one of THEM. I used to always describe myself as a conservationist until the meaning was usurped by people that shove their view down the throats of others, often for political, versus true conservation reasons.

We need another name for people who like self-reliance, alternate energy, conserving resources, etc. but as a choice, versus ramming the concept down people's throat in a regulatory and snooty "Prius owner" kind of way.
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 09:19:23 AM »

Sweet I have a labrador and weimarener and I drive a SUV. 
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 09:21:27 AM »

Their numbers are skewed, I believe.  Even my biggest 100lb. Loafenpinchenhund probably emits less waste than a given rabid environmentalist.  Wink

(Says the APS resident semi-environmentalist/conservationist...)

Ah... you misunderstand. It's not the waste he emits, but the food that he eats.

Their problem is that to produce the food that he eats, it is more costly than to power your car... at least, according to their reckoning.
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 09:24:08 AM »

Assuming their numbers are correct, why do cats eat so much less?  Aren't cats even more carnivorous (by percentage of diet) than dogs?  Is there so large an average difference in body mass that that skews that stats?

Quote
Quote
One hectare of land can produce 135 gigajoules a year...

This makes my American brain hurt.

Your humor makes my metric brain hurt.

I truly do not understand the rationale for griping about metric.  It's one thing if you want to use English units yourself, if you can get away with it in your line of work, or if you simply use them casually.  It's entirely another to subtly impugn someone else for using world standard (even in the U.S. for many industries' scientific or engineering purposes) units.
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 09:31:52 AM »

Try living in the quality world, Chris.

Everything comes at you in both Metric and SAE.  Ouch.

And I still stand by the carbon footprint numbers on the extrusion side of my dawgs vs. those "environmentalists" who would recommend we raise rabbits and chickens.  Ya gotta poop sometime... Wink
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2009, 09:43:24 AM »

Quote
We need another name for people who like self-reliance, alternate energy, conserving resources, etc. but as a choice, versus ramming the concept down people's throat in a regulatory and snooty "Prius owner" kind of way.

Prepper.  Survivalist.  Hunter.  Redneck.  Bitter-clinger.  There's probably a few more. angel
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2009, 09:52:24 AM »

Prepper.  Survivalist.  Hunter.  Redneck.  Bitter-clinger.  There's probably a few more. angel
laugh laugh

The problem is, "conservationist" is really the right term. It's just that it's been twisted into something else. I grew up in an immigrant household where being a conservationist was simply a common sense way to live and was taught to me in a "waste not want not" kind of way (my dad still stores nuts, bolts, etc in empty cans he started using in the 60's). Now "conservationist" is a term you drop at the Starbucks or a wine and tofu party.
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 10:14:10 AM »

Quote
Nah, I wouldn't want my dogs to catch something nasty. Besides, can you imagine the cleaning those must require?
 

A dog will eat anything, and has.  No cleaning of hippies is necessary.  If it makes you feel better you can hose them down first.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 10:40:11 AM »

Prepper.  Survivalist.  Hunter.  Redneck.  Bitter-clinger.  There's probably a few more. angel

Someone who leads by example?
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 10:46:12 AM »

so if i shoot inner city pit bulls
from the seat of a hummer
its good for the environment?
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2009, 11:37:57 AM »

Maybe, but if you drive into Asheville, Berkeley, or anywhere in Vermont and cast the hounds out of the Hummer to go eat hippies now you are really helping. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2009, 11:38:22 AM »

so if i shoot inner city pit bulls
from the seat of a hummer
its good for the environment?
[/quote

Only if you gut them on the sidewalk and then take them home & eat them.
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2009, 11:48:36 AM »

can we calculate the green house impact of housing death row inmates as an incentive to reset their karmic spin?
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2009, 11:50:54 AM »

Quote
so if i shoot inner city pit bulls
from the seat of a hummer
its good for the environment?

[haiku]Shooting  ghetto dogs
from the seat of a hummer
environmental[/haiku]
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2009, 11:58:28 AM »

See, truly environmentally minded people have both cats and dogs.  You just have to look the other way when fido partakes of the kitty litter buffet.  This way you feed two animals and decrease fido's carbon pawprint.  It's the ultimate in recycling. grin
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2009, 12:43:37 PM »

Speaking of crunchy tootsie roll treats in a litter box, I once knew a dog that enjoyed cleaning up after pigs on the farm.  I wouldn't let him lick me afterwards, but I guess he was at least an environmentally-friendly creature.   grin
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