In the ever-expanding quest to reduce carbon and save the planet from the onslaught of global warming, forget studying cow flatulence, riding your bicycle or even recycling your SUV.
Robert and Brenda Vale, 2 New Zealand “specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington,” have released their “study” claiming “the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.”
John Barrett of the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, was asked by New Scientist magazine to confirm the results. Calculating “eco-pawprints” with his own data, he arrived at “essentially the same results.
Says Barrett, “Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat.”
Cat owners aren’t off the hook either, according to the Vales. They also claim, “Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.”
The Vale’s research also concludes, “pets environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways.”
Animal rights advocates and lovers aren’t impressed.
Sylvie Comont, owner of seven cats and two dogs says, “I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations.”
Reha Huttin, president of France's 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation claims, “the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating.” Reha says, “Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly”
The Vales aren’t completely anti-animal, though. They also note that you can “offset” the carbon pawprint, or clawprint, by making sure your animal is dual purpose.
Robert Vale says, “Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table. Rabbits are good, provided you eat them.”
Am I the only one ready to put this farce of AGW behind us and start living our lives again?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Posted by Lew Waters at 9:46 AM