Measuring the Eco Pawprint of Your Pets

kitten pawprint tracks

Cats and dogs are the latest animals to fall under the microscope of green living with a new book called “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living.” Written by two New Zealand architects specializing in sustainable living, this provocative book is bound to stir people up.

The authors, Robert and Brenda Vale, claim that these popular house pets use up more energy resources a year than driving a car. According to their calculations, published in New Scientist, a medium size dog has twice the carbon footprint of a 4.6 litre Land Cruiser that’s driven 10,000 kilometres a year.

Cats, on the other hand, have an eco footprint slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf, while a pair of hamsters leave a mark equivalent to that of a plasma TV.

Why do our beloved cats and dogs have such a high carbon footprint? Apparently it’s because they’re meat eaters, and trying to turn them into vegetarians might reduce their footprint, but could ultimately ruin their health.

So what’s the solution?

The Vales – who, by the way, don’t have any cats or dogs – suggest that people start keeping “˜greener’ and smaller pets, such as goldfish, hamsters, chickens or rabbits. These pets, in turn, can be recycled and used as food when they die.

Interesting concept, but my cat is not amused.

If you’re ready to read Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, get a copy here. Or you might just want to read about how to raise a healthy, greener pet here, here and here.

Image: a tai