Carbon Paw-Prints

Wellington-based eco-architects Brenda and Robert Vale, authors of Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, include in their controversial book figures for carbon footprints of pets compared with other more well-known energy guzzlers. “A typical medium sized dog eats 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals every year. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to generate 1 kilogram of chicken per year and 13.4 square metres to generate a kilogram of cereals. This gives your dog a footprint of 0.84 hectares, more than twice that of a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser.” The couple has 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. The Telegraph’s Peter Wedderburn says he is all for making good use of the planet’s limited resources, but would stop short at eating the family pet. “What about getting rid of architects? Surely at this stage of civilisation we’ve already created a wide enough selection of dwelling places? And think of all the paper, ink and hot air that could be saved.”

Tags: Brenda Vale  Robert vale  Sustainability  Telegraph (The)