Clifford the Big Red Climate Changer?
Following on the heels of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, the Agence France-Presse newswire reports that two New Zealand researchers have identified a major source of carbon emissions – our pets. Specifically, the researchers have their eyes on Fido:
Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) – around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car....
"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat," [Stockholm Environment Institute's John] Barrett said.
So what's the solution to "offsetting" these emissions? According the research's authors, one answer is to chow down on our pets. One of the researchers morbidly advises: "Rabbits are good, provided you eat them."
But don't get out the hamster-sized deep fryer just yet. These researchers' calculations rely on the assertion that meat – that is, the animal agriculture process – has an abnormally large carbon footprint. But as we've pointed out when activists like Paul McCartney use climate change arguments to promote a meatless agendas, the EPA's own greenhouse gas inventory shows domestic livestock production accounts for less than 3% of U.S. emissions. Feeding our beloved puppies and kittens isn't as bad for the environment after all.
A French animal rights organization is also objecting to the human elimination of pets, noting the mental and emotional benefits of pet ownership. And while it may not happen very often – sacre bleu! – we're inclined to agree with them. For the environmentally concerned, we can reduce emissions by spreading the use of efficient livestock farming practices. At the very least, that's a whole lot more appetizing than the alternative.
Copyright © 2010 Center for Consumer Freedom
Also, see: Marley and Meat