According to a book by Brenda and Robert Vale; dogs equivalent to the size of German Shepherds have the same “carbon footprint” as a typical SUV driving 10,000 miles/year.
“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.”
Cat and hamster owners don’t get off much easier, according to the Vale’s work; cats are only slightly less damaging to the environment than a Volkswagen Golf and owning two hamsters release the same amount of greenhouse gases as owning a plasma TV.
The Vale’s say they are not advocating anyone actually eat their dog but rather people own edible pets, like pigs and chickens to reduce their environment impacts.
As absurd as it seems to reduce our pet’s carbon footprints, it may not be so far fetch. Many have already suggesting having fewer children. Coined as “Cap and Trade on Babies,” carbon credits would be given to families with only one child as an incentive to keep families small, reducing the population, and thus lowering future CO2 emissions. An environmental reporter for the New York Times, Andrew Revkin said “The single most concrete, substantive thing a young American could do is not turning off the lights or driving a Prius, it’s having fewer kids.”
We may well be entering an era where every aspect of our lives could be regulated due to a fear of CO2 emissions.