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Pets in the US have a significant impact on the environment: they consume 30% of meat production

Attempts to reduce carbon dioxide production in developed countries affect virtually all areas of human life, from the energy industry, heating of buildings, fuel consumption to waste production or construction activity. One of the most significant emission factors was, however, overlooked and neglected. Although this is a relatively crucial element. Pets. For more details, refer to the CleanTechnica journal.

Cats and dogs have so far "slipped" in the balance of statistical reports with people, which proved to be extremely tricky. The difference between production and consumption of meat products was noticed by Gregory S. Okin of the University of California, Los Angeles, who in his work entitled " Environmental Impact of Dog Food and Cat Foods" presented solid arguments about the potential dangers of pet breeding for the environment. Dogs and cats in the States account for 30% of the total meat consumption. Both of these species in the United States account for approximately 163 million people.

"So, purely, if American cats and dogs set up their own state, their meat consumption will be the world's fifth highest in the world,"
says Okin. "The ranking would look like: Russia, Brazil, USA, China and the State of American dogs and cats." Dogs and cats also produce a considerable amount of physical waste, faeces. And it does make it really flat. According to Okinah, American pets will displace about 5.1 million tons a year, or about 90 million people. "From the point of view of net waste production, it's as big as the Massachusetts state can handle."

How did he reach such numbers? He began with publicly available resources, which he then supplemented with more specific information from different statistical databases. Okin first focused on the consumption of meat products and granulated fodder feeds for dogs and cats. And he found that their production and consumption was certainly not negligible. Respectively, the aforementioned domestic animals consume 19% (± 2%) of the adult nutritional (nutritional) dose in a single day. "So, in fact, all American cats and dogs eat that much in just one day for all the inhabitants of France."

Another derivation has found that pets are able to produce up to 30% (± 9%) of the total volume of faeces, which has been credited exclusively to humans. "And if we talk about the burden of livestock production or conduct a dialogue on the terms of consumption of water, soil, fossil fuels, phosphate fertilizers and biocides, we will find that the pet food corresponds to 25-30% of the total environmental burden of our economic production , " Says Okin .

The meat consumption that dogs and cats say produces 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, including other greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and methane, each year in the US. "In terms of climate impact, the same impact would have 13.6 million cars driving all year round," adds Okin.

And the conclusion? "I love dogs and cats, and I'm definitely not a supporter of getting rid of their pets or making them a vegetarian diet that would be unhealthy for them," says Okin. "But I think we should at least consider all the impact that their proximity brings us. Pets bring us a number of benefits but also have a very significant impact on the environment. "

Author: Radomír Dohnal

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