Did you know that a dog is more polluting than a SUV? New Zealand scientists Brenda and Robert Vale made this conclusion after extensive calculations. They wrote it down in their book "Time to Eat the Dog":
They calculated a medium dog eats 164 kilograms of meat and 95kg of cereals every year. It takes 43.3 square meters of land to produce 1kg of chicken a year. This means it takes 0.84 hectares to feed a dog.
Compare this with the footprint of a Toyota Land Cruiser, driven 10,000km a year, which uses 55.1 gigajoules (the energy used to build and fuel it). One hectare of land can produce 135 gigajoules a year, which means the vehicle's eco-footprint is 0.41ha – less than half of the dog's.
Cats have an eco-footprint of 0.15ha – slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf. Hamsters have a footprint of 0.014ha – keeping two of them is equivalent to owning a plasma TV.
Professor Vale says the title of the book is meant to shock, but the couple, who do not have a cat or dog, believe the reintroduction of non-carnivorous pets into urban areas would help slow down global warming.