Household pets responsible for up to 30% of US meat environmental impact

August 8, 2017 by  
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Just last week a report found that American citizens’ insatiable appetite for meat is resulting in the largest-ever “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico . Now we’ve learned that furry family members are just as guilty when it comes to environmental degradation. This is because American cats and dogs rank 5th in global meat consumption, according to a new study. In his research, UCLA professor Gregory Okin was interested to learn what effect household pets have on the environment. “I was thinking about how cool it is that chickens are vegetarian and make protein for us to eat, whereas many other pets eat a lot of protein from meat,” he said. “And that got me thinking – how much meat do our pets eat?” Okin found that the meat consumption by pet dogs and cats creates the equivalent of about 64 million tons of CO2 annually. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same climate impact as a year’s worth of driving 13.6 million cars. Okin confesses he has nothing against household pets, but their contribution to climate change cannot be overlooked. “I like dogs and cats, and I’m definitely not recommending that people get rid of their pets or put them on a vegetarian diet, which would be unhealthy,” said the UCLA professor. “But I do think we should consider all the impacts that pets have so we can have an honest conversation about them. Pets have many benefits, but also a huge environmental impact.” Related: Taiwan is first Asian country to ban eating cats and dogs According to the study published in the journal PLOS , if cats and dogs ruled their own country, they would be responsible for an astounding 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the U.S. In fact, household pets’ meat consumption fall behind only Russia, Brazil, the United States and China. As a result of, they produce 5.1 million tons of feces each year — as much as 90 million Americans, writes Alison Hewitt of UCLA. In the study, Okin cited previous research that found the American diet “produces the equivalent of 260 million tons of carbon dioxide from livestock production.” He then calculated how much meat 163 million cats and dogs consume compared to 321 million Americans. This data helped him establish how many tons of greenhouse gases are tied to pet food. It turns out cats and dogs in the U.S. consume 19 percent as many calories as American people do — that’s the same amount as the entire population of France! Additionally, about 25 percent of cats’ and dogs’ diets are meat-based. Okin concluded the best thing humans can do to benefit the environment is to compromise the quality of meat they serve their furry family members. “A dog doesn’t need to eat steak,” Okin said. “A dog can eat things a human sincerely can’t. So what if we could turn some of that pet food into people chow?” “I’m not a vegetarian , but eating meat does come at a cost,” he added. “Those of us in favor of eating or serving meat need to be able to have an informed conversation about our choices, and that includes the choices we make for our pets.” + PLOS Via TreeHugger Images via Pixabay

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Household pets responsible for up to 30% of US meat environmental impact

How the Humane Society’s CEO connects empathy and economics

May 15, 2017 by  
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Wayne Pacelle believes worrying about the welfare of Earth’s feathered, finned and four-legged inhabitants makes good business sense.

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How the Humane Society’s CEO connects empathy and economics

3 crucial trends redefining business in a changing world

May 15, 2017 by  
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It is time to redefine sustainable business with a new agenda, a new approach and a new voice.

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3 crucial trends redefining business in a changing world

Creepy fleshy art by Cao Hui makes it painfully clear what everyday are objects are made of

October 15, 2016 by  
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It’s the season of all things spooky, and real life consistently takes the creepy cake. Maybe this thought occurred to artist Cao Hui when he created a series of fleshy sculptures that look so real, they made my stomach turn. Comprised of resin and fiber, and true to life in size, each piece depicts the viscera, skin and flesh belonging to animals whose lives are regularly sacrificed to produce objects of convenience for human beings. Cao Hui, represented by Lin & Lin Gallery in Taiwan , created a series of hyper realistic sculptures, including a couch and chair, gloves, and a suitcase, all presumably made of leather. But instead of showing the pretty polished pieces of furniture we normally see in shop windows, he exposes the parts of animals sacrificed in order to keep their skin. In so doing, it forces the viewer to think more carefully about the materials used to create every day objects. Related: Animal activists who freed thousands of fur industry animals charged as terrorists Granted, the pieces were crafted in 2008, and we’ve come a long way when it comes to protecting the rights of animals. Plus, many responsible butchers do use every part of an animal so nothing goes to waste. But factory farming is still very much a blight on the developed world’s collective conscience, and Cao Hui keeps it there with these disturbing, but provocative pieces. Via youbentmywookie Images via Lin & Lin Gallery

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Creepy fleshy art by Cao Hui makes it painfully clear what everyday are objects are made of

New super-strain of E. coli resists all known antibiotics

December 21, 2015 by  
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If you’ve ever experienced food poisoning from E. coli , you already know just how unpleasant an infection can be. But what if there were no treatment on the market that could wipe out the bacteria? If a new study out of China is any indication, that might soon be our terrifying new reality. Read the rest of New super-strain of E. coli resists all known antibiotics

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New super-strain of E. coli resists all known antibiotics

LIVIN Farms makes growing sustainable and healthy protein as easy as compost

November 12, 2015 by  
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LIVIN Farms makes growing sustainable and healthy protein as easy as compost

Bon Appétit to Big Ag pork producers: Open your barn doors

September 11, 2015 by  
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Her recent GreenBiz story provoked heated rebuttals. The author hits back against “scare tactics” and ominous “ag-gag” attempts.

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Bon Appétit to Big Ag pork producers: Open your barn doors

Ericsson aims to boost WiFi signals muffled by insulation

September 11, 2015 by  
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Energy efficiency is great, but insulation can block wireless signals. Ericsson hopes its software will help smartphones and smart meters alike.

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Ericsson aims to boost WiFi signals muffled by insulation

SDG to eradicate extreme poverty? Let’s use data to plan attack

September 11, 2015 by  
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The Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty everywhere in 15 years is ambitious. Planning how needs sophisticated data analytics.

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SDG to eradicate extreme poverty? Let’s use data to plan attack

Sign this petition to stop the sale of dyed baby chicks as toys

August 4, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Tourists on the Koh Lanta island of Thailand recently made a disturbing discovery while walking along the beach: vendors are selling baby chicks that have been dyed bright colors and lumped into sealed plastic bags on sweltering hot days. A petition is making its rounds on Care2 to bring attention to the cruelty – sign it here ! STOP SELLING DYED CHICKS AS TOYS > Read the rest of Sign this petition to stop the sale of dyed baby chicks as toys

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