Toyota Landcruiser Has Half the Carbon Footprint of a Dog

Toyota Landcruiser Has Half the Carbon Footprint of a Dog

In a study that will probably make you scratch your head, two researchers from Victoria University in New Zealand concluded that the average mid-sized dog has a larger carbon footprint than your typical large V8-equipped SUV.

The two researchers, Robert and Brenda Vale, came to this odd conclusion by determining how much land it takes to generate enough food to feed a dog for a year. The study finds that the average dog eats 3.17 ounces of meat and 5.5 ounces of grain in a 10.5-ounce serving of dry dog food. According to those figures, that takes 2.07 acres of land to generate each year.

Now take those figures and compare it to a 4.6-liter V8 Toyota Land Cruiser that uses about 1.1 acres of land per year. But here’s the catch: for whatever strange reason, the Vales calculated it based on 6,200 miles a year, which is far from the average American driver travels annually. Their numbers show that 6,200 miles of Land Cruiser driving uses about 55.1 gigajoules of energy a year – which equates to the 1.1 acres of land. That’s 50 percent less carbon footprint than a dog, but it’s also half the miles an average person drives a year.

The odd researchers didn’t stop there though, finding that the average cat has a carbon footprint similar to a Volkswagen Golf; a hamster to a flat screen TV, and a goldfish to a cell phone.

Weird? Definitely. What’s worse? The Vales have published a book on their findings titled “Time to Eat the Dog?”


  • Rja

    Which average SUV driver are you talking about? In case you hadn’t noticed, New Zealand isn’t the USA, any more than it’s Australia or Mongolia. Even within an individual country, there are different usage profiles for urban and rural drivers, for commercial or even two-car families. Your repeated use of the word “odd” betrays a negative sentiment that smacks of prejudice. Not all university researchers are biased or overly introspective, even those from New Zealand.