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?”