Published On: Sat, Aug 5th, 2017

New UCLA study blames pets for global warming, climate change

A new study from UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability attempted to place some blame for climate change and global warming on dog and cat owners.

In a study published on Wednesday by scientific journal PLOS One, UCLA Geography Professor Gregory Okin presents the findings of his research, which concludes that pets are contributing to global warming.

Image/Jessica Herriman

“Americans are the largest pet owners in the world, but the tradition of pet ownership in the US has considerable costs,” writes Okin. “As pet ownership increases in some developing countries, especially China, and trends continue in pet food toward higher content and quality of meat, globally, pet ownership will compound the environmental impacts of human dietary choices.”

The problem, he explains, is that dogs and cats eat a lot of meat, which allegedly destroys the planet, creating the equivalent, UCLA Newsroom explains, of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year — “about the same climate impact as a year’s worth of driving from 13.6 million cars.”

Their feces the planet as well.

Okin calculates that our 163 million dogs and cats produce just over 5 million tons of feces per year, the equivalent of about 90 million Americans, or the trash production of the entire state of Massachusetts.

The study asserts that “Reducing the rate of dog and cat ownership, perhaps in favor of other pets that offer similar health and emotional benefits would considerably reduce these impacts. Simultaneous industry-wide efforts to reduce overfeeding, reduce waste, and find alternative sources of protein will also reduce these impacts.”

“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,” he said. “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.”



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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. lyn says:

    I think politicians make a huge NEGATIVE impact on climate change with all their hot air, flying around in huge planes (theirs or rented/leased), multiple HUGE houses, boats, and multiple cars. Why don’t you look into that?

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