Smart Living Your Pet's Meaty Food Is a Big Contributor to Climate Change, Too

20:24  04 august  2017
20:24  04 august  2017 Source:   foodandwine.com

This Baby Food Dispensing Spoon Is a Game Changer for Parents

  This Baby Food Dispensing Spoon Is a Game Changer for Parents Feeding on the go just got a whole lot easier.Squirt isn't any ordinary type of spoon-it also doubles as a baby food dispenser. Simply fill the product's bulb with up to three ounces of baby food, and the pureed yumminess comes right out with one squeeze.

But new research shows there is another group of meat -eaters that are increasingly contributing to climate change : our adorable, kibble-noshing pets . Instead, Okin encourages pet food producers to explore kibble compositions that would include protein alternatives in place of meat , while humans

Manufacturing kibble and canned food produces a lot of carbon dioxide.

  Your Pet's Meaty Food Is a Big Contributor to Climate Change, Too © Humonia / Getty Images

Eating beef may be tasty, but it's not exactly good for the environment. After all, producing steaks, roasts, and burger patties leaves a large carbon footprint. Luckily for the environment, we humans are cutting back our beef consumption. But new research shows there is another group of meat-eaters that are increasingly contributing to climate change: our adorable, kibble-noshing pets.

According to research by University of California, Los Angeles geography professor Gregory Okin, our nation's 163 million dogs and cats are responsible for up to a whopping 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the U.S. Their bags of kibble and cans of wet meat "create the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year," according to the research, which, for comparison's sake, is about the "same climate impact as a year's worth of driving from 13.6 million cars," it says.

Activists Want In-N-Out to Change Its Burgers

  Activists Want In-N-Out to Change Its Burgers Plus, all the food news to know today 

Climate Change Could Mean Disaster For The World's Coffee Supply. Your Pet ' s Meaty Food Is a Big Contributor to Climate Change , Too . Read More. Sign Up for Our Newsletter.

When we talk about climate change , we often think about how much meat people eat. By calculating the number of dogs and cats in the US, their average weights, and ingredients in pet foods , Okin tallied the carbon footprint of our animal friends.

Consider this: Okin says if dogs and cats made their own country—aside from being the most adorable place on the planet—it would rank fifth in meat consumption behind Russia, Brazil, the U.S., and China.

4 holistic vets reveal what they feed their dogs (from Organic Life)

Monchie, a 3-year-old Pomeranian: <p>We feed Monchie a homemade diet consisting of 50% lean protein (like white meat or white fish) and 50% fresh chopped vegetables (like spinach, kale, green beans, <a href=broccoli, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts). Vegetables can be raw or lightly steamed or blanched, depending on your dog's preference. We change up the ingredients depending on what’s in our fridge.

With homemade diets, a comprehensive vitamin mineral supplement is essential. So we add a supplement called PAAWS to balance out the homemade meals.

Feeding dogs a balanced homemade diet is a big step up from commercial food, and it’s fairly straightforward. You want to aim for a mix of ⅓ lean protein, ⅓ long-acting carbs such as rice, and ⅓ vegetables. For dogs who need to lose weight, or if you’re concerned about allergies, cut out the carbs and feed your pooch a mix of ½ lean protein and ½ green veggies. The veggies won’t cause diarrhea or gas.
—Carol Osborne, DVM, founder of Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic

Related: 5 First-Aid Essentials Every Pet Owner Should Know

" src="/upload/images/real/2017/08/04/monchie-a-3-year-old-pomeranian-p-we-feed-monchie-a-homemade-diet-consisting-of-50-lean-protein-like_910969_.jpg?content=1" />
4 Holistic Vets Reveal Exactly What They Feed Their Dogs

To come up with his numbers, Okin used previous research that found 321 million Americans' diets produce the equivalent of 260 million tons of carbon dioxide from livestock production. Greenhouse gases are also tied to the production of pet food. And because pet foods typically have more meat in them than the average human eats, Okin determined our pets consume about 25 percent of all the calories derived from animals in the U.S., even though our pets eat a lot fewer calories than we do.

Whoa! That Red Juice in Your Meat Isn’t Blood

  Whoa! That Red Juice in Your Meat Isn’t Blood <p>If you’ve ever gagged at the thought of a 'bloody' steak, you might want to consider medium-rare a second try.</p>Practically all of the blood is taken out of meat during slaughter, according to Today I Found Out. If that red juice were blood, even poultry would have that rosy colour.

New research highlights an uncomfortable truth: humanity’ s favorite pets are contributing greatly to climate change . Fueling the problem is an increased trend of buying higher-quality pet foods , which use more meat and less fillers, driving the consumption numbers higher.

The agricultural industry contributes more than eight percent overall to climate change , and raising As it turns out, all that work contributes GHG too . With seventy percent of domestic electricity generated by fossil fuel-burning power plants, this runaway usage is a big contributor to GHG.

Okin isn't recommending we get rid of our fluffy friends to fight this problem. "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," Okin said in a release.

Instead, Okin encourages pet food producers to explore kibble compositions that would include protein alternatives in place of meat, while humans should commit to snout-to-tail consumption, eating less appetizing meat cuts that are perfectly edible but often thrown in the trash. If just a quarter of the meat that's used in pet foods was instead consumed by humans, Okin says, we'd have enough meat to feed 26 million Americans—all without having to increase the number of cattle.

What to watch next
  • How to turn a pair of jeans into a golf bag

    How to turn a pair of jeans into a golf bag

    1:48
  • 10-month-old wins 'fastest crawler' competition

    10-month-old wins 'fastest crawler' competition

    The Washington Post Logo
    The Washington Post
    0:51
  • College applications

    5 things you need to know about your child’s college applications

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    4:07
  • The rich on vacation

    Traveling in style: 4 over-the-top hotel rooms for only millionaires

    CNBC Logo
    CNBC
    1:36
  • Adorable baby and her giant poodle are the best of friends

    Adorable baby and her giant poodle are the best of friends

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    0:44
  • Watch a girl reunite with her cat that's been missing for 3 years

    Watch a girl reunite with her cat that's been missing for 3 years

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    0:47
  • Does moisturising actually work?

    Does moisturising actually work?

    BBC News Logo
    BBC News
    2:57
  • This style hack will keep your off-the-shoulder tops in place

    This style hack will keep your off-the-shoulder tops in place

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    0:58
  • How to stay dry at the office

    How to stay dry at the office

    The Wall Street Journal. Logo
    The Wall Street Journal.
    1:36
  • Here are the Reasons Why the Rules of Chivalry are Changing

    Here are the reasons why the rules of chivalry are changing

    Buzz60 Logo
    Buzz60
    1:03
  • This CEO only lets his employees work 32-hours a week

    This CEO only lets his employees work 32-hours a week

    CNBC Logo
    CNBC
    1:28
  • How to clean your microwave without scrubbing

    How to clean your microwave without scrubbing

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    0:34
  • Kindergarten teacher includes students in her wedding

    Kindergarten teacher includes students in her wedding

    TODAY Logo
    TODAY
    1:00
  • Toddler can't resist listening to 'Single Ladies'

    Toddler can't resist listening to 'Single Ladies'

    BuzzVideos Logo
    BuzzVideos
    0:27
  • Study: Most Men Believe They’re The Primary Grocery Shoppers

    Study: Most men believe they’re the primary grocery shoppers

    2:51
  • Pensioners sing

    Pensioners sing "Single Ladies" in an online petition

    BuzzVideos Logo
    BuzzVideos
    1:46
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

You Need to Visit This Country Before It Literally Sinks Into the Ocean .
Climate change has caused a lot of chaos in recent years, from maple syrup and coffee shortages to vegetarian grizzly bears to changes in Britain’s beloved fish and chips as well as its standing in the wine-making industry.&nbsp;GALLERY: These Under-the-Radar Travel Destinations Will Be Huge This Year

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!