â€œThanks for killing the planet, dog owners,â€Â Mark Rahner teases in his Seattle TimesÂ article Dogs Eco-Footprint a Hummer, Study Says, November 2.
The article, based on a study done in New Zealand, claims that a large sized dog has more of an eco footprint than anÂ SUV, (also noting that a cat has a footprint of about the size of a Volkswagen Golf). Also on a study done by a environmentalist at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the UK, though this study was done on animalâ€™s impact on the environment, (though the research did not account for the emissions for a dog or SUV)
The article reflected on both sides of the debate, starting with Don Jordan, the director of the Seattle Animal Shelter and President of WA State Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies. â€œThereâ€™s a lot that goes into manufacturing and producing food to care for dogs during the course of a life,â€ Jordan commented. There are roughly 40,906 licensed dogs in Seattle and about 125,000 total, according to Jordan. That is a lot of mouths to feed for one city like Seattle, known as a dog- loving, and overall green and eco- friendly city.
On the other side of this international debate, Clark Williams-Derry, chief researcher at the Sightline Institute in Seattle, disagreed with the idea that dogs could have such huge eco footprints. â€œWhen I saw the study I ran some quick numbers, the average dog has to eat at least twice as much as the average person for this to be right. People are just heavier than dogs so, I just had to scratch my head at that,â€ Williams- Derry says.
Though this study gives a new look on what is causing our earthâ€™s pollution, it still does not factor in the emissions from both the animals or the SUVâ€™s leaving the study in my mind not completely finished and ready to be taken seriously. When you look at both arguments, it is easy to sway to one side or another, but looking at it, both studies seem to be missing crucial data, and overall both are empty in ways. The study as well needs to factor in how many animals there are contrary to cars and motor vehicles. Â
Â â€œShort of eating the dogs, what should be done about these four-legged eco-Hummers before they kill us all?â€ Rahner said in his article. Now the question to be asked is, should we be focusing and targeting dogs as a contributing factor to the earthâ€™s deteriorating, or should we start in another place and not blame the dogs for our carbon emissions and overall our planet problems? Thatâ€™s for you to decide!