NZ Researchers Say Dog and SUV Have Same Carbon Footprint

AUKLAND, New Zealand, Oct. 23 (UPI) — A pair of New Zealand researchers claim a medium-sized dog has about the same carbon footprint as a sport-utility vehicle due to its diet.

Robert and Brenda Vale said in their new book, “Time To Eat The Dog: The Real Guide To Sustainable Living,” that a medium-sized dog eats about 362 pounds of meat and 209 pounds of cereal each year, with 43 square miles of land needed to create just 2.2 pounds of dog food cereal, Sky News reported Friday.

The Vales calculate the carbon footprint of a medium-sized dog as 2.08 acres, more than twice the 1.01 acres needed to create enough energy to build a Toyota Land Cruiser. However, the pair said the average driver travels about 12,000 miles a year, making the carbon footprint of the Toyota and the dog roughly equivalent.

However, some experts cast doubt on the book’s claims.

“Everything has an impact on the environment but I’m surprised by the size of these numbers. Without analyzing them further I find it difficult to believe,” said John Buckey, managing director of

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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