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US cats and dogs cause 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in this country

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The truth about cats’ and dogs’ environmental impact

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 11:28 AM PDT  UCLA

US cats and dogs cause 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in this country. The nation’s 163 million cats and dogs eat as much food as all the people in France. People should keep their pets — and keep feeding them meat — but there may be steps pet owners can take to reduce their environmental impact, says a researcher.

…”A dog doesn’t need to eat steak,” Okin said. “A dog can eat things a human sincerely can’t. So what if we could turn some of that pet food into people chow?”

A commitment to snout-to-tail consumption, where as much rendered product as possible is produced for human use, could significantly reduce national meat consumption. Okin estimates that if even a quarter of the meat in pet food could be consumed by humans, it would equal the amount of meat consumed by 26 million Americans, nearly the population of Texas…

Gregory S. Okin. Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (8): e0181301 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181301

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