Iatse local 798

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What are the ecological consequences for pet ownership?

In our modern world, having pets is considered normal and good for our health.
But at what cost/ impacts, economically, ecologically? Has anyone done any research on this?

  • Jan 22 2013: And the conversation continues-
    New Zealand Cats Are A Hot Button Issue, Pitting Anti-Feline Advocate Gareth Morgan Against Pet-Owners
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/nz-to-eradicate-pet-cats_n_2524259.html?ref=topbar
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    Gail .

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    Jan 15 2013: I don't know about the ecological consequences, but I do know that if more people had pets rather than children, we could do a lot of good for our world. The global population boom is a threat to our survival.
    • Jan 15 2013: Yes true but just because we are facing an insurmountable task that is population control doesn't mean that we should forgo ways to delay our demise. I guess pet ownership like most liberties that we currently enjoy
      will be determined by how well we can sustain ourselves into the future.
  • Jan 14 2013: There has been research on this. It is suggested that dogs (on average, there are major differences between small and large dogs) have a bigger carbon footprint than SUVs, because of their smaller size and less active lifestyle cats have a significantly smaller ecological footprint, however it is not negligible since cats do kill a lot of birds and rodents and are exclusive carnivores while dogs can eat plants (per calorie, livestock consumes more resources and produces more CO2 than plant cultivation). Birds, fish and reptiles probably have a much smaller footprint (unless of course you're heating a huge tropical aquarium). I'm pretty sure human overconsumption of meat does far more ecological damage than having pets, though having 3 big dogs is obviously asking the Earth for trouble.
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    Jan 14 2013: There is work in this area and some controversy, so do not stop at one book or article if you want a good picture of findings and arguments.