Wet pet food much worse for the environment than dry pet food

The New Scientist website tells us that wet pet food has seven times the carbon emissions of dry cat food. They refer to a study which I can’t access which tells us that an assessment of around 940 different kinds of Brazilian cat and dog food found that producing wet pet food creates 690% more greenhouse gas emissions than making dry pet foods. Yes, it is sadly almost 7 times worse in terms of global warming then dry foods. The problem? Dry cat food is worse for a cat’s health than wet cat food. We are trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Dry versus wet pet foods from a global warming standpoint
Dry versus wet pet foods from a global warming standpoint. Image: MikeB
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

They further state that for a 10-kilogram dog eating wet food their carbon footprint is about equal to human footprint with respect to food consumption. This is according to Márcio Brunetto at Sao Paulo University in Brazil.

Cultivated meat worse

To add to this topic, the New Scientist also tells us that lab-grown meat could be 25 times worse for the climate than meat from livestock.

In a further study an analysis found that the carbon footprint of cultivated meat is likely to be higher than beef if the current production methods are scaled up because they are highly energy-intensive. It is the amount of energy used to create lab-grown meat which means that they are unfriendly in respect of global warming.

Lab-grown or cultivated meat is made from growing animal stem cells around a “scaffold in a nutrient-rich broth” according to New Scientist. Cultivated meat is obviously more humane in respect of humankind’s relationship to animals.

And farming livestock, specifically cows, in order to provide the beef meat market is very damaging to the climate. But it seems that humankind is stuck between a rock and a hard place again as the more humane alternative also contributes to global warming.

No doubt it is going to be very difficult and exceedingly expensive to curb the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) and meet the internationally agreed targets which are currently not being met incidentally. The promises were made but they’ve not been kept.

There will be increased pressure on cat and dog owners in the future to do more to help contribute to curbing global warming.

Carbon footprint of cats and dogs

The Zero Smart website tells us that UCLA researchers worked out that meat-eating dogs and cats creates the equivalent of about 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This is the same climate change impact as 13.6 million cars. And a single pet cat generates an average of 310 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.

They state that a standard dog can have a higher carbon footprint than a car especially if they have a beef-intensive diet. A large dog might have a carbon footprint which is two times that of a family car based upon average usage.

Minimising pet’s carbon footprint

How do you minimise your pet’s carbon footprint? One obvious recommendation would be to reduce the amount of food they eat. This would have a double benefit: less obese pets because at the moment there is a pet obesity epidemic and you would be contributing to suppressing climate change.

Another way is to reduce your pet’s beef intake. The carbon footprint of beef is about four times that of chicken. You might opt for insect-based pet food as a good alternative. It’s as good as the beef variety with a much lower carbon footprint.

A brand of insect-based pet food called Yora say that they are the “world’s most ethical and sustainable pet food.”

Plastic cat and dog toys contribute to climate change. This is because plastic is a petroleum-based substance. Humans need to get off oil-based products. Oil is dug out of the ground and burnt. That contributes to global warming.

You can buy toys that have a minimal contribution to climate change such as those manufactured by Green and Wild. They are built on a sustainable jute, a natural plant fibre. They are 100% biodegradable and a sustainable option.

You can buy what are described as “sustainable pet essentials”. These are products which are essential when looking after your cat or dog or another pet. There’s a big market in sustainable pet essentials. An example would be products sold by Stinky Ram. Their beds, for example, are not only eco-friendly being made from 100% natural materials. They are also designed to be long-lasting and hypoallergenic.

Finally, you can offset your pet’s contribution to global warming. This is because you can’t reduce your pet’s carbon footprint is zero. You offset carbon footprints by example planting trees and doing other things which contribute to reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as I understand it.

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