In Eco-Terms, Dog = Hummer

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 5:50 PM CST
A human walks past an advertisement featuring a Hummer vehicle at an auto market in Beijing, June 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)
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(Newser) – A dog has about the same impact on the planet as an SUV, according to a study out of New Zealand. The authors of Time to Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living claim the environmental footprint of a Toyota Land Cruiser is smaller than the ecological impact of a medium-size canine, which can't even give you a lift to the recycling center. "If you look at a large-size dog, they can live 10-14 years, and it certainly wouldn't surprise me," an expert tells the Seattle Times.

Asked for reactions, local pols equivocated, but a researcher at a Seattle think tank jumped right in: "The average dog has to eat at least twice as much as the average person for this to be right," he said. "People are just heavier than dogs so, I just had to scratch my head at that." If you insist on keeping a companion animal, how about a cat? The trade-off for Mittens or Fluffy is a Volkswagen Golf.