Comparison of enviroment impact of various diets for pets
How can our best friends harm the planet?
Like all living beings, cats and dogs consume food and water. And slippers sometimes.
The food they eat has a huge environmental impact.
According to a 2017 study by Gregory S. Okin, a Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, 160 millions of domestic cats and dogs that live in the USA account for 25% of the total effect of meat consumption on the environment in the country.
We examined 3 common diets for pets:
- Raw meat
- Commercial meat-based
- Plant-based / vegan
Fig 1. Relative impacts of various diets for Pets
The graph does not show the exact impact for each diet; rather, it illustrates where each diet stands in relation to the other diets.
Why is the consumption of raw meat more harmful for the environment than commercial meat-based or plant-based foods?
Because with raw-meat diets 100% of the environmental impact is attributed to pets.
But let's take a few steps back.
Meat comes a long way before it ends up in a dog’s bowl.
Farm animals (pigs, cows, sheep etc.) have been grown and fed for several years. Over that period of time they consumed and used hundreds of kilograms of feed, thousands of liters of water and several hectares of land.
On average, a cow releases from 300 to 500 liters of methane a day and over the life time of a farm animal the impact accumulates.
When a dog or cat eats the raw flesh of a a farm animal, the ENTIRE environmental impact is fully attributed to the pet.
This is why the raw meat diets for pets have the largest env. impact among all other pet diets.
Commercial meat-based kibbles and cans mainly contain animal by-products, fillers and other ‘secondary’ ingredients not suitable for human consumption.
With commercial meat-based pet foods, a big chunk of the environmental impact is attributed to the humans who ate the better meat part. And only a portion of the impact is attributed to pets who consume the by-products.
Nevertheless, although the environmental effect of commercial meat-based food is lower than that of raw meat, this food still has a pronounced negative effect on the environment.
Furthermore, the by-products used in meat-based pet food make the entire meat- and poultry industry more profitable, which drives further industry growth and killing.
Plant-based / vegan
Compared to meat production, the manufacturing process of plant ingredients demands less land, water and time to produce. As a result, plant-based diets are responsible for less greenhouse emissions.
What is the solution?
Reduce CO2 emissions.
Modern plant-based formulas for cats/dogs are not simply a salad mix.
Rather, they are sophisticated formulas containing all the required nutrients. So your furry friends will not be missing out on any key nutrients.
Evolution Diet has been using 100% plant-based ingredients for over 30 years. Multiple generations of healthy cats and dogs lived long and happy lives.
Evolution Diet cares about not only your dog and cat, but the planet as a whole!
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