Based on the chart at this address, my two cats (one of them 19 lbs) probably add up to an Eco-Footprint similar to an SUV. [The chart can't be hot-linked.]
I do feel guilty about the carbon footprint of my beloved feline family members.
The number of Americans who admit that they suffer from environmentally related "green guilt" has more than doubled in the past three years, according to a new survey. Environmental experts define green guilt as the knowledge that you could and should be doing more to help preserve the environment. Today it affects nearly one-third (29 percent) of Americans.
Well, so I shouldn't feel guilty about my cats. And I refuse to feel "green guilty", because the real issue is overpopulation. If we weren't so overpopulated, we could eat all the fish we wanted to, and the seas would still be healthy, and the fossil fuels would not be running out, and we could have cities and technology without using up all the resources of the world. While it is true that Americans use more resources than poor countries, the poor countries are producing most of the children, who, if they grow up at all, will just produce more and more children. And don't think for a minute that they wouldn't choose OUR lifestyle if they could! So it's a double-edged sword, and unless we attack it from both sides, we're doomed.
I wonder how the eco-footprint of adopting a cat compares to bringing a human baby into this world.
I knew about the footprints on my heart...
Composting sounds quite intimidating. It'd require a lot more work. Guess I'm not quite ready to bite that bullet.
Thanks for pointing out a likely problem with the methodology: waste meat doesn't use grain, water, etc. that isn't already being used to raise meat for human consumption.
Unfortunately the New Scientist article about Robert and Brenda Vale's book is behind a paywall.
Natalie is right that the root problem here is human overpopulation (not helped, btw, by those religions whose arsenal of survival and market-share tricks includes a "be fruitful and multiply" teaching!).
Keep in mind that "waste" meat keeps changing. Pink slime is now a routine part of our food chain. Horse and donkey meat work their way into so called beef products. As climate change and overpopulation create more severe protein shortages, I suspect that the definition of waste meat will shift even more drastically.