Short form: cats and dogs eat a whole lot of meat, and meat requires water and carbon dioxide emissions to make. thus, kitties and puppies are destroying the planet and you should feel bad for enabling the horrible little monsters. Granted, the author of the study specifically says that he’s not advocating getting rid of pets… but you can bet that the environmental whackos *will.* Keep in mind, the Venn diagram covering “environmentalists” has a lot of overlap with “PETA people,” and there have been few organizations more enthusiastic about killing cats and dogs than PETA.
Something that confuses me a bit… yes, animals are turned into kibble, but it’s hardly like this is a wholly separate industry from human food-animal production. The pet food “environmental impact” should therefore be simply a fraction of the agricultural environmental impact that has no doubt already been calculated.
Also: yes, the current process for feeding cows and pigs and such is a major environmental issue. You have to grow corn (or wheat or whatever), which requires tractors and irrigation and the like. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t *need* to. Cows can eat *grass.* Yes, it takes a lot more grass than corn to fatten up a cow, but in many places grass grows for free, on its own. During the “Old West,” grillions of cows roamed the plains gnawing on wild plants. Before them, jillions of bison did the same. So except for the fact that the country is now divided up into itty bitty chunks, this process should still be feasible, and would seem to be reasonably carbon neutral.
So, if we are all agreed that the environment is in danger and we need to do whatever we can to reduce the carbon footprint, perhaps we should consider the use of eminent domain in order to buy up a lot of terrain to turn it over to natural grasslands and cow feeding ranges. The government can use its overwhelming force in this time of crisis to use eminent domain to take the bank accounts and property of environmental activists and pressure groups and use that money to buy land currently used to grow corn.