The Globe and Mail reports:
Researchers say the global population of dogs and cats has passed 800 million, not to mention the many other weird and wonderful creatures (the most peculiar, according to one poll, being the Madagascar hissing cockroach) that share our homes.
And they all have to eat. This year, a federal report says, Canadians will spend more than $1.5-billion on nearly a half-million tonnes of dog and cat food (hissing cockroaches like it as well).
Globally, the figures are about 20 million tonnes, worth $55-billion (U.S.), says Kelly Swanson, a specialist in animal nutrition at the University of Illinois.
Producing that much nourishment comes at a cost, and Prof. Swanson is among the growing ranks of scientists so concerned about the ecological footprint of pet ownership that they have begun to quantify it, asking how green, rather than how much, is that doggie in the window?