Friday, August 10, 2012

Comparing German Shepherds and Toyota Land Cruisers

Toyota Land Cruiser
Land Cruiser
German Shepherd
Man's Best Friend

Now, you're probably looking at this and thinking to yourself, "Ok, this is going to be an article on the raw power of the Land Cruiser and how it has the strength of a German Shepherd...figuratively speaking."

After all, the Land Cruiser boasts an impressive 381 horsepower and has features such as CRAWL, a four wheel drive off-road cruise control system. The German Shepherd, on the other hand, is renowned as intelligent and powerful, with a reputation for being loyal. So as much as I'd love to make references to movies with German Shepherds and how the Land Cruiser is similarly a beast, there's actually a different reason I'm comparing these two specimens today, and you can definitely file it in the "odd news" category!

The story goes, researchers who study sustainable living at Victoria University in New Zealand have made claims that owning a dog, specifically a German Shepherd, actually creates a larger carbon footprint than driving a Toyota Land Cruiser for 6200 miles a year. In other words, the upkeep of maintaining a dog leads to more overall pollution than driving a car.

But consume gasoline! Dogs, not so much. To make the comparison, Robert Vale and his wife Brenda based their calculation on the amount of land and energy needed to create the food a German Shepherd would eat for 12 months. End result? A German Shepherd creates approximately double the carbon footprint of the Land Cruiser. They did similar studies for other strange mash-ups too. For example, owning a pet Goldfish? It's about the equivalent of having a couple cell phones. Robert and Brenda even wrote an entire book on the subject of sustainability, called "Time to Eat the Dog?"

Considering the fact that we had the warmest summer in U.S. history this year, do you think we should devote additional research and resources to environmental issues such as how to more effectively reduce our carbon footprint? Without eating any dogs, of course.

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