Do Pet Owners Care More About Environmental Issues?

A recent survey by the Purina Together We Can campaign suggests that pet owners are more likely to care about the environment and therefore recycle their used animal food cans. While the study is limited to Purina product users and only takes into account recycling behavior, the results are still telling and deserve a deeper look.

One reason pet owners may care more about the environment could result from the fact that pet owners consider their pets an integral part of their life, much like a child or family member. One would therefore expect that same person to care equally about the nourishment their loved one receives, as well as the surroundings she/he is exposed to. In other words, Purina’s findings indicate that environmental concerns targeted at protecting the planet for the future well-being of humans, impacts pets as well.

This point is further expressed in the survey, which cites that out of “1,030 dog and cat owners, 72% of them see their pet as a part of the family who is as central to their home as much as anyone else and 39% said that they love their pet as if he or she were their own child.”  Antal Van Hout, Regional Marketing Director at Purina, goes on to say that: “[Purina's] new research has shown that when cat and dog owners think about the environment’s future, around one quarter of them (28.7%) have considered how it might impact their pet.”  The survey also showed that “one-third (34%) of those polled would like to do even more to protect the environment for the sake of their pet.”

If pet owners treat a pet like a family member or child, however, wouldn’t that then imply that parents in general are more likely to care about the environment?  And, of course, we need to take cultural variations into consideration as it’s often a luxury to keep, feed and care for domestic pets.  Even so, the initial results are intriguing, yet perhaps require some additional, more objective research for broader application.

What do you think?

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Photo Credit: David Lally

75 comments

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Martha Nieto
Martha Nieto3 years ago

It´s integral thinking :)

Beth M.
Beth M.3 years ago

I think pet owners are just more responsible people, so they care more about the environment.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

i think it's the other way around. I think people who care for the world adopt pets to make the world they love a better place

Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago

87% voted "yes"? Pretty clueless and simple-minded, aren't we?
Having a pet does not automatically affect a person's thinking on the environment. It is the same as claiming that every pet owner is vegetarian. Many pet owners eat meat, never been to a shelter, and do not care much about pollution.

Jessica L.
Janne O.3 years ago

I meant to add, just for the record I've had a lot of pets in my life and they were part of the family. I have always loved animals and I have been into animal rights and environmental issues since elementary school.
So to me it makes sense that these issues are (or can be) connected

Jessica L.
Janne O.3 years ago

I'm not surprised if there is a link here, or at least is a link for a lot of pet owners. However, I do think that the link might be more that a person who would want to own a pet (care for, love an animal) is more likely by default to be a person who cares about the environment and is aware of environmental issues, or at least more open to learn as they get along.
Just my two cents

Mandy Harker
Mandy H.3 years ago

At the risk of coming under fire, I don't really think there's a link above daily consideration of the environment and pet owners. There are more pets in my house then people and the pets are my family(the only family that hasn't screwed me over) but that doesn't make me any more included to do more for the environment. Don't get me wrong, I recycle, avoid using paper and ensure I don't litter ect. but I don't actually go out of my way to do something about the environment.
What it does make me is far more concerned about animal welfare and animal rights, I believe all animals should be treated with the same love and respect that I treat mine with.

Sandi C.
Sandi C.3 years ago

I agree with Anita!

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch3 years ago

Pet owners are just smarter people.......