Since 1972/3 there has been a growing realization that U.S. food production is not unlimited and that man and animals are competing for a scarce resource at the “global dining table”. Much has been made of the inefficient conversion of feedgrains by animals into animal protein for human food and the “wastage” of agricultural resources in non food uses -- e.g. the use of fertilizers on golf courses and the feeding of pets. Pet food also received attention as a result of the inflation and growing unemployment of the past several years and from reports that old age pensioners (and students) were using pet food for human consumption [1, 2]. In all of these discussions, little or no hard evidence was available to document the value and extent of the U.S. consumption of food by pets (or of pet food by humans). The purpose of this paper is to correct this deficiency and present an analysis of a set of data which does provide a means of objectively examining some of these issues.
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