SPAM Versus Spam

Published by PETA.


stuffthathappens / CC

Without spam e-mail, there could be no “Who got the funniest spam today?” (I won today with “You can look fancy even if you are a simple taxi driver.”) But is spam destroying the Earth?

It turns out that spam has a heck of a carbon footprint. According to a recently released study producing the energy that was required to delete spam and search for actual e-mail that mistakenly ended up in junk e-mail folders during 2008 created greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to 3.1 million passenger cars using 2 billion gallons of gas.

That’s pretty staggering, but what about another type of SPAM—the processed meat product from Hormel? Fact: Producing eight ounces of pork is the greenhouse-gas equivalent of driving a standard car 2.52 miles. Let’s assume that, after you take all the water, salt, and et cetera out of a 12-ounce can of SPAM, there are 10 or 11 ounces of actual pork. So, producing a can of SPAM is the equivalent of driving more than 3 miles. Deleting one piece of e-mail spam, on the other hand, is the equivalent of driving 3 feet.

So, yes, a can of SPAM has a carbon footprint that is more than 5,000 times larger than that of a piece of spam e-mail.

On a related note, according to Live Earth, going vegetarian is the “single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint”—certainly more effective than installing a spam filter, anyway.

Written by Amanda Schinke

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind