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Cows Impact on the Environment

November 05, 2018

Oak Barn Beef Cow

A recent article written by The Conversation titled, “Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate” there was new information posted about how the livestock industry contributes to global warming. Here’s the statistics I found most important to share:

  • The cold hard facts:

    • “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of U.S. GHG emissions in 2016 were electricity production (28 percent of total emissions), transportation (28 percent) and industry (22 percent). All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9 percent. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing 3.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”"

  • Why this is groundbreaking research-

    • “In 2006 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a study titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which received widespread international attention. It stated that livestock produced a staggering 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The agency drew a startling conclusion: Livestock was doing more to harm the climate than all modes of transportation combined.”

  • No More Meatless Mondays:

    • “ Many people continue to think avoiding meat as infrequently as once a week will make a significant difference to the climate. But according to one recent study, even if Americans eliminated all animal protein from their diets, they would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by only 2.6 percent. According to our research at the University of California, Davis, if the practice of Meatless Monday were to be adopted by all Americans, we’d see a reduction of only 0.5 percent.”

  • Why we need animal agriculture:

    • The world population is currently projected to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. Feeding this many people will raise immense challenges. Meat is more nutrient-dense per serving than vegetarian options, and ruminant animals largely thrive on feed that is not suitable for humans. 

Read the whole article here: Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate

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