So how much is farm animals’ flatulence to blame?
Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nature.com
Please choose one of the following sign-in options:
Rod, your numbers are correct, but think you have the wrong variable. I think your intent was to focus on GHG emmisssion, not methane. In that case animal ag contributes about 6% of GHG in US. www.epa.gov/climatechange/emmssions. you have focused on the cost, but not the alternatives. what would you do with the land that we graze. About 85% of all land grazed is unsuitable for row crops. I am sure all of us do not desire another dust bowl.
Beef Cattle produce a source of protein and essential nutrients like iron and amino acids. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide and beef provides the most readily available and easily absorbed source. And actually methane from livestock acounts for only 2.6% of the total U.S. GHG emissions according to the EPA. Beef is environmentally and nutritionally efficient. The beef we raise today requires less land, water and energy than before and each serving provides 10 essential nutrients to your diet. As an Oklahoma Beef Producer, I'm proud to be feeding America.
As with comments by tulsareader, I think these numbers are slanted. If we are wanting to blame our pollution on animals, I also wonder how much GHG emissions come from wild animals in our national parks such as buffalo, horses, deer, pigs, etc. With ag animals producing only 6% of GHG, wouldn't it be more logical to focus our efforts on less driving and more walking. By eating nutritional beef (steaks - taste good too) and exercising, we would be better off enviromentally and physically. By the way, a 3oz steak only has 154 calories. Agriculture as an industry has improved tremendously in producing more grains and meat products on less acres and less animals. As a result we have less erosion and less emissions in question. I always question the underlying agenda with such talk as this which is that we all stop eating meat or drinking milk altogether. This would be devastating to our growing babies and youth who need such nutrition. Also, what would we feed our carnivorous pets that we so love??
In defense of my ability as a cattle producer to provide food and by-products the world’s families, I must comment on Rod Lott’s “Toot Point”. Most people are three generations removed from the farm and uncertain about the origin of their food, so animal ag producers like myself are working tirelessly to correct misinformation.
The beef we serve our families likely started on one of the 1 million U.S. cattle ranches like mine. We’re proud of what we do to raise food, and thousands of by-products such as baseball gloves, leather, ice cream, piano keys, vitamin capsules, asphalt, cosmetics, fertilizer, insulation, medicines, paint, plastic, soap, and tires for you and your family, just to name a few.
Today’s cattlemen provide more people with nutritious beef using fewer natural resources than in the past. The average American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide, compared to 26 just a few decades ago. Experts estimate global food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population.
In reading this article I was a little confused as the information being stated is taken from the EPA, however, according to my EPA resource; (http://w ww.epa.gov/climatechange/
emissions/downloads09/InventoryUSGhG1990-2007.pdf, livestock production is estimated to account for only 2.8 percent of total U.S. emissions.
Cattle also serve as a valuable role in the ecosystem by converting 85% of U.S. grazing lands unsuitable for crop production into a nutrient-dense food. You can guiltlessly enjoy lean beef as part of a healthy, balanced diet, knowing that you’re doing something good for your health and the health of the planet. An average 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients including all the essential amino acids your body needs all for only 154 calories.
chainranchl said "You can guiltlessly enjoy lean beef as part of a healthy, balanced diet, knowing that you’re doing something good for your health and the health of the planet."
I've seen how these animals are abused on factory farms, and I've seen how these animals enter into slaughter without being humanely euthanized. Having seen still living cattle strung up by their hind legs, freaking out, as their throats are slit and blood pours down their faces, I can assure you, that I can never enjoy beef guiltlessly.
Long are the days when ranchers actually care for their cattle like children, these days it’s about turning a profit as quickly as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love money as much as the next guy, but you have a serious moral deficiency when you make that money by exploiting sentient creatures. Most ranchers are no better then those operating puppy mills. Those with the decency to raise their cattle organically are a step up in my book, but more than likely their cattle suffer the same horrific end.
We might as well be eating Soylent Green.