The panel of scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use, such as harvesting peat and managing grasslands and wetlands. This is a serious issue, considering that globally, there are at least 1.4 billion cows, and that both methane and nitrous oxide have a much higher Global Warming Potential than carbon dioxide (CO2), meaning that they capture more heat in the atmosphere.3 Animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.,4 and methane is 80 times more powerful than CO2 at warming the Earth over 20 years.5 Nitrous oxide is even more potent—it is 300 times more warming than CO2.6, As a result, even locally sourced or organic animal-derived foods are more taxing on the environment than vegan foods. 13Chufei Tang, et al., “Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Promoted Speciation in Mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae),” Communications Biology, 1 (2018): 182. Like social distancing during a pandemic, going vegan should be viewed not as a personal choice but as part of our collective responsibility to protect our health, the planet, and animals. Land Use. Animal agriculture is choking the Earth and making us sick. Animal husbandry also contributes towards climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. EPA, “Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Nitrous Oxide Emissions,” 28 May 2020. Industrial animal agriculture is responsible for the suffering and slaughter of trillions of animals each and every year around the globe. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it. 2Marco Springmann, et al., “Options for Keeping the Food System Within Environmental Limits,” Nature, 562.7728 (2018): 519–525. We all have a responsibility to take action to reduce our carbon footprints, and the best way to do that is by ending our support of animal agriculture and going vegan. Frank Mitloehner, an animal scientist from the University of California, Davis has been vocal about his view that meat has been disproportionately linked to climate change … The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined, they said. Thankfully, methane only remains in the atmosphere for 12 years. Glaser, Christine, et al. Facts and Fiction on Livestock and Climate Change As the November 2015 Global Climate Change Conference COP21 concluded in Paris, 196 countries reached agreement on the reduction of fossil fuel use and emissions in the production and consumption of energy, even to the extent of potentially phasing out fossil fuels out entirely. Outside of their ideal temperature range, animals need to conserve or shed heat to maintain productive. While animal agriculture is a significant contributor to GHG emissions, it is not actually the biggest contributor, as the myth claims. Developing Extension Capacity to Address Issues Related to Climate Change and Animal Agriculture. Current subscribers: You will continue to receive e-mail unless you explicitly opt out by clicking, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. According to a 2008 study, a meat-eater’s diet causes more than seven times as much GHG emissions as a vegan’s diet. For example. “Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. However, it is important to keep in mind that transportation is just one of the sources of fossil fuel combustion. An analysis found that the production of 1 kilogram of the beef that has the smallest carbon footprint emits at least 9 kilograms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). Monkeys Get COVID-19, Too: Demand Answers on Primates Now! Agriculture and climate change: soy and other types of crops end up directly in the mouths of animals in intensive farms. Nearly 85 percent of U.S. grazing lands cannot be used for crop production. In order to accommodate the 70 billion animals raised annually for human consumption, a third of the planet’s ice-free land surface, as well as nearly sixteen percent of global freshwater, is devoted to growing livestock. 8Akshat Rathi, “Banish ‘Eat Local’ From Your Environmental Playbook,” Bloomberg Green, 4 Feb. 2020. Furthermore, a third of worldwide grain production is used to feed livestock. Learn Why Offering Vegan Food Is Smart Business. (Producing 1 kilogram of beef with the largest footprint results in more than 105 kilograms of CO2e.) Because methane has such a short half-life, drastic emission reductions could help us undo significant amounts of damage. If we want to preserve our planet, we need stronger regulations to reduce future effects of increasing global temperatures. The livestock sector generates 37 percent of human-caused methane emissions. Climate change is primarily caused by an increase in levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic (human-caused) activities. As is the case with animal agriculture’s impacts on soil, water, and air quality, the sector’s contributions to climate change cannot be viewed in a vacuum. 5Alejandra Borunda, “Methane, Explained,” National Geographic, 23 Jan. 2019. 6U.S. 3Food and Agriculture Organization, “Livestock—Cattle,” 2010. A balanced diet should contain meat and poultry. 12A.J. 10Umair Irfan, “113 Degrees in France: Why Europe Is So Vulnerable to Extreme Heat,” Vox, 28 June 2019. There is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive decrease in the scale of animal agriculture, they added. One thing is certain: Animal agriculture definitely has a role to play in it. The burning of fossil fuels is currently the leading source of … In summer 2003, record-high temperatures in Europe resulted in the deaths of at least 30,000 people.10 Climate change is also increasing the prevalence of allergens, both because of increased air pollution and because higher temperatures and CO2 levels can cause shifts in flowering time and pollen initiation.11 This can trigger respiratory allergies, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Climate change poses various health risks, including an increase in both chronic and infectious diseases. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. For this reason, we could take the opportunity of mitigating global warming by regulating the livestock industry. I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. By sticking to a diet that consists of animal products, humans are contributing directly to putting our planet in crisis. The role of animal agriculture in climate change. Also, in the U.S., where people use the “veganism will solve the problem” argument the most, fossil fuels emit more than 10 times more GHG emissions than animal agriculture. Facts about Animal Agriculture and Climate Change. Cattle are the No. Owing to their specialized digestive systems, ruminant animals release methane and nitrous oxide every time they pass gas or feces. Methane, mainly produced by enteric fermentation and manure storage, is a gas which has an effect on global warming 28 times higher than carbon dioxide. An oft-used comparison that contributes to our flawed perception is that animal agriculture generates more human-caused greenhouse gas emissions (14-18 percent) than transportation (13.5 percent) globally. However, this is not meant to minimize the impact animal agriculture has on global warming. By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us. Animal agriculture is the biggest land user in the UK. We are on a mission to create awareness for this. And consuming animal-derived foods weakens our immune systems and metabolic health. In the United States, we rely heavily on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to supply us with GHG data. January 2015 The US lower 48 states represents 1.9 billion acres. Animal Agriculture and Climate Change - 4.03k Followers, 1 Following, 537 pins | Animal Agriculture is responsible for 51% of greenhouse gases, more so than all fossil-fueled transport. Overuse of antibiotics in animals causes antibiotic resistance in animals and humans. Today, the average American farmer is able to feed about, In the United States, the livestock industry raises approximately, USDA claims that raising animals for food (including land used to grow feed crops and grazing land) now covers a, Factory farms often collect the tons of animal urine and feces in cesspools; when they get full, many factory farms will try to avoid water pollution by spraying liquid manure into the air. Water quality is also negatively affected by climate change. In addition, animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, which is increasing the prevalence of both infectious and chronic diseases. All in all, we need more drastic policies that take a firm stance on minimizing the effect of animal agriculture. Fortunately, we can all take simple steps to protect our health and our planet. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. However, in spite of various studies claiming the contrary, animal agriculture and meat consumption are only small contributors to U.S. GHG production. Climate change may affect animal agriculture in a variety of ways. However, efforts are underway to identify all major sources of GHGs to determine strategies aimed at reducing these emissions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Animal agriculture is responsible for about 9% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions globally. ANIMAL AGRICULTURE is the BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR to CLIMATE CHANGE! Needless to say, the result of this action is, On a global level, scientists estimate that. Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox! It is responsible for the degradation of the environment and the acceleration of climate change. Nitrous oxide, arising from manure storage and the use of organic/inorganic fertilizers, is a molecule with a global warming potential 265 times higher than carbon dioxide. A full 50 percent of the world’s livable land – meaning land that is ice-free and fertile – is … Climate change is primarily caused by an increase in levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic (human-caused) activities. | Powered by WordPress. The most important greenhouse gases from animal agriculture are methane and nitrous oxide. Agriculture contributes towards climate change through anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and by the conversion of non-agricultural land such as forests into agricultural land. As periods of warm weather get longer and historically cold regions warm up, the ecology of vectors is changing and their breeding grounds and lifespans are increasing—especially in the case of mosquitos.13 This is causing a rise in vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, encephalitis, hantavirus, Rift Valley fever, Lyme disease, chikungunya, and West Nile virus.14 Experts have also observed that in Africa, climate change–fueled food insecurity is leading many people to sustain themselves by eating bush meat. -  Designed by Thrive Themes However, grazing animals on this land doubles the area that can be used to grow food. "Costs and Consequences: The Real Price of Livestock Grazing on America's Public Lands". Why is this impressive? Climate change Wildlife Energy ... the latest year for which accurate data is available from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock on EU … Increased rainfall promotes the transport and dissemination of pathogens in water sources, and higher temperatures optimize their growth and survival.12 This can result in outbreaks of potentially lethal waterborne diseases like cholera, cryptosporidiosis, campylobacter, and leptospirosis. Animal agriculture puts a heavy strain on many of the Earth’s finite land, water and energy resources. This statistic is true. Therefore. We must act now ... Five years ago, our family felt hopeless about climate change, and helpless to make meaningful change… 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide. While reducing meat consumption (particularly beef) does reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there are other human activities that are more harmful. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Each year, a single cow will belch about 220 pounds of methane. According to studies over the past few years, the growing public and governmental concern is that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the greatest contributor to the global warming phenomenon. McMichael, et al., “Climate Change and Human Health: Risk and Responses,” World Health Organization, 2003. The calculations used to get the 51% of global GHG emissions are, at times, inaccurate or inappropriate, leading ultimately to a misrepresentation of the impact of animal agriculture. Animal agriculture harms human health in more ways than one: Cramped, filthy conditions on today’s intensive farms can lead to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases (which can spread from animals to humans). The impact of these health hazards will only continue to grow as long as animal agriculture keeps fueling climate change. Climate Change Cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods, including improved animal diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, are urgently needed, according to a new United Nations report released today. Animal Agriculture is the leading driver of human induced climate change, deforestation, water depletion, habitat loss, species extinction and world hunger. Nationwide, reductions to agricultural productivity or sudden losses of crops or livestock will likely have ripple effects, including increased food prices and greater food insecurity. Often, this comes from monkeys or bats, who commonly carry vector-borne diseases such as Ebola, which can spread to humans who consume the flesh of a sick animal.15. Animal Agriculture & Climate Change According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the animal agriculture sector emits 18% of global, human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is one of the leading ways in which the livestock industry contributes to global warming. However, it’s difficult to answer the question of how much we really impact the changes we witness. There might be a silver lining in the near future. One of animal agriculture‘s greatest environmental impacts is its contribution to global warming and climate change. Why Animal Agriculture is Not the Leading Cause of Climate Change A healthy portion of animal agriculture’s bad rap comes from the falsehood that livestock is the major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Greenandgrowing.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Chu lumped the greenhouse gas emissions from meat and dairy with other agricultural practices, such as fertilizer, and land-use changes, such as deforestation and soil disrupt… As a result, expert groups like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are warning the public that meat and dairy consumption must be drastically reduced in order to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change on our planet and our health.9. Dairy is Scary Erin Janus exposes the truth about the dark d airy industry and the cruelty that goes on in five powerful minutes. For the Center for Biological Diversity. 11Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Climate and Health: Allergens,” 18 June 2019. to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. The need to expand pasture land and land for growing feedcrops has a terrible impact on the world’s forests. 7Hannah Ritchie, “Less Meat Is Nearly Always Better Than Sustainable Meat, to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint,” Our World in Data, 4 Feb. 2020. Rising temperatures and extreme heat can be dangerous for people who are elderly or immunocompromised and will increase the rate of heat-related illness and death, including from cardiovascular failure. However, the impact of animal agriculture on GHG emissions has remained almost constant since 1990. 4United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), “Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” 28 May 2020. Climate change is having far-reaching consequences, perhaps most startlingly seen in growing conflicts among pastoral communities. Methane from cattle is shorter lived than carbon dioxide but 28 times more potent in warming the atmosphere, said Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist in the Department of Animal Science. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service—in conjunction with five partner Land Grant Institutions—is a part of a 5‐year project to address issues related to climate change and animal agriculture. Their stomachs have four chambers, including the rumen, which ferments their food so that nutrients can be extracted. We have already witnessed this phenomenon during heat waves in Europe, where every year, vulnerable individuals suffer from heat-induced illnesses. For example, people often suggest that going vegan is the most important thing we can to stop the climate change. It is a fact that we can no longer ignore. PETA Rapid Action: Urge Officials to Close Live-Animal Markets NOW, URGENT: Sign the Petition to Shut Down Live-Animal Meat Markets, The Organic, ‘Free-Range,’ and ‘Humane Meat’ Myths, iy_2021; im_01; id_27; ih_09; imh_55; i_epoch:1611770112380, py_2020; pm_10; pd_28; ph_11; pmh_03; p_epoch:1603908213586, link-block; link-block_link-block; bodystr, pn_tstr:Wed Oct 28 11:03:33 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1603908213586, https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/animal-agriculture-and-climate-change/. Various organizations and movements exaggerate some of the facts above to benefit their agendas. Heat and electricity generation, for example, accounts for almost 25 percent of global GHG emissions alone. Projected impact of climate change on yields of corn, wheat, soybeans and cotton by the years 2080-2099. Terms for automated texts/calls from PETA: Rearing Cattle Produces More Greenhouse Gases Than Driving Cars, UN Report Warns, Options for Keeping the Food System Within Environmental Limits, Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Nitrous Oxide Emissions, Less Meat Is Nearly Always Better Than Sustainable Meat, to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Banish ‘Eat Local’ From Your Environmental Playbook, Climate Change and Land: An IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, 113 Degrees in France: Why Europe Is So Vulnerable to Extreme Heat, Climate Change and Human Health: Risk and Responses, Climate and Health: Climate Effects on Health, How Climate Change Is Exacerbating the Spread of Disease, Tell Chicago Officials to Shut Down Filthy Live-Animal Markets, Time to Scream Bloody Murder: Close Slaughterhouses, Labs Kill Animals Deemed Not ‘Essential’ in Response to COVID-19. Meat, dairy, and egg production are among the leading causes of human-caused climate change, soil erosion, water pollution, and the decrease in biodiversity. At the same time, they are all significant byproducts of human activity, such as animal agriculture. One such activity that is a leading driver of climate change is animal agriculture—the practice of breeding and raising animals for food or clothing—which is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined.1 That’s because it takes vast resources to raise cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and other animals—from land, water, and feed to the electricity needed to power farms.2 Furthermore, many commonly farmed animals, such as cows, goats, and sheep, are ruminant. These are just some of the ways animal agriculture and the resulting climate change can harm human health and exacerbate the risk of pandemics like COVID-19. Both globally and in the U.S., energy production and … Copyright 2018 by Green and Growing. needed to help meet the UK’s current climate change commitments, and beyond that, to stay-ing within the 1.5°C budget. Due to its rela - tively low food output to land use ratio, animal agriculture currently occupies 48% of all UK land. The statistics are not encouraging. 15Renee Cho, “How Climate Change Is Exacerbating the Spread of Disease,” Earth Institute, Columbia University, 4 Sep. 2014. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane are the three most destructive GHG emissions in the atmosphere, comprising almost 98 percent of the total. Of that 1.9 billion acres: 778 million acres of private land are used for livestock grazing (for… Today, the average American farmer is able to feed about 144 people worldwide. Beyond that, animal agriculture is terrible for human health. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just 2.8 percent of U.S. GHG emissions came from animal agriculture in 2007. 9IPCC, “Climate Change and Land: An IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems,” 2019. More than 1 million young people around the world have urged governments to prioritise measures to protect against the ravages of climate breakdown during the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Ruminant animals, such as cattle, produce methane, which is roughly 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. For Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), “ climate and health: climate Effects health... The Spread of animal agriculture climate change, ” Earth Institute, Columbia University, 4 Sep. 2014 globally... Allergens, ” 18 June 2019 globally and in the UK keep in mind that transportation is one... 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