How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

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How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change – According to the United Nations, a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases come from agriculture and other related land uses.

With animals being one of the main culprits, the public should be encouraged to eat less meat to save the planet, government climate experts have said.

How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

Food consumption in the UK fell by 17% in 2019, with average daily consumption per person falling from 3.6 ounces (103 g) to 3 ounces.

Appetite For Change

According to a study published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal, while most people were eating less red meat and processed foods a decade ago, they are now eating more white meat.

The effects of animals on emissions vary from country to country. According to the UN, humans produce more than 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases, including methane.

When we talk about emissions, we think of carbon dioxide (CO2). But animal emissions also contain methane, which is 34 times more harmful to the environment than CO2 over 100 years, according to the United Nations.

Meat is a major source of greenhouse gases, including methane. Globally, an average of 110 pounds (50 kg) of greenhouse gases are released for every 3.5 ounces of protein.

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Cows produce more methane than chickens, are more dependent on imports than cows and add to the ocean’s carbon footprint, says Professor Margaret Gill of the University of Aberdeen.

This is partly because some measurements include emissions from processing, packaging and transport, not just agriculture.

The chart below is based on a study published in the journal Science that estimates the emissions of each food item. Even a single food can have a wide range of environmental impacts, depending on how and where it is produced.

How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

According to the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Council, greenhouse gas emissions from beef produced in the UK are low because “the land and climate are suitable for growing grass, which comprises 65% of our agricultural land and 50% of our total. The land is covered by grassland”. This means cows don’t have to rely heavily on grain or other feed, which has a large carbon footprint.

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Environmental impact is also being modified by other factors around the world. According to food security researcher Valentina Caldart, meat production is the main cause of deforestation in large rainforests such as the Amazon. This increases the environmental impact of meat from that part of the world.

According to Professor Gill, calculating the impact of our diet on the climate is not easy. “The carbon footprint of food varies depending on how it’s produced and where it comes from, so it changes with the seasons,” he said.

So, in addition to reducing consumption of red meat and dairy products, people who want to improve their diet can follow measures such as reducing waste and choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Professor Gill says: “We want a transition – even if it’s a quick one – rather than a sudden change”.

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Many people who want to reduce the environmental impact of their diet have eliminated animal products such as milk and cheese. According to the Vegan Society, there were 600,000 vegans in the UK in 2018.

The largest environmental impact of non-food products comes from changes in land use, effects on soil quality, and things like transportation and packaging.

“It’s good to replace pork with beef,” says Ms Caldart. “But instead of peas, it’s better: its production is 90% less than the supply.”

How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

The way we produce food doesn’t just affect our global emissions, but it has broader environmental impacts, such as biodiversity.

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“We live on a planet that pushes nature,” said Mike Barrett, WWF’s senior director of science and conservation.

“Half of the land is occupied for agriculture and three-quarters of it is used for animal husbandry and grazing.”

Mr Barrett says: “To feed the world’s growing population, it’s better to use the land to produce food that people can eat properly, and we’re taking the right approach. To ensure they shift to a global diet that’s rich in meat and dairy products. More plant foods.”

By adopting a ‘flexitarian’ diet we can move away from factory farming and low animal welfare standards, says Peter Stevenson, senior policy adviser at the charity World Farming. Although much of the world is focused on transitioning away from fossil fuels. While fossil fuels are one way to fight climate change, there is another way that is often overlooked: animal agriculture and its effects on the environment. Animal agriculture is the second largest source of human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels, and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

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Animal agriculture puts a heavy burden on limited land, water and energy resources. To accommodate the 70 billion animals harvested for human consumption each year, one-third of the world’s ice-free land surface and about sixteen percent of the world’s fresh water are used for animal work. In addition, one-third of the world’s corn crop is used as animal feed. By 2050, consumption of meat and dairy products will increase by 76 and 64 percent, respectively, increasing the burden on the industry. As the largest source of emissions from livestock production, a recent study shows that beef consumption in the American diet produces 1,984 pounds of CO2e per year. Replacing meat with plants cuts that number by 96 percent and cuts CO2e to just 73 pounds.

According to a report published in 2013 by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), combating climate change through livestock farming, 14.5 percent of global GHG emissions or 7.1 gigatons of CO2 equivalent are attributed to the stock category and annually. . This is equivalent to the emissions of fuel burned in all the transportation vehicles in the world, including cars, trucks, trains, ships and airplanes.

In addition, air and water pollution directly attributable to the livestock sector is the largest contributor to water pollution in the world. The cattle industry is the main driver of world deforestation and is associated with 75 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Livestock grazing accounts for one-third of biodiversity loss. In addition to water and air pollution, the world produces seven to nine times more animal waste than human waste, much of which is not produced. They release pesticides, antibiotics and heavy metals into the water system.

How Does Meat Production Affect Climate Change

Animal production poses a greater public health risk to nearby communities, as disease spreads from infected animals to humans and increased use of antibiotics promotes antibiotic resistance. Improper manure management from large-scale buildings risks aerosolizing sewage reaching nearby villages and causing respiratory problems. Waste from animal agriculture seeps into soil and groundwater, polluting nearby rivers and streams with acids and pathogens.

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Global greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector increased by 51 percent between 1961 and 2010, with a 54 percent increase in methane and nitrogen oxides from manure. Additionally, about one gigaton of carbon dioxide worth of animal feed is wasted each year.

If global consumption of meat and dairy products continues to grow at current rates, it could account for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. To achieve the global goal of limiting warming to 2°C, annual emissions must be reduced from the current 49 gigatons of CO2 to approximately 23 gigatons by 2050. World economy.

GHG emissions from the Western diet can be cut in half by adopting a plant-based diet. Agricultural emissions can be reduced through intelligent animal feeding, technical monitoring of fertilizer application, simple changes in field design, and other improved agricultural practices. Groups like Solutions from the Land are working with U.S. farmers to find ways to reduce emissions without killing production, and to help U.S. farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change. Department of Agriculture has set up Weather Stations. Currently, international groups such as the International Consortium of Agricultural Researchers and the International Food Policy Research Institute are conducting pioneering research to determine how climate change affects farmers and what they can do about it. Today we consume and produce more meat than we eat. managed According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 65 million animals are killed for meat every year. More than 340 million tons of beef were produced in 2018 compared to 71 million tons in 1961. Demand and consumption of beef has increased dramatically over the past 50 years as countries have become richer and populations have grown.

Of course, the results of this mass production, intensive animal breeding affects the environment, global warming, forests and drinking water, as well as pollution, air and water. In fact, about 25% of the current global climate change problems are related to our food. First, it accounts for about 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions

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