Researchers from World Animal Protection today warned that farm animals around the world are causing devastating damage to the environment by emitting immense amounts of greenhouse gas every day.
According to their figures, 1.47 billion cows alone emit approximately 150 billion gallons of methane every day.
“Methane is thought to be 25-100 times more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide,” a press statement from World Animal Protection says.
“Ninety-five per cent of the greenhouse gas produced by cows is from burping – unfortunately for the planet, cows burp approximately every 90 seconds which means there are a staggering 1.41 trillion methane-rich cow burps being released into the environment every day.”
The World Animal Protection researchers say they have also found that more than 23.7 billion methane-rich cowpats, weighing a total of 43.4 million tonnes, are deposited around the world every day – but cows are not the only culprits. Animal agriculture, including pigs, chickens, cows and other farmed animals accounts for 7.1 gigatonnes equivalent of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 14.5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, which is “more than all the cars, planes and other forms of transport put together”.
The charity is urging the Environment and Agriculture Ministers of the world’s biggest livestock farming nations to encourage their people to eat less meat to reduce global warming.
It argues that fewer farm animals means less greenhouse gas. Eating less but higher-welfare meat would also improve animal welfare.
Meat consumption is increasing around the world along with the number of factory farms. If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.
Steve McIvor, CEO of World Animal Protection, says: the environmental impact of meat production needs to be taken much more seriously as does the suffering endured by 50 billion animals on factory farms every year. By eating less, but higher welfare, meat people can reduce global warming and improve the lives of billions of animals every single year.
Source: World Animal Protection