The issue of the livestock-climate connection has catalyzed a debate not only about whether and to what extent we should consume animal protein like meat and dairy, but what kind of system of livestock production is more sustainable from a greenhouse gas perspective if and when we do choose to continue consuming it.
For the carbon conscious consumer pained at the thought of giving up his or her Sunday roast or morning milk for coffee and cereal, what are the alternatives to an animal-free diet?
As the world gears up for the climate talks in Copenhagen next month, the mainstream media is overlooking one important climate change contributor, and it isn’t coal or cars.
Three years ago, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations released a lengthy report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” Among the plethora of environmental problems the livestock industry is accused of contributing to — water pollution, habit fragmentation and desertification of arable land among them — climate change figured prominently.
In particular, the report concluded that livestock production accounts for 18%, or one-fifth, of global emissions. This figure is higher than all transportation sources combined.