Cows as organic bombs

Nobel laureate Pachauri sees meat production as having a detrimental effect on climate change

Earlier this week, at the Savoy Palace in London, representatives of governments and environmental organizations spoke at the forum “Compassion in World Agriculture” about the impact of meat production and consumption on climate change. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the UN’s chief climate expert who won the Nobel Prize last year with colleagues and Al Gore, a former US vice president, noted that cattle breeding causes 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, water and soil pollution. , destroys our health and causes suffering to animals on industrial farms. Pačauri proposes a gradual reduction in meat production and consumption.
However, he is far from alone in these efforts, as the problem of over-breeding of cattle and meat consumption has long been pointed out by various organizations. The Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C. and by spreading the disease, it is also threatening the future of humanity. ” So far, the main culprits for the creation of the greenhouse have been industry and transport. However, Ernst U. Weizsäcker, head of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, wrote in 2004 that fodder production … The change of savannas into deserts, erosion in hilly areas, excessive consumption of water to feed cattle, huge consumption of energy for slaughtering animals are some additional reasons why every kilogram of beef severely damages our environment. The greenhouse effect is mainly caused by three gases: methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. All three are produced in livestock farming in large quantities. The world’s herd alone generates 1.3 billion head of cattle or its users for 12% of the world’s methane emissions. We get an even worse picture if we imagine that each molecule of methane causes a 23 times greater greenhouse effect than a molecule of carbon dioxide. Or in other words: “The production of a kilogram of beef emits as much CO2 into the atmosphere as the average European car with 250 kilometers of driving,” he said in his speech. Pechauri, also an Indian economist and vegetarian.

The volume of breeding is still growing. While meat production was 44 million tonnes in 1950, it was 258 million in 2004 and is projected to double by the middle of the century. Today, every inhabitant of the planet eats an average of 43 kilograms of meat a year. For a kilogram of beef, including feed, we need 323 square meters of agricultural land. If we look at the amount of space needed for other foods, the picture is as follows: for a kilo of fish we need 207, for a kilo of pork 55, for a kilo of pasta 17, for a kilo of bread 16, for a kilo of vegetables such as potatoes, only six square meters of agricultural land . Dr. Pachauri calculated that “a farmer with vegetables, grains and fruit on one hectare of agricultural land can feed thirty people, but if he obtained chicken eggs, meat and milk on this farm, he could feed only five to ten people.”
The dilemma of how to tackle this environmental scourge according to people’s habits is, of course, many. Let’s just mention Graham Harvey, a nutritionist at the Guardian, who believes the whole problem lies in the way cattle eat fresh grass, not hay and silage. Dr. Pechauri, who is critical of the EU for subsidizing cattle, is pushing for the most effective way: reducing meat consumption, as “this is the most efficient and attractive way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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