CLIMATE BOMB: Animal Agriculture Causing Methane Levels to Skyrocket

According to ThinkProgress, a new study conducted by scientists with the Joint Global Change Research Institute found that previous climate change reports had seriously underestimated the environmental impact of factory farming.

The study revealed that previous estimates of animal agriculture’s global methane production had been underestimated by about 11 percent. This could be part of the reason why researchers were unable to determine the cause of rising methane levels since the early 2000s.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Julie Wolf, lead author of the study, said:
In most developed regions, the livestock have been bred to be larger—they are more productive, especially with dairy cows. And that will result in a larger estimate of methane emitted by each animal.
Another study published last year found that agriculture-related emissions, rather than those from the production or use of fossil fuels, were to blame for the increase in atmospheric methane. Scientists concluded that methane from factory farming had increased more rapidly than methane produced from extracting fossil fuels, such as through fracking.

There are many types of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, but two of the most significant are carbon dioxide and methane. While methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it is more dangerous to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs heat.

But animal agriculture’s contribution to climate change is not limited to methane—animal agriculture is also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits. In fact, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.

We can each do our part to protect the planet simply by avoiding animal products. When you consider that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy, it becomes clear how going vegan can cut your carbon footprint in half.

But a vegan diet is not only good for the planet; it also spares countless animals from a life of misery at factory farms. Animals raised and killed for food are subjected to unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement, brutal mutilations, and violent deaths.

The best way to combat climate change and help animals is to switch to a healthy and compassionate vegan diet. Click here to get started!