Is feedlot beef better for the environment?

If everyone in the world went vegan, it would solve both the greenhouse gas and biodiversity problems almost overnight. Evidence shows that if people adopted entirely plant-based diets, the planet could easily support a population of 7 billion while at the same time returning huge areas of land to natural ecosystems.

Unfortunately it’s not going to happen. In fact, the world is moving the other way. As developing countries emerge from poverty, they shift inexorably towards more meat and dairy-heavy diets.

So is all lost? Not necessarily. Veganism and vegetarianism are increasing in popularity in rich countries, driven by an awareness of the health, environmental and animal welfare benefits of eliminating meat. This demand reduction can be an important future contributor to more sustainable agriculture.

For the full piece please visit the Cornell Alliance for Science

1 Comment

  1. Scott E Strough

    Couldn’t be further from the truth Mark. Particularly the main metric you used, “15-20 times more land”. In reality the primary productivity of a well managed perennial grassland/pasture has at minimum 5 times more primary productivity, not 15 times less. It is also a net sink for both CO2 and CH4, rather than a source for both. More productivity and mitigating AGW both. A win win.

    To Reverse AGW we must turn our emissions sources into net sinks worldwide. Your so called solution does the exact opposite.


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