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A report — described as the most detailed of its kind — examined livestock production (cattle, small ruminants, pigs, and poultry, as well as milk and eggs) for 28 regions around the world and points out the diversity of ways livestock are raised worldwide and what this means for the Earth and for people.

Concerns have already been raised about the rapid rise in global meat consumption. And multiple reports have concluded that these increasing levels are not sustainable.

This new report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, enhances the understanding of the sustainability of livestock systems and their role in food security, livelihoods, and environmental sustainability.

Livestock make up the largest land use on Earth, and demand for livestock products is expected to grow considerably in the coming decades. So it’s important to find solutions to be more sustainable.

The data highlights several areas where livestock production can be improved: Better diets, feeds, and feeding techniques can equal reduced emissions overall.

Cattle are the top greenhouse gas emitters

Cattle in developing countries produce more greenhouse gases than in other areas. The developing world accounts for 75 percent of the global emissions from cattle and other ruminants and 56 percent of the global emissions from poultry and pigs.

In poor countries, cattle bred for meat and dairy can emit 100 times more Earth-warming carbon dioxide than those in rich countries.

And globally, cattle account for 77 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, the most climate-friendly livestock are pork and poultry, which only account for 10 percent of emissions. Pork and poultry are also the most feed efficient.

Meat consumption must change

So, yes, meat production must change, but so, too, must meat consumption.

Demand management has to be part of the solution as well,” says Mario Herrero, co-author of the paper.

Reducing global intake of meat is important for sustainability (so we can continue to live here on Earth,) but also for our health, to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and colorectal cancer.

We already know that global warming is our fault, so we must take action to improve and keep our world, especially those of us in developing worlds, because we can make that choice.

“If we account for how much we consume in general terms — and the fact that we are responsible for most of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions — then we should modify our diets and eat fewer animals products, if we can,” Herrero says.

Think meat consumption can be green? Then check out this article about why eating meat isn’t eco-friendly now or in the foreseeable future.

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

James Cameron Bets on Pea Protein to Get People to Eat Less Meat!

Portland, Maine Just Banned Wild Animal Circuses – What’s the Rest of the U.S. Waiting For?!


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16 comments on “Shocking! Developing World Accounts for 75 Percent of Global Emissions From Cattle”

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Patricia Anne Franczyk
3 Years Ago

also because it is evil


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Josephine Houser
3 Years Ago

Plus cows are too good to eat - they are so cute!!!


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I Wear Positive
3 Years Ago

Any reason is a good reason to stop eating meat!


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Corey N Nicole
3 Years Ago

lol this page cracks me up...I can think of some other issues the world could work on before eating less meat...off to the steak house now ;)


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Jan Roberts
22 Dec 2013

Enjoy your cholesterol ...heart disease...type 2 diabetes and cancer Corey and Baltazar!

Justin Jones
3 Years Ago

If cattle, chickens and pigs account for 87% of greenhouse gasses that means all other animals, humans, volcanos, factories and vehicles combined only make up 13%. I don't buy it.


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Robert Gonzales
3 Years Ago

Eating meat is not good or bad, but the information in One Green Planet is no so good. Here is how they come up with such high percentages. Scientists usually tie their estimates of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming to sources such as land use changes, agriculture (including livestock) and transportation. The authors of Livestock’s long shadow took a different approach, aggregating emissions throughout the livestock commodity chain - from feed production (which includes chemical fertilizer production, deforestation for pasture and feed crops, and pasture degradation), through animal production (including enteric fermentation and nitrous oxide emissions from manure) to the carbon dioxide emitted during processing and transportation of animal products.


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Kayla Hancock
22 Dec 2013

http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/ffarms.asp and http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. I think whether it's 75% or not (and it could be globally) but the main thing here is--- agriculture is causing more pollution than the transportation industry (wtf). Animals are abused, people are unhealthy, and the planet is being destroyed in the name of food.

Jan Roberts
22 Dec 2013

Robert how can you say eating"meat" is not bad!?!?! Ever hear of cancer...ECOLI...heart disease....type two diabetes...high cholesterol!?!?!?! Let me ask you the same question if you were a cow or a pig or a chicken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Kayla agree!!

Kysa Hensel
3 Years Ago

Counteract carbon dioxide emission by planting more trees, building less highways and having more green- space for cows and ruminants to roam. Save the planet ride a cow.


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Maria Gonzales
3 Years Ago

Problem or blessing? A blessing if you know about biodigestion http://youtu.be/TXXfLwvjO5k


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Arman V Gavriil
3 Years Ago

this story has somefalsehood to it theres bigger more potent emission culprits


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Jan Roberts
22 Dec 2013

NOT!

Arman V Gavriil
22 Dec 2013

Im sure cows are 75% responsible for climate change look Personally I dont belive any one has a rigjt to eat eat unless they hunt it which I do I also have my own chickens for eggs amd grow spring summer and fall crops im all for people fending for themselves but im not buying cows are the main culprits.

Freya Yungk-Zaldivar
3 Years Ago

Or 7 billion less consumers.


Reply


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