Most people know and accept that meat has a huge carbon footprint.
The land required to harvest red meat is 28 times more than that of pork or chicken. Red meat also needs 10 times the amount of water, and results in more climate-warming emissions by a factor of 5. It’s also worth noting for context that over 90% of our water footprint is created by food production.
Are you a heavy meat eater, or a vegan? This graph courtesy of Vox breaks it down:
This recent article from Climate Progress collates multiple sources to illustrate the problem, and this image shows the carbon footprint of one hamburger.
“Research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more GHGs than other animals, including chicken and pork.
Meat production’s heavy environmental toll is not new, but the scale is surprising: The study found that beef requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water, and results in five times more GHG emissions.”
“The big story is just how dramatically impactful beef is compared to all the others,” Prof. Gidon Eshel, at Bard College in New York state, told the Guardian.
“I would strongly hope that governments stay out of people’s diet, but at the same time there are many government policies that favor of the current diet in which animals feature too prominently. Remove the artificial support given to the livestock industry and rising prices will do the rest. In that way you are having less government intervention in people’s diet and not more.”