The production of meat and Global Warming

The most recent studies that have evaluated the environmental impacts of animal agriculture have determined the seriousness of its influence on global warming. Despite studies that have examined the negative impacts of animal agricultural production on the environment, the global impacts of the sector have been undermined. Green house emissions of the equivalence of carbon dioxide in the meat industry are so significant, that they surpass emissions from the transportation sector.

The three main greenhouse gases that influence global warming are CO2, methane gas (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20). Although most attention has been geared towards CO2, methane gas and N2O both have greater global warming potential than CO2 does. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) the animal agriculture sector emits 18%—about one fifth of human induced green house gases more than the transportation sector. The animal agriculture sector accounts for an estimated 9% of total CO2 emissions, which come out of fertilizer used in the production for feed crops, on-farm energy expenditures, the transportation of feed and animal product processing and transport.

According to the FAO’s estimates, CO2 emissions from farm animal processing total several tens of millions of metric tons per year.


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