Although it is great to have the idea that all of your cattle should be humanely raised and fed their natural grass-only diets, it does absolutely nothing to help against our Climate Change problem. This is what University of Oxford’s Food Climate Research Network claims in an article in News Scientist. This was promoted after Prince Charles’s public approval of grass-fed beef products.
The issue is that cows continue to produce methane gas on any sort of diet. This means that the number of cows that are alive will simply contribute towards the increase in greenhouse gases with just one cow contributing over 100 kilograms of gas per year. Since there are nearly a billion cows being raised for juicy steaks or hamburgers, this means that our addiction to meat is a major contributor to the problem.
In many parts of the world, Southwestern Brazil, for example, precious forests are being cleared out to feed the beasts. Not only are forests cleared for pastures to feed them, but they are also cleared to grow grains that will feed the beasts.
So should we just stop eating meat?
Since the world loves to eat meat, then the solution would be to find a better way to make it rather than going vegetarian. Carbon capture methods exist, but it only absorbs maybe 20 to 60 percent of the methane emissions in most cases. According to the University of Leeds and Tim Benton, there really is not a much better way to raise cattle to eliminate the problem.
The problem about cows have always been mentioned in the early days of climate change, but it becomes more severe than ever. Recent data shows that the gases from cows are actually 11 percent more than previously thought. Since more cows are being raised worldwide, the clock is ticking even faster before the Earth’s impending doom.
For health reasons, the logic behind grass-fed beef is not entirely sound either. Both conventionally raised beef and grass-fed beef are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which raises the incidents of heart disease. Grass fed beef is lower in overall fat, but the difference is so marginal that it does not make up for the additional price or burden in the world. Consider switching to chicken breast, egg whites, or plant-based proteins if you want to help fight climate change and reduce your risk for the disease.