The environmental effects of meat production

Trends and Health Implications Meat consumption in the United States has nearly doubled in the last century. Americans are now among the top per capita meat consumers in the world; the average American eats more than three times the global average.

The environmental effects of meat production

This article is over 4 years old Beef production results in five more climate-warming emissions than chicken or pork. The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef.

The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.

Furthermore, the huge amounts of grain and water needed to raise cattle is a concern to experts worried about feeding an extra 2 billion people by But previous calls for people to eat less meat in order to help the environment, or preserve grain stocks, have been highly controversial. He said cutting subsidies for meat production would be the least controversial way to reduce its consumption.

Beef had a far greater impact than all the others because as ruminants, cattle make far less efficient use of their feed. Feeding cattle on grain rather than grass exacerbates this inefficiency, although Eshel noted that even grass-fed cattle still have greater environmental footprints than other animal produce.

The footprint of lamb, relatively rarely eaten in the US, was not considered in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, said the new work is based on national US data, rather than farm-level studies, and provides a useful overview.

But the message for the consumer is even stronger. Avoiding excessive meat consumption, especially beef, is good for the environment.

In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3. The research analysed the food eaten by 30, meat eaters, 16, vegetarians, 8, fish eaters and 2, vegans.The environmental effects of meat production are pretty serious. Meat production contributes to the global water crisis and cattle and other livestock animals generate a lot of waste and greenhouse gas.

Our meat consumption habits take a serious toll on the environment. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing and distribution of meat requires huge outlays of. Cultured meat (i.e., meat produced in vitro using tissue engineering techniques) is being developed as a potentially healthier and more efficient alternative to conventional meat.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) research method was used for assessing environmental impacts of large-scale cultured meat production.

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Dec 16,  · Livestock production — which includes meat, milk and eggs — contributes 40% of global agricultural gross domestic product, provides income for more than billion people and uses one-third of the world’s fresh water.

There may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock. Jul 21,  · To calculate the impact of different animal products, the study's authors looked at the environmental effects of producing feed for animals, taking into account land use, water consumption and the.

The environmental effects of meat production

Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption.

Meat is obtained through a variety of methods, including organic farming, free range farming, intensive livestock production, subsistence agriculture, hunting, and fishing.

How Does Meat in the Diet Take an Environmental Toll? - Scientific American