Today (24/10/18) researchers from World Animal Protection are warning that farm animals around the world are causing
devastating damage to the environment by burping and farting out immense amounts of greenhouse gas every day.
1.47 billion cows alone are burping and farting out approximately 150 billion gallons of methane every day. Methane is
thought to be25-100 times more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide. 95% of the greenhouse gas produced by
cows is from burping – unfortunately for the planet, cows burp approximately every 90 seconds which means there are a
staggering 1.41 trillion methane-rich cow burps being released into the environment every day.
World Animal Protection researchers have also found that over 23.7 billion methane-rich cowpats, weighing a staggering
total of 43.4 million tonnes, are deposited around the world every day – but cows are not the only culprits. Animal
agriculture, including pigs, chickens, cows and other farmed animals accounts for 7.1 gigatonnes equivalent of carbon
dioxide (CO2) per year, or 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which is even more than all the cars, planes and
other forms of transport put together.
The charity is today urging the Environment and Agriculture Ministers of the world’s biggest livestock farming nations
to encourage their people to eat less meat to reduce global warming. Fewer farm animals means less greenhouse gas.
Eating less, but higher welfare, meat would also improve animal welfare.
Meat consumption is increasing around the world as is the number of factory farms.If left unchecked, agriculture is
projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and
dairy. Of the 70+ billion animals currently farmed annually around the world, 50 billion of them are factory farmed.
These animals are treated more like cogs in a machine, than living, breathing, feeling animals. They endure short,
miserable lives and are often crammed together in cages, crates or pens where they are unable to engage in natural
behaviour. Many animals are even selectively bred to be fast growing; lameness, weakened or broken bones, infections and
organ failure are all common place. By avoiding cruelly produced meat, consumers can support farmers who are doing the
Steve McIvor, CEO of World Animal Protection, says: “The environmental impact of meat production needs to be taken much
more seriously as does the suffering endured by 50 billion animals on factory farms every year. By eating less, but
higher welfare, meat people can reduce global warming and improve the lives of billions of animals every single year.”