There’s a report out by the EPA that has been overlooked or ignored by the media……
CATTLE are not the big contributors to methane and global warming that some would have you believe.
Since the release of a United Nations (U.N.) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report in 2006, people talk about carbon footprints and the green house gases generated by livestock, particularly cows. That report claims that globally, raising livestock generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in carbon dioxide and somehow equates to the use of fossil fuels, eg: driving cars and trucks. This story has appeared over and over again in the media.
It’s not ACCURATE….there is MORE to the story — as put out by the EPA:
A second study released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SHOULD have received media attention, but didn’t. The EPA report, entitled “U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks”, actually calculated the numbers and has determined that 80 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions come from the combustion of FOSSIL FUELS. ONLY 2.3 percent comes from food animal production.
Although the EPA report clearly shows that the FAO statistics are unsubstantiated and should be re-evaluated, the media and other online sources have directed Americans to reduce their meat consumption in order to save the planet.
The fact of the matter is, that cows — like the American bison/buffalo — is environmentally friendly and aids in the seed dispersement and balance of nature. Their hooves act to stir the soil, move and transplant grass seed. They do not overgraze, by nature; they roam naturally and continually. They are also creatures of habit, crossing streams in a line, not damaging the banks like many people assume. MOREOVER, according to recent studies, GRASS-FED BEEF ARE BELIEVED TO HELP REVERSE THE GREEHNOUSE EFFECTS. Pastures and grasslands store carbon, vs. releasing it into the atmosphere!
More than 85% of all grazing lands are not suited for crop production, according to the USDA. Grazing rangelands is an environmentally SOUND management tool; it converts dry matter, that could be called FIRE HAZARDS, into a food source; ruminants can convert the roughage easily into muscle/meat. According to one Oregon range manager, “Without controlled grazing, the forage on public lands will become wolfy (Not succulent), [and] big game will move to private lands.” Moreover, grazing protects the environment by “building soils, protecting water and riparian areas, and enhancing habitat.” In Canada, ranchers and farmers are PAID to take cattle, sheep, and goats into the mountains to help protect from major wildfires.
More than 75% of ALL WILDLIFE IN the continental U.S. (excluding Alaska) is supported by PRIVATE, NOT PUBLIC land. Private land, eg: ranches and farmlands, provide habitat, water, wetlands, and food for big game and waterfowl. In the eastern U.S., that figure increases considerably; almost all wildlife is dependent on private lands. Most of the spawning and rearing habitat for migrating fish occur on PRIVATE ranch lands.
From 1960 – 1990, it was estimated by BLM that public lands (rangelands) had seen a marked improvement in habitat and herd restoration: elk populations had increased by nearly 800%, big horn sheep by 435%; antelope, by 112%, moose by 500%; and deer by 33%.