Vegetarians cool the planet

We know it’s often been scoffed at but it’s true! Even Garnaut reckons so. The final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review states in off-putting technical language that: “livestock emissions from enteric fermentation releasing methane play a large role in the emissions profile of the agriculture sector. About 34 % of the agricultural emissions of OECD countries is due to livestock emissions”*.
Or in plain language:
Cow and sheep farts account for about a third of developed countries GHG emissions from farming.

But in Australia it’s 66%. And Australia’s per capita emissions from agriculture are more than six times the world average. New Zealand, Ireland and Australia all produce more than 100 kilograms of beef per person per year. The world average is less than 9 kilograms and the OECD average about 22 kilograms. We grow more farting livestock here so have more methane emissions than crops or chooks would.

Questioning our meat-eating habits is almost as taboo as the topic of population. Challenging people’s eating habits and the farming economy is difficult to discuss. But like so many other parts of our lifestyles, they’ll need substantial change if we want to get serious about environmental impacts and climate change.

Looking for an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint?
Forget the MIS tree planting rorts. a recent University of Chicago study found that a vegan diet would save one and half tonnes of CO2 a year …compared to a hybrid car that saves just one tonne. Take on a vegan diet and it’ll save the cost of both meat and buying a new car.

 *Garnaut Climate Change Review, pp 162-165



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