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Switch to Forum Live View cows don't cause global warming
4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 1:53PM #1
Erey
Posts: 18,594

For those of us who were admonished to not eat beef because cattle are bad for the environment get a bit of a reprieve.


www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/cl...


 


Grazing cows might actually REDUCE certain green house gasses. 


 


Anyway, I thought this was big news. 


Don't worry, I am sure soon they will come out with another habit that you can feel guilty about. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 2:41PM #2
Christianlib
Posts: 21,848

Cows don't cause global warming, greedy, self-centered a$$holes cause global warming.


You can look it up.

Democrats think the glass is half full.
Republicans think the glass is theirs.
Libertarians want to break the glass, because they think a conspiracy created it.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 3:00PM #3
mountain_man
Posts: 39,143

Apr 8, 2010 -- 1:53PM, Erey wrote:

For those of us who were admonished to not eat beef because cattle are bad for the environment get a bit of a reprieve.



Not if you actually read the article. The headline should tell you quite a bit; "Cows absolved of causing global warming with nitrous oxide."


First, no one, but a few deniars, have accused cows of causing our climate to degenerate. They contribute to but not cause.


Grazing cows might actually REDUCE certain green house gasses.



But their net effect is not positive. They produce large amounts of methane; about 5.5 million metric tons per year in the USA alone. Since methane is over 20 times more damaging than CO2, a little goes a long way.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 5:56PM #4
Erey
Posts: 18,594

Apr 8, 2010 -- 2:41PM, Christianlib wrote:


Cows don't cause global warming, greedy, self-centered a$$holes cause global warming.


You can look it up.




OK,


Ok so only the virtuous (as in not greedy or self-centered) are innocent?  Because I am pretty sure none of us life a "carbon foot print" free life. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 6:01PM #5
Erey
Posts: 18,594

Apr 8, 2010 -- 3:00PM, mountain_man wrote:


Apr 8, 2010 -- 1:53PM, Erey wrote:

For those of us who were admonished to not eat beef because cattle are bad for the environment get a bit of a reprieve.



Not if you actually read the article. The headline should tell you quite a bit; "Cows absolved of causing global warming with nitrous oxide."


First, no one, but a few deniars, have accused cows of causing our climate to degenerate. They contribute to but not cause.


Grazing cows might actually REDUCE certain green house gasses.



But their net effect is not positive. They produce large amounts of methane; about 5.5 million metric tons per year in the USA alone. Since methane is over 20 times more damaging than CO2, a little goes a long way.




Well MM,


if you "contribute" then you ARE one of the causes - right?  If you have targeted cattle as a contributing factor to global warming then you are in effect saying they are one of the "causes". 


and if you read the article more closely you don't NECESSARILY get a rise in nitrus oxide - depends on the environment the cattle is raised.


 


"It's been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a  rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case," he said." 


 


I think you can keep the methane down if you grass feed the cattle. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 6:08PM #6
solfeggio
Posts: 9,127

Interesting article.  But, as noted, it does not completely absolve animal agriculture from causing at least some of the problems associated with global warming, namely production of methane gases.


Generally speaking, grazing cattle are not good for the environment, whether people want to accept that or not.


And, considering that just about everybody on the planet enjoys eating burgers, steaks, roasts, and other products that come from dead cows - and nobody really cares about the fact that the saturated fat in these treats causes inflamation of their blood vessels and can (and often does) lead to heart attacks and strokes - I wouldn't worry too much about the beef business being curtailed anytime soon.


People's enjoyment of taste always and forever comes before their concerns about their health or the health of the planet.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 7:51PM #7
Steven_A
Posts: 318

Apr 8, 2010 -- 6:01PM, Erey wrote:


Well MM,


if you "contribute" then you ARE one of the causes - right?  If you have targeted cattle as a contributing factor to global warming then you are in effect saying they are one of the "causes". 


and if you read the article more closely you don't NECESSARILY get a rise in nitrus oxide - depends on the environment the cattle is raised.


 


"It's been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a  rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case," he said." 


 


I think you can keep the methane down if you grass feed the cattle. 




Factory farming is one of the biggest problems both for the environment and our health. (This coming from a vegetarian)


Here's a little info on factory farming: www.sustainabletable.org/issues/factoryf...


I could list many reasons why it's bad for the environment, but I think the biggest contributing factor is that they feed them steroids and growth hormones which cause them to grow faster than they are naturally supposed to grow, which in turn means they have to eat more, which means producing more grain to feed them, which means using more fresh water, which means more energy consumption...


You get the idea. Even if it weren't bad for the environment, you should feel bad for eating meat because of the way the animals are treated in the factory farms. This kind of animal exploitation never happened until the 20th century, when steroids, growth hormones, and factory farms were invented. The poor animals are pumped so full of steroids that by the time they are adolescents they are much bigger than they are supposed to be as adults. Why? To maximize profit, of course. The animals are not respected as living beings, they are nothing more than a commodity. It's absolutely disgusting.


And I hate it when people quote the Bible saying that it's natural for us to eat animals, so there must be no good reason to be a vegetarian. Yeah, it might be natural for us to eat them, but not EXPLOIT them the way we are doing now. And most people don't even think about the effects it might have on people to eat animals who have been fed steroids their whole lives, not to mention being terrified and tortured their entire lives. Animals and humans have similar stress hormones, and it has been proven that animals who are raised in factory farms have exceedingly high levels of stress hormones in their system (I wonder why?). What kind of effect do you think it could have on people who eat animals who have been tortured their entire lives?


Factory farming is bad for everything... the environment, humans, and not to mention the animals. If anyone has any sense of care and respect for animals at all, and still insists on eating meat, they should eat only organic meat, never factory farm-produced meat. The entire factory farm-based meat industry is abhorrent, repulsive, and cruel.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 8:30PM #8
mountain_man
Posts: 39,143

Apr 8, 2010 -- 6:01PM, Erey wrote:

Well MM,


if you "contribute" then you ARE one of the causes - right?



Then why did the article state "the cause" and not one of the causes?


If you have targeted cattle as a contributing factor to global warming then you are in effect saying they are one of the "causes".



True, but not "the cause" as stated in the article.


and if you read the article more closely you don't NECESSARILY get a rise in nitrus oxide - depends on the environment the cattle is raised.



I did read, and understand, the whole article. I understand that claiming cattle are "the cause" of our climate degenerating was a supercilious jab at global warming.


I think you can keep the methane down if you grass feed the cattle.



No, you can't. Ruminants produce gas. It's a product of their digestive system.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 10:11PM #9
Abner1
Posts: 6,383

Mountainman wrote:


> No, you can't. Ruminants produce gas. It's a product of their digestive system.


But the amount of gas they produce varies highly not only with the variety of cattle, the microorganisms that have colonized their digestive tracts, but also with (as the poster you responded to mentioned) the type of feed the cattle are given. Agricultural researchers have managed to reduce the amount of methane produced by as much as 50 times (!) - in other words, 2% of the typical amount of gas - by giving the cattle probiotics, adjusting their nutrients for optimal nutrition, and adding certain dietary supplements.


Unfortunately most of that knowledge remains academic because most farms generally can't be bothered to put that much effort into reducing methane - there's no economic incentive for them to do so.  It's the same primary reason why farms don't generally use precision agriculture to reduce the amount of nutrients lost in their waste stream, and thus the amount of pollution they produce: little or no economic incentive.  *sighs*  (The other reason is innate conservativism: they generally tend to farm the same way year after year rather than adjust how they do things to reflect what scientists have found.  Changing takes effort and money.)

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 10:26PM #10
Erey
Posts: 18,594

Apr 8, 2010 -- 7:51PM, Steven_A wrote:


Apr 8, 2010 -- 6:01PM, Erey wrote:


Well MM,


if you "contribute" then you ARE one of the causes - right?  If you have targeted cattle as a contributing factor to global warming then you are in effect saying they are one of the "causes". 


and if you read the article more closely you don't NECESSARILY get a rise in nitrus oxide - depends on the environment the cattle is raised.


 


"It's been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a  rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case," he said." 


 


I think you can keep the methane down if you grass feed the cattle. 




Factory farming is one of the biggest problems both for the environment and our health. (This coming from a vegetarian)


Here's a little info on factory farming: www.sustainabletable.org/issues/factoryf...


I could list many reasons why it's bad for the environment, but I think the biggest contributing factor is that they feed them steroids and growth hormones which cause them to grow faster than they are naturally supposed to grow, which in turn means they have to eat more, which means producing more grain to feed them, which means using more fresh water, which means more energy consumption...


You get the idea. Even if it weren't bad for the environment, you should feel bad for eating meat because of the way the animals are treated in the factory farms. This kind of animal exploitation never happened until the 20th century, when steroids, growth hormones, and factory farms were invented. The poor animals are pumped so full of steroids that by the time they are adolescents they are much bigger than they are supposed to be as adults. Why? To maximize profit, of course. The animals are not respected as living beings, they are nothing more than a commodity. It's absolutely disgusting.


And I hate it when people quote the Bible saying that it's natural for us to eat animals, so there must be no good reason to be a vegetarian. Yeah, it might be natural for us to eat them, but not EXPLOIT them the way we are doing now. And most people don't even think about the effects it might have on people to eat animals who have been fed steroids their whole lives, not to mention being terrified and tortured their entire lives. Animals and humans have similar stress hormones, and it has been proven that animals who are raised in factory farms have exceedingly high levels of stress hormones in their system (I wonder why?). What kind of effect do you think it could have on people who eat animals who have been tortured their entire lives?


Factory farming is bad for everything... the environment, humans, and not to mention the animals. If anyone has any sense of care and respect for animals at all, and still insists on eating meat, they should eat only organic meat, never factory farm-produced meat. The entire factory farm-based meat industry is abhorrent, repulsive, and cruel.




I agree up to a point.  I am working on doing less factory and more organic.  Some things I have been doing for awhile like free range eggs and organic chicken.


I also try to go for an organic or certified humane pork.  I am not so good with the beef yet.  I do cook alot of food at home which is really the only way.  It is very hard to eat out with a family and eat anything but factory farmed.

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