18 % of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal husbandry

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Province Neuquen - Bétail près de Los Pinos - Argentine © ALTITUDE/Arthus-Bertrand Yann

Province Neuquen – Bétail près de Los Pinos – Argentine © ALTITUDE/Arthus-Bertrand Yann

It is not well-known that breeding cattle is the prime cause of deforestation in South America. Every day, hundreds of hectares of the Amazon rainforest are destroyed so that we can eat meat. Why? Firstly because demand for meat is increasing: the forest is therefore cut down to create space for new farms. And also because most of the animals – even in France – are now reared on soya grown on land that has also been taken from the Amazon Forest.

As well as all this, methane is released when cattle break wind and burp. It is a powerful greenhouse gas and each cow releases almost 100 litres of it per day! When the deforestation and the methane are put together, stockbreeding accounts for 18 % of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the transport sector. It is a good thing that meat has become available to most people. But there needs to be some moderation!

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