Confined cattle most environmental

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The amount of Greenhouse Gas emitted by Livestock ( cows + sheep, pigs, chicken etc...)
is more than
all the world's cars, planes, boats & trains (18% vs 13%)  :

bulletEvery year we raise and eat 65 billion animals, that's nine animals for every person on the globe.
bulletNearly a third of the Earth's ice-free land surface is already devoted to raising the animals we either eat or milk.
bulletA single cow can belch up to 500 litres of methane every day. Multiply that by the 1.5 billion cattle we have on our planet
bulletMethane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
bullet30% of the crops we grow are fed to animals.
bulletMeat consumption is predicted to double in the next 40 years as people, globally, get wealthier.
  In 2014, methane concentrations rose 12.5 parts per billion, compared to an annual rise of about 0.5 parts per billion a decade ago. likely culprit is agriculture, especially in the tropics.
 

California's Cow belching methane war SB1383

A Tax on meat or?

Veggy Burger Tech

Intensively Reared vs Grass-Fed

A very different type of farming, thousands of cattle confined in grass-free, mud enclosures and fed a diet based on a carefully formulated mix of corn, fat, growth hormones and antibiotics.
It looks the opposite of eco-friendly farming. Yet it is "greener" than raising cows on the prairies -  greater efficiency leads to less environmental impact.
The scientifically formulated diet means cows put on weight faster and produces 40% less methane than grass-fed cattle.

Intensively reared, corn fed cattle may be the most environmentally friendly.

On the other hand One of the big problems with grain-fed livestock operations is the huge amount of land that is used to produce grain. Approximately 80-90 million acres of land in the US are used to grow corn alone. That is 80-90 million acres of once native prairie that is now growing a mono crop at a tremendous loss of biodiversity.

One of the major consequences of having cattle roaming the range is soil compaction. There’s not a single study that demonstrates that having a thousand pound cow trample soil is good for the land.

Soil compaction reduces water penetration, creating more run-off and erosion. Because water cannot percolate into the soil easily, soil compaction from cattle creates more arid conditions—a significant problem in the already arid West, but also an issue in the East since the soils are often moister for a longer period of time. Moist soils are more easily compacted. Sometimes the influence of pasture grazing is long lasting. One study in North Carolina found that stream insect biota were still significantly different in streams heavily impacted by agriculture 50 years after agricultural use had ceased compared to control streams. Soil compaction also reduces the space in the top active layer of soil where most soil microbes live, reducing soil fertility. source

If you really want to be environmentally friendly eat half the beef you currently eat.

Plastic made from Methane

At the company’s research lab, methane gas—is mixed with air in a steel tank. Newlight’s patented biocatalyst then strips out the carbon from the methane and chains the molecules together to form different grades of plastic resin. At the end of the production line, the resin is chopped into pellets. Newlight sells the pellets to manufacturers to be molded into products. The company operates a plant in California and is building another one in the Midwest that will produce 50 million pounds of plastic annually. The company will obtain greenhouse gases from landfills or farms.

Scientists are experimenting with creating an AirCarbon replacement for plastic water bottles and foam packaging, those other ubiquitous scourges of modern life.

Dell says the computer maker next wants to use AirCarbon to replace foam packaging and, eventually, plastic parts in its computers and servers. The biggest challenge Newlight faces, he says, is scaling up production to meet the demand of global corporations like Dell.

"Why would you ever use a plastic bag that emits carbon again?"  "We want to see this replace plastics everywhere." AirCarbon plastic is biodegradable and recyclable.

AirCarbon is an independently-verified, cradle-to-grave (including all energy inputs, transportation, and end-of-life) carbon-negative material, quantifiably reducing the amount of carbon in the air in every ounce of AirCarbon we make.

Source:http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28858289 

Livestock accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming >Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

And it accounts for respectively 37 per cent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.
 

Globally, over 60% of total Methane (CH4) emissions come from human activities.

Although our output of 29 gigatons of CO2 is tiny compared to the 750 gigatons moving through the carbon cycle each year, it adds up because the land and ocean cannot absorb all of the extra CO2. About 40% of this additional CO2 is absorbed. The rest remains in the atmosphere, and as a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). (A natural change of 100ppm normally takes 5,000 to 20,000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has taken just 120 years).

Globally, about 40% of total N2O emissions come from human activities.  Nitrous oxide is emitted from agriculture, transportation, and industry. The impact of 1 pound of N2O on warming the atmosphere is almost 300 times that of 1 pound of carbon dioxide.

source EPA

 

 

 

Cowspiracy

bullet One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce – the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers. 
bulletA farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. 130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US
bullet477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of eggs
bullet55% of water in the US is used for animal agriculture, 80-90% for ALL Agriculture
bullet Livestock and their byproducts  account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
bulletFracking water use ranges from 70-140 billion, Animal agriculture use ranges from 34-76 trillion,  gallons annually.
bulletLand required to feed 1 Meat Eater is 6x as much as a Vegetarian.
bullet Livestock is responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 296x more destructive than carbon dioxide

Organic versus Conventional Farming,

 a number of universities have established long-term trials over the years. Between them all, we know that organic agriculture:

bulletis more profitable than,
bulletbuilds more soil fertility over time as
bulletcan yield just as much as

 conventional systems. http://rodaleinstitute.org/our-work/farming-systems-trial/