Animal Agriculture, Environmental Impacts of Different Diets

 

for related topics, visit:

 

A source of research links into how animal agriculture and diets impact the environment

 

TOPICS COVERED:

The effectiveness of a shift to plant-based diets

Leaked IPCC Report Statement

carbon opportunity cost (ignored by FAO report) and direct GHG output

myths spread by animal farming institutions and other lobbyists / Lobbyism in general

comparison of sequestration potentials of grassland and forest

veganic agriculture recognised by Bundesumweltamt (German environment administration)

holistic management

regenerative agriculture debunk

methane higher from grass-fed

wool

amount of land used

inefficiency

world hunger solutions

extinctions

palm seed oil for animal feed, soya for animal feed

pesticides in animal produce

plastics in animal feed

industrial livestock farming percentage

killing of wild animals to protect livestock

veganic agriculture

IPCC underplay intensity of climate change

Debunk of veganism is worse for the environment

46% of oceanic debris comes from discarded fishing nets and other equipment

Water pollution

Antibiotic resistance

Air pollution

Pesticides and other human-induced toxins in land animals and fish


The effectiveness of a shift to plant-based diets

Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Independent

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/meat-dairy-industry-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fossil-fuels-oil-pollution-iatp-grain-a8451871.html

Leaked IPCC Report Statement

Meat, the “world’s most urgent problem”

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/tackling-worlds-most-urgent-problem-meat

 

carbon opportunity cost – ignored by FAO report – plus direct GHG output is 30%+ contribution to greenhouse gas emissions

(English)

https://bayern.landwirtschaft.jetzt/en/klimawandel/

(German)

https://bayern.landwirtschaft.jetzt/de/klimawandel/

 

comparison of sequestration potentials of grassland and forest: forest does better

https://spiral-m.com/sequestration

 

Widespread Adoption of Plant-Based Diets Required for Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050

Widespread global adoption of plant-based diets and other changes are needed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a report published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers note that behaviors around diet account for 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, reducing consumption of animal products would use less water and land and reduce consumption of saturated fats. Meat consumption in America and Europe would need to drop by 79% and 68%, respectively in order to reach international emission goals. The authors recommend policies that decrease affordability of unhealthful foods like meat by removing subsides on livestock, for example, while increasing affordability of healthful, plant-based foods.

References
Marteau TM, Chater N, Garnett EE. Changing behaviour for net zero 2050. BMJ. 2021;375:n2293. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2293t

 

IPCC underplay intensity of climate change (e-g- they didn’t incorporate mitigtion through regained land and rewilding in 2019 report)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/

carbon opportunity costs of animal agriculture

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-00603-4?fbclid=IwAR2ujQqqzVYEPeDqBcbpkGXXa3ynevCqR-BTzBynpGFJmVScf4jKHf6IeHU

 

myths spread by animal farming institutions and other lobbyists / lobbyism:

“we need animal agriculture to enable plant-agriculture” – false in our system! (and more myths)

https://bayern.landwirtschaft.jetzt/en/mythen/mythos-3/lj

 

Lobbyism and perversions of science

US Professor Frank Mitloehner funded with millions of dollars by the animal agriculture industry claims that methane from cattle is not a problem

 

Revealed: How the livestock industry funds the ‘greenhouse gas guru’

Lobbyism in the UN

“The UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), taking place this week in New York, aims to make global agricultural systems more sustainable, billing itself as a transformational “people’s summit”.

But documents obtained by Greenpeace Unearthed – the investigative arm of environmental NGO Greenpeace – and seen by the Guardian, show livestock industry bodies threatening to withdraw if others in their discussion group at the summit do not share their “common goal”.

“the UN FSS should not have given “incumbent industries a platform to deny or minimise the scientific consensus”.

““It started with the meat industry itself, and then included people who wish to softly transition from the current system. Only towards the end were more critical voices invited.”

Propaganda from This Morning

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/21/livestock-industry-lobbying-un-to-support-more-meat-production

Misinformation by the Scottish Farmers’ Union

 

veganic agriculture recognised by Bundesumweltamt (German environment administration)

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/1410/publikationen/2020-07-02_texte_119-2020_neuropa_de_0.pdf

translation to English:

3.7 Profile: biocyclic vegan cultivation
Category: preliminary work, production
Description: The biocyclic vegan cultivation (also ›vegan organic farming‹ or ›organic vegan agriculture‹), in English ›biocyclic vegan farming‹, ›biodynamic vegan agriculture‹ or ›veganic agriculture‹ (as a combination of ›vegan‹ and ›organic ‹), Completely dispenses with animal husbandry and the use of animal or synthetic resources in the organic cultivation of vegan foods. This eliminates, for example, the use of liquid manure, dung, liquid manure or slaughterhouse waste as fertilizer.
Objective and innovation: The majority of farms rely on the use of animal or synthetic fertilizers in the production of vegan foods. Organic farming is also often associated with livestock farming. At the Demeter Organic Association, the keeping of roughage eaters is even mandatory and can only be omitted in exceptional cases124. Animal husbandry causes massive environmental damage worldwide, ranging from increased land requirements, damage to soil and groundwater to negative effects on the climate. According to a study by the FAO, over 14 percent of global human-caused greenhouse gases can be traced back to animal husbandry125.
At the same time, the demand for vegetarian and vegan products can also be measured in Germany. According to the data from the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy, 7.6% of consumers are “vegetarians or people who largely forego meat” 126. Another 1.1% are “vegans or people who largely avoid animal products”. These consumers of vegan foods are often not aware that these foods, too, are predominantly produced in a non-vegan manner in the narrower sense. As a rule, resources of animal origin such as blood, horn, hair, feather or bone meal are used. The health concerns of these ecological fertilizer pellets are great. They can be contaminated with germs, antibiotics and heavy metals. In the case of biocyclic vegan cultivation, animal fertilizers and operating materials of animal origin are completely avoided.127 Instead, high value is placed on the targeted build-up of humus on a plant basis, which can be achieved through composting in conjunction with green manure and mulching. If the plant residues used to build up the humus come from your own company, the municipality or the region, this also results in shorter transport routes. The fertility of the soil should also be promoted through a varied crop rotation, mixed crops and the cultivation of legumes such as grass clover, lupins and peas.
A field test in Greece showed that in the long term the nitrogen content and the content of other plant nutrients in the humus soil obtained from olive pomace compost increase128. Since the nutrients in the humus soil are no longer water-soluble, they are completely available to the plant without causing over-fertilization, so
124 Demeter e.V. (no year) Guidelines 2020. p. 54. https://www.demeter.de/sites/default/files/ guidelines/ guidelines_ overall.pdf (27.01.2020)
125 Gerber, P.J. et al. (2013): Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome. P. 15.
126 INSTITUTE FOR DEMOSCOPY ALLENSBACH (undated). AW A 2016. Allensbacher market analysis advertising medium analysis CODEBUCH. P. 80. https: //www.ifd- allensbach.de/fileadmin/AWA/AWA2016/Codebuchausschnitte/AWA2016_Codebuch_Essen_Trinken_Rauchen.pdf (27.01.2020) 127 Vegconomist (2019): In an interview with the Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganeraner eV about the Organic vegan agriculture. October 31, 2019. https://vegconomist.de/interviews/im-interview-mit-dem-foerderkreis-biozyklisch-veganer-anbau-e-v-ueber- die-bio-vegane-Landwirtschaft / (27.01.2020)
128 Biocyclic Park Kalamata, IFOAM ABM 2017. (2017). https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=_HPCm- 5acI0 & feature = emb_logo, (27.01.2020)
39
TEXTS Niche Innovations in Europe for the Transformation of the Food System – NE Europe
Dr. Johannes Eisenbach, board member of the Association for Biocyclic Vegan Cultivation, 129. A study on the cultivation of tomatoes confirms these observations. Tomato plants that grew in humus soil produced up to 45% higher yields than plants that were not treated at all or treated with inorganic fertilizers130. In addition, plant health improves and the humus soil can bind more carbon in the soil. 131

 

German:

Hier gibt es Beispiele regenerativen Biolandbaus – die Humusmenge steigt jährlich (ab ca 09:30)

https://www.ardmediathek.de/hr/video/doku-und-reportage/eine-welt-ohne-fleisch/hr-fernsehen/Y3JpZDovL2hyLW9ubGluZS8xMjc2MDM/

 

Hintergründe

 

Here are examples of veganic farming – the amount of humus increases annually (from about 9:30). You will need turn on subtitles in YouTube to English unless you speak German for the first one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEVmKVUZMnw&t=570s

Veganic farming in the UK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6yzLKd3xXs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvN_CxIna8M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNKn_vNDO90
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61565233
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvMtktmPI_0
https://farmersforstockfreefarming.org/from-beef-and-dairy-to-veganic-cereals/

Romania (German)
https://www.eppenberger-media.ch/grossflachiger-getreideanbau-ohne-hof-und-kunstdunger/


 

80% of soya used for animal feed

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/05/vast-animal-feed-crops-meat-needs-destroying-planet

(German)

https://www.wwf.de/themen-projekte/landwirtschaft/produkte-aus-der-landwirtschaft/soja/soja-als-futtermittelhttps://wwf.panda.org/our_work/our_focus/food_practice/sustainable_production/soy/

 

91% der Zerstörung des Amazonas sind auf die Tierhaltung zurückzuführen. Nur etwa 2% der Soja aus diesem Prozess werden direkt für den menschlichen Verzehr verwendet. 80%+ in Tierfutter, das Reste als Öl für Industrie.

https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/our_focus/food_practice/sustainable_production/soy/

Das Soja in den veganen Produkten bei uns ist nicht GMO, wie beim Tierfutter der Fall ist, und kommt meist aus de EU. Fast immer bei BIO, sonst kommt einiges aus USA und hat daher gar nichts mit Abholzung zu tun.

https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/our_focus/food_practice/sustainable_production/soy/
https://www.codecheck.info/news/Woher-kommt-das-Soja-in-meiner-Sojamilch-153183

Pesticides in animal produce including organic

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28490068/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15895606/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281213842_PESTICIDE_RESIDUES_IN_ANIMAL_FEED_AND_EFFECTS_ON_ANIMALS_AND_ITS_PRODUCTS_WITH_SPECIAL_REFERENCE_TO_ENDOSULFAN

http://repository.pertanian.go.id/handle/123456789/4521

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598159/

 

toxins in fish

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-pesticides-accumulate-fat-tissue.html

https://www.intechopen.com/books/livestock-science/contaminants-in-animal-products

Drug residues

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837901/

plastic in animal feed

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/15/legal-plastic-content-in-animal-feed-could-harm-human-health-experts-warn

“It seems that – at least part of the – former food products, including  from supermarkets, are processed into livestock feed with packaging and all. This is not only detrimental to animal welfare, but perhaps also to ourselves. Most likely, almost every steak and burger contains small pieces of plastic.”

https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/en/2022/07/80-of-cow-and-pig-meat-blood-and-milk-contains-plastic/

“Several BPs were found in animal feed plastic packaging and BPA was predominant.

BPA was found to migrate from plastic packaging into solid animal feed.

BPA levels in packaging and contact time were the main factors determining migration.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0045653520332197


Agriculture, Use Of Land

41%+ in US used for animal agriculture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zctdaxvewng&feature=em-uploademail

from

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/

cowspiracy links

http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

The Myth of “Organic meat is better for the environment” exposed:

https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/05/26/organic-farms-use-more-land-and-dont-decrease-carbon-footprint-11338

Myth of grass fed-cows better for climate

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/grass-fed-cows-won-t-save-climate-report-finds?fbclid=IwAR2ZD_gaewNMJznbEgqccaD2Bd71hryqFdMvgcoIHlXiCZhZf-su7mQ2DaM

loss of forests

www.fao.org/3/a-a0262e.pdfinter

land-use inefficiency

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/10/105002/pdf

https://animal.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/Eating-Away-at-Climate-Change-with-Negative-Emissions%E2%80%93%E2%80%93Harwatt-Hayek.pdf

“Most strikingly, impacts of the lowest-impact animal products typically exceed those of vegetable substitutes, providing new evidence for the importance of dietary change”

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987

 

“Results show that external greenhouse gas costs are highest for conventional and organic animal-based products….

The large difference of relative external climate costs between food categories as well as the absolute external climate costs of the agricultural sector imply the urgency for policy measures that close the gap between current market prices and the true costs of food.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19474-6

 

“There is also a highly unequal distribution of land use between livestock and crops for human consumption. If we combine pastures used for grazing with land used to grow crops for animal feed, livestock accounts for 77% of global farming land. While livestock takes up most of the world’s agricultural land it only produces 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of total protein”

https://ourworldindata.org/global-land-for-agriculture

“If the world adopted a plant-based diet we would reduce global agricultural land use from 4 to 1 billion hectares”

https://ourworldindata.org/land-use-diets

 

60% of agricultural land in Germany for animal farming (German) – 52,8 % for animal feed, 60% of cereals for animal feed

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/376/publikationen/uba_dzu2018_umwelt_und_landwirtschaft_web_bf_v7.pdf

comparison of “milks”

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46654042

guardian summary

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet

 

Studie: So viel Treibhausgas sparen Veganer:innen ein

Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss

https://www.ipbes.net/news/ipbes-global-assessment-summary-policymakers-pdf

loss of species diversity as catastrophic as climate change

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/06/biodiversity-climate-change-mass-extinctions

33 species extinctions UK attributable to animal farming in the UK

https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2017-10/WWF_AppetiteForDestruction_Summary_Report_SignOff.pdf

 

UN report

http://www.unep.fr/shared/publications/pdf/dtix1262xpa-priorityproductsandmaterials_report.pdf

The opportunity cost of animal based diets exceeds all food losses

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/15/3804?fbclid=IwAR1Q_VkAMbLyQNaOQXCKMAcLtt07eJJG74efjI0OCNNJeKFiHUIgpu1DOZg

The carbon opportunity cost of animal-sourced food production on land

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-00603-4.epdf?sharing_token=lgXbpAbkjFrSjOabh_v66NRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0P77FyzGHe2tktE9ZrHAccCF62Zbhw7v9AoX05gp9lKKfvbGYiWvEkliPbe2e81XovvLyHq-XdiyAuDp2Urehw6kn5U8rgjMFeDp4GZPLLotA9UA4C2XbmuaoSDw0f-0Xo%3D

solving world hunger by moving to plant-based agriculture

“There is also a highly unequal distribution of land use between livestock and crops for human consumption. If we combine pastures used for grazing with land used to grow crops for animal feed, livestock accounts for 77% of global farming land. While livestock takes up most of the world’s agricultural land it only produces 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of total protein”

https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food

 

New WWF report says plant-based diets could help conserve and restore nature

Meat consumption is highest across high-income countries (with the largest meat-eaters in Australia, consuming around 116 kilograms per person in 2013). The average European and North American consumes nearly 80 kilograms and more than 110 kilograms, respectively.

https://ourworldindata.org/meat-production

 

“More than 95% of animals used for meat and dairy in the United States eat GMO crops”

“While a lot of GMO corn goes into processed foods and drinks, most of it is used to feed livestock, like cows, and poultry, like chickens.”

https://www.fda.gov/food/agricultural-biotechnology/gmo-crops-animal-food-and-beyond

70% of GMO crops used for animal feed

“Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years.” (from 2013 but animal agriculture is increasing globally)

https://jasbsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2049-1891-4-37

 

46% of oceanic debris comes from discarded fishing nets and other equipment

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1IzepC3WiuJBw7GAhXc_nwoCAZIkzOXS82nop0akk7nNiqWT_brTUosJQ

 

Comparison of transport-related damage with type of food

https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local

 

Which Diet Has the Least Environmental Impact on
Our Planet? A Systematic Review of Vegan,
Vegetarian and Omnivorous Diets

Bingli Clark Chai, Johannes Reidar van der Voort, Kristina Grofelnik , Helga Gudny Eliasdottir,
Ines Klöss and Federico J. A. Perez-Cueto *
Design & Consumer Behaviour Section, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science,
University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
* Correspondence: apce@food.ku.dk
Received: 11 July 2019; Accepted: 24 July 2019; Published: 30 July 2019
 

Abstract: The food that we consume has a large impact on our environment. The impact varies significantly between different diets. The aim of this systematic review is to address the question: Which diet has the least environmental impact on our planet? A comparison of a vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diets. This systematic review is based on 16 studies and 18 reviews. The included studies were selected by focusing directly on environmental impacts of human diets. Four electronic bibliographic databases, PubMed, Medline, Scopus and Web of Science were used to conduct a systematic literature search based on fixed inclusion and exclusion criteria. The durations of the studies ranged from 7 days to 27 years. Most were carried out in the US or Europe. Results from our review suggest that the vegan diet is the optimal diet for the environment because, out of all the compared diets, its production results in the lowest level of GHG emissions. Additionally, the reviewed studies indicate the possibility of achieving the same environmental impact as that of the vegan diet, without excluding the meat and dairy food groups, but rather, by reducing them substantially.

 


CO2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNdGQ3d6JXE

http://www.pnas.org/content/113/15/4146.full


Grazing Mimicry – Holistic Management / regenerative agriculture and its myths

Holistig grazing was first espoused by Allan Savory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Criticisms of film promoting holistic grazing and “regenerative agriculture”: “Kiss the Ground” (available on Netflix)

Overview of peer-reviewed articles and criticisms of regenerative agriculture claims
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSAz-A7S8ow&t=304s

 

Criticisms of “regenerative farming” et al

“Dr. Sylvia Fallon of the Natural Resources Defense Council has shown, symbiosis between grazing herds and grasses has historically worked best to sequester carbon when the animals lived the entirety of their lives within the ecosystem, their carcasses rotted and returned their accumulated nutrients into the soil, and human intervention was minimal to none. It is unclear, given that Savory has identified this type of arrangement as his ecological model, how marketing cattle for food would be consistent with these requirements. Cows live up to 20 years of age, but in most grass-fed systems, they are removed when they reach slaughter weight at 15 months. Cheating the nutrient cycle at the heart of land regeneration by removing the manure-makers and grass hedgers when only 10 percent of their ecological “value” has been exploited undermines the entire idea of efficiency that Savory spent his TED talk promoting. ”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2014/aug/04/eat-more-meat-and-save-the-world-the-latest-implausible-farming-miracle

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/04/allan_savory_s_ted_talk_is_wrong_and_the_benefits_of_holistic_grazing_have.html

“Savory’s narrative is compelling if you accept his idea that deserts are but rarely natural. For him ground that is bare, without grass, is desert and desert is not natural. However, deserts are indeed natural, and they are not simply bare ground areas. Secondly, he believes that deserts and desertification are the same thing. They are not. In fact there is much dispute over the definition of desertification. Wikipedia says there are over a hundred definitions.”

Deserts are indeed natural. They have existed for millions of years before any human influence. They have their own ecosystems, and they, like grasslands, can be degraded

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/03/18/alan-savory-gives-a-popular-and-very-misleading-ted-talk/

“In Savory’s universe, ungrazed land, known as “rested” land, will always wither away. “It’s just wrong,” said Brewer. A substantial number of studies on desert grassland have found that with rest, grass cover “increases dramatically,” while “intensive grazing delays this recovery.”

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2017-2-march-april/feature/allan-savory-says-more-cows-land-will-reverse-climate-change

“There are relatively few (11) peer-reviewed studies on the effects of holistic grazing that are
‘approved’ by the Savory Institute, i.e., included
in Savory Institute Research Portfolio”

https://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/244566/local_244566.pdf

“Three quantitative meta-analysis models were used to assess data sets from literature between 1972 and 2016. Weighted mean differences (effect sizes) between HPG and continuous grazing showed that there was no difference in plant basal cover, plant biomass and animal gain responses (p > 0.05). Thus, from the balance of studies, if animal impact is occurring during HPG, it has no effect on production. As interesting as the overall result is the significant between-study heterogeneity assessed using Cochran’s Q (p = 0.007 to <0.0001). Studies with positive effect sizes tended to have higher precipitation (p < 0.05), suggesting that only some rangelands have the resources to support HPG. ”

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319352952_A_global_assessment_of_Holistic_Planned_Grazing_compared_with_season-long_continuous_grazing_meta-analysis_findings_AFRICAN_JOURNAL_OF_RANGE_FORAGE_SCIENCE

Decline of elk and neocolonial aspects of “grass-fed”
https://newrepublic.com/article/163735/myth-regenerative-ranching?fbclid=IwAR1qfk16vuekBTyFk-VjtEEKKxHdgAoJ2EseUnr4QVM_zUmEnIt2MIMHxhk

Another Savory lie – bison more abundant that current cattle numbers:

Bison numbers historically: 30-60 million estimated pre 1800 (back then there was far more optimal sequestering of carbon with much greater natural forest cover, the human population was much smaller and “extraction” of bison for meat on a much lower scale than today’s slaughter rate of animals. Basically the system is being robbed of nutrients).

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/bisonfaq.htm

Cattle and calves in the USA 2001 2021
93.8 million

https://www.statista.com/statistics/194297/total-number-of-cattle-and-calves-in-the-us–since-2001/

 

Case study funded by Quantis (worked for Nestlé to promote plastic bottles in national parks)

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2020.544984/full

 

Criticisms of above study

Another Failed Attempt to Greenwash Beef

 

Debunk of veganism is worse for the environment

 

Methane higher from grass-fed than grain-fed

“Increased methane emissions of grass-fed cattle are also an unavoidable result of ruminant digestion, as cows fed a natural diet of grass, hay, and other forages produce three times more methane than cows fed corn and grains (the traditional diet on intensive industrial or “factory” farms.)
The study notes other environmental harms that would likely result from a shift to all or mostly grass-fed beef production, including wildlife habitat loss from greater land use, fresh water eutrophication, soil erosion, the suppression of native vegetation from overgrazing, and increased nitrous oxide emissions.
The researchers conclude, “Given the environmental tradeoffs associated with raising more cattle in exclusively grass-fed systems, only reductions in beef consumption can guarantee reductions in the environmental impact of US food systems.”
Nationwide Shift to Grass-Fed Beef Requires Larger Cattle Population. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aad401

Wool

Breeding for maximum profit:

Material Guide: How Sustainable and Ethical Is Wool?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/mouflon

New Report Debunks Myth That Wool Is Eco-Friendly: ‘Nothing About It Is Sustainable’

“There’s a groundswell of truly sustainable and inspiring circumfaunal material out there, but cutting through the wool industry’s well-funded mythology is no easy task,” said Joshua Katcher, founder of the CIRCUMFAUNA initiative and co-author of the report. “We need to have an honest discussion about wool’s outsized impact on biodiversity loss and climate change and transition to plant-derived and high-tech innovative materials that don’t take such a big toll on native species and the climate.”

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/report-wool-production-carries-heavy-biodiversity-loss-climate-price-tag-2021-11-17/

 

Palm seed from palm oil plantations used in animal feed

“Every year, over seven million tonnes of the stuff is dried and processed, ending up as feed stock for cattle, mostly in New Zealand and Europe.

The biggest importer is the European Union, which took in about 2.63 million tonnes in 2013, followed by New Zealand with 1.52 million tonnes.”

https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/features/2014/02/17/oil-palm-leftovers-as-food-for-livestock


Industrial livestock farming percentage

(German)

https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Laender-Regionen/Internationales/Thema/landwirtschaft-fischerei/tierhaltung-fleischkonsum/_inhalt.html

Water pollution

UK swimming spots near livestock farms highly polluted. The farmers and water authorites are increasingly allowed through deregulation to be self-policing and the number of incidents has shot up accordingly

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2022-11-22/swimming-in-superbugs-mrsa-and-e-coli-found-in-british-rivers

Antibiotic resistance

Suppliers of beef to McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Walmart are sourcing meat from US farms using antibiotics linked to the spread of dangerous superbugs. See also:

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2022-11-21/lovin-it-mcdonalds-and-walmart-beef-suppliers-risking-public-health-with-reckless-antibiotics-use?s=09

Air pollution

(German)

https://www.nationalgeographic.de/umwelt/2021/05/luftverschmutzung-tausende-tote-durch-emissionen-aus-der-fleischproduktion

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/air-pollution-health-animal-farming-b1844921.html

 

killing of wild animals to protect livestock

The USDA Admits to Killing Over a Million Wild Animals Per Year to Protect Livestock

 

 

feeding the world

about 60 per cent of the world’s agricultural land is used for livestock grazing.”

“Adopting plant-based diets would use less land, produce less greenhouse gas, and require less water. It would also play an important role in reducing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer and the associated costs of treatment and lost income. In fact, with a global burden of chronic disease projected to hit 56 per cent by 2050, dietary health will play an increasingly important role in economic management.”

https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/how-feed-10-billion-people

In reality, the bulk of industrially produced grain crops (most yieldreduction in the study was found in grains) goes to biofuels and confinedanimal feedlots rather than food for the one billion hungry. The call todouble food production by 2050 only applies if we continue to prioritize thegrowing population of livestock and automobiles over hungry people.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241746569_We_Already_Grow_Enough_Food_for_10_Billion_People_and_Still_Can’t_End_Hunger


VEGANIC REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Hier gibt es Beispiel regenerativen Biolandbau – die Humusmenge steigt jährlich (ab ca 09:30) https://www.ardmediathek.de/hr/video/doku-und-reportage/eine-welt-ohne-fleisch/hr-fernsehen/Y3JpZDovL2hyLW9ubGluZS8xMjc2MDM/

Hintergründe

Vom Umweltbundesamt
https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/1410/publikationen/2020-07-02_texte_119-2020_neuropa_de_0.pdf

3.7 Steckbrief: Biozyklisch-veganer Anbau
Kategorie: Vorleistung, Produktion
Beschreibung: Der biozyklisch-vegane Anbau (auch ›veganer Ökolandbau‹ oder ›bio-vegane Landwirtschaft‹), im Englischen ›Biocyclic vegan farming‹, ›biodynamic vegan agriculture‹ oder ›veganic agriculture‹ (als Kombination von ›vegan‹ und ›organic‹), verzichtet beim ökologischen Anbau veganer Lebensmittel vollständig auf Tierhaltung und den Einsatz tierischer oder synthetischer Betriebsmittel. Damit entfällt beispielsweise die Verwendung von Gülle, Mist, Jauche oder Schlachtabfällen als Düngemittel.
Ziel und Innovation: Der Großteil landwirtschaftlicher Betriebe setzt bei der Produktion veganer Lebensmittel auf den Einsatz tierischer oder synthetischer Düngemittel. Auch die biologische Landwirtschaft ist häufig mit Nutztierhaltung verbunden. Beim Bioverband Demeter ist die Haltung von Raufutterfressern sogar verpflichtend und kann nur in Ausnahmefällen entfallen124. Durch die Tierhaltung entstehen weltweit massive Umweltschäden, die über einen erhöhten Flächenbedarf, die Schädigung von Boden und Grundwasser bis hin zu negativen Auswirkungen auf das Klima reichen. Laut einer Studie der FAO sind über 14 Prozent der weltweiten, durch den Menschen verursachten Treibhausgase auf die Tierhaltung zurückzuführen125.
Gleichzeitig ist die Nachfrage nach vegetarischen und veganen Produkten auch in Deutschland messbar. Den Daten des Instituts für Demoskopie Allensbach zufolge, handelt es sich bei 7,6 % der Verbraucher und Verbraucherinnen um „Vegetarier oder Leute, die weitgehend auf Fleisch verzichten“126. Weitere 1,1 % sind „Veganer oder Leute, die weitgehend auf tierische Produkte verzichten“. Häufig sind sich diese Konsumenten und Konsumentinnen veganer Lebensmittel nicht darüber bewusst, dass auch diese Lebensmittel im engeren Sinne überwiegend nicht-vegan produziert werden. In der Regel werden Betriebsmittel tierischen Ursprungs, wie Blut-, Horn-, Haar-, Feder- oder Knochenmehle verwendet. Die gesundheitlichen Bedenken dieser ökologischen Düngerpellets sind groß. Sie können mit Keimen, Antibiotika und Schwermetallen belastet sein. Beim biozyklisch-veganen Anbau wird auf tierischen Dünger und Betriebsmittel tierischen Ursprungs komplett verzichtet.127 Stattdessen wird ein hoher Wert auf einen gezielten Humusaufbau auf pflanzlicher Basis gelegt, der über Kompostierung in Verbindung mit Gründüngung und Mulchen erreicht werden kann. Stammen die für den Humusaufbau verwendeten Pflanzenreste dabei aus dem eigenen Betrieb, der Gemeinde oder der Region, so ergeben sich dadurch ebenso kürzere Transportwege. Die Bodenfruchtbarkeit soll zudem durch eine abwechslungsreiche Fruchtfolge, Mischkulturen und den Anbau von Leguminosen wie Kleegras, Lupinen oder Erbsen gefördert werden.
Ein Feldversuch in Griechenland konnte zeigen, dass auf lange Sicht der Stickstoffgehalt sowie der Gehalt weiterer Pflanzennährstoffe in der aus Oliventrester-Kompost hervorgegangenen Humuserde ansteigen128. Da die Nährstoffe in der Humuserde nicht mehr wasserlöslich seien, stünden sie der Pflanze vollständig zur Verfügung ohne eine Überdüngung herbeizuführen, so
124 Demeter e.V. (o.J.) Richtlinien 2020. S. 54. https://www.demeter.de/sites/default/files/richtlinien/richtlinien_gesamt.pdf (27.01.2020)
125 Gerber, P.J. et al. (2013): Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome. S. 15.
126 INSTITUT FÜR DEMOSKOPIE ALLENSBACH (o.J.). AW A 2016. Allensbacher Marktanalyse Werbeträgeranalyse CODEBUCH. S. 80. https://www.ifd- allensbach.de/fileadmin/AWA/AWA2016/Codebuchausschnitte/AWA2016_Codebuch_Essen_Trinken_Rauchen.pdf (27.01.2020) 127 Vegconomist (2019): Im Interview mit dem Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau e.V. über die Bio-vegane Landwirtschaft. 31.Oktober 2019. https://vegconomist.de/interviews/im-interview-mit-dem-foerderkreis-biozyklisch-veganer-anbau-e-v-ueber- die-bio-vegane-landwirtschaft/ (27.01.2020)
128 Biocyclic Park Kalamata, IFOAM ABM 2017. (2017). https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=_HPCm- 5acI0&feature=emb_logo, (27.01.2020)
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TEXTE Nischeninnovationen in Europa zur Transformation des Ernährungssystems – NEuropa
Dr. Johannes Eisenbach, Vorstand vom Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau e.V.129. Eine Studie zum Anbau von Tomaten bestätigt diese Beobachtungen. Tomatenpflanzen, die in Humuserde wuchsen warfen einen bis zu 45% höheren Ertrag, als Pflanzen, die gar nicht oder mit anorganischem Düngemittel behandelt wurden130. Zudem verbessert sich die Pflanzengesundheit und durch die Humuserde kann mehr Kohlenstoff im Boden gebunden werden. 131

 

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