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Beef Eaters Are A Major Threat To The Earth

By James Donahue

We have known that the cost of raising cows to produce meat as a food commodity is so high that it is non-productive when it comes to feeding the hungry people on this planet.

A recent news clipping not only gives statistics that bear this out, but shows how cattle ranches to produce meat also are generating deadly greenhouse gas.

The article notes that Japanese scientists used a range of data to calculate that producing 2.2 pounds of beef generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car non-stop for three hours.

The story in New Scientist magazine noted that most of the greenhouse gas emissions are in the form of methane released from the cow's digestive systems. But more than two-thirds of the energy used goes for producing and transporting cattle feed. That is because farmers use tractors and gasoline or diesel-powered harvesters to grow the feed, and trucks to transport it.

The scientists said they calculated the energy used in all of the processes involved in growing, feeding, slaughtering and processing the meat, then packaging and distributing it for retail sale, and determined that four average sized steaks generated greenhouse gases with a warming potential equal to 80.25 pounds of carbon dioxide.

They calculate then that a 2.2 pound serving of beef is responsible for the same amount of greenhouse gas as the carbon dioxide released from a car traveling 50 miles an hour for 155 miles. The same amount of energy would light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days.

"Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints," said Su Taylor, press officer for the Vegetarian Society. "One of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."

Indeed, we have advocated a vegetarian diet for years, based upon the knowledge that cows all over the world are being fed dangerous hormones, antibiotics and bone marrow from slaughter houses to fatten them up faster and raise profit margins for the industry. The appearance of mad cow disease, believed caused by the cannibalized diet from other carcasses, is only one of the side effects of remaining on a meat diet.

That we also inherit the cellular memory of the animals we feed upon when we consume parts of animals that die in terror in modern slaughterhouses, is yet another cause for alarm.

Thanks to the work of this team of Japanese scientists, we now have an even stronger case for saving the animals.