Don Wolf

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Don Wolf
Posted over 2 years ago
True or false; feeding 9 billion without destroying the environment necessitates plant based diets excluding meat and dairy.
As far as the livestock methane production, the greenhouse gases produced by cultivated agriculture are not insignificant. Agriculture and soil management activities such as fertilizer application and other cropping practices account for 68% of all US NO2 emissions. (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/ghgemissions/US-GHG-Inventory-2012-Chapter-6-Agriculture.pdf) Livestock are responsible for approximately 21% of the US anthropogenic methane emissions. (same source) Discounting meat and dairy as a contributor to world food supply is extremely short-sighted. An estimated 70% of the earth is arid or semi-arid rangeland. Much of this area is suitable for livestock grazing, but not for cultivated agriculture. In addition, when properly managed, livestock grazing does not produce the wholesale replacement of native ecosystems that is a requirement of nearly all cultivated agriculture. The proportion of plants in our diets may need to be increased, and we may need to change how we raise livestock in the developed world (grass-fed on pasture, rather than grain-fed in feedlots), but to exclude meat and dairy is to exclude an important resource for feeding the world's people.