Australians who want to make a dent in climate change just need to eat more kangaroo, says a new study in the journal Conservation Letters. The methane-producing burps and farts of sheep and cattle contribute 11 percent of Australia’s annual greenhouse-gas emissions. Kangaroos, however, emit little methane. Researchers say that 175 million kangaroos could produce the meat of 7 million cattle and 36 million sheep, and a switch-to-roo by 2020 could lower Australia’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 3 percent each year. They also note that reducing the number of hard-hoofed livestock tramping around would reduce soil erosion. While some farmers think of ‘roos as pests, getting most Aussies on board would require “large cultural and social adjustments and reinvestment,” says the study, noting such wee potential problems as “protective legislation and the status of kangaroos as a national icon.”
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