Too, Too Sullied Flesh
Meat production spews more greenhouse gases than a three-hour joyride
The next time you chomp a hamburger, think of this: the process of getting that beef to your bun may have spewed more greenhouse-gas emissions than leaving all your house lights blazing while taking a three-hour joyride in your car. Researchers looked at beef production in Japan and its impact on climate, water, and energy, and came up with sobering statistics. Wanna hear more? Not including transportation of meat from farm to store, production of 2.2 pounds of beef (OK, yes, that’s a big burger) also spews the same amount of CO2 as an average European car driven 155 miles, and uses enough energy to keep a 100-watt light bulb bright for nearly 20 days. Methane-heavy cow burps and farts comprise most of the greenhouse-gas emissions; two-thirds of the energy used by the industry goes to producing and transporting feed. What could be done? Improve waste management, the study authors say, or shorten the interval between calving. Or, if we may suggest something totally crazy: Stop eating so much meat.