losing trump

for four very long years

a thick, blinding fog of hate 

blanketed the landscape

from ocean to ocean

no one could escape

raging dark clouds above

suffocating liberal life below

returning us to an unequal past

ending decades of progress

with freedom to openly detest

minorities and immigrants

classism, sexism and racism 

masking as right-wing populism

november 3rd arrived

resistance was on the line

to stop the right-wing tea party

la raza showed up in arizona

brothas and sistas turned out

in michigan, georgia & pennsylvania

the orange menace lost

biden and harris won

what a mega relief

this clown's election defeat

progressives can take a breath

after four hair-raising years

suffering from maga grief

a con's tsunami of lies

from morning to eve

a 24-hour media spectacle 

celebration of mediocrity

feelings and certitude of ignorance

racist signaling day and night

to the low-melanin, christian base 

from obama's birthergate

and 'grab 'em by the pussy'

to chants of 'lock her up'

and 'build that wall'

from a muslim travel ban

'people from shithole countries'

and mass roundups by ICE

to family separation at the border

putting children in cages

revoking protected status

for immigrants facing persecution

stopping asylum-seekers

and ending DACA

from 'good people on both sides'

leaving the paris accord

and environmental rollbacks

to ignoring the 'chinese plague'

and 'stop the steal'

the buffoon dance is over

after taking a deep breath

the left must begin to agitate

organize like never before

because the populist tea party is ongoing

70 million raging maga dancers 

await another bigoted pied piper 

who can play them the same tune

Factory Farming is Not a Climate Solution

Meat Society: Number 9 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

There are vast numbers of problems with animal-based agribusiness. When added up, the negative consequences of industrialized livestock production far outweigh any positives. Yet, the international food authority, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) customary approach is to pursue well-tried, industrialized systems that, they argue, are essential to ‘‘maximize efficiency.’’

Avoidance of future environmental destruction the FAO's industry-friendly 'solutions' will create is seen as merely a matter of (i) improved surveillance, (ii) tighter regulations, (iii) further rigorous safety inspections, and (iv) a generally inflated bureaucracy. The fundamental, unchallenged, principle is that the desire to maximize financial profit is the driver of the whole food chain. This does not translate to broad-based recommendations that are 'climate-friendly' or environmentally 'sustainable'.(636)

The UN organization's efficiency strategies are primarily market-based and tied to multinational banks and trading companies that control the funding of high protein feed, livestock production supply chains, and distribution networks owned by transnational food corporations (TFCs). Moreover, the FAO bureaucracy completely ignores growing consumer awareness and concern that factory farming treats animals like production machines, rather than individual sentient beings with welfare needs.

In contrast, pet animals are considered as full subjects with names and personalities, worthy of affection and protection by several UN agencies. Factory farming involves intensive techniques on mostly female animals. The food animal industry is characterized by the use of cages, overcrowded sheds, and barren outdoor feedlots. Each creature is a mere production unit in intensive factories, where feeding is practiced on a massive scale.

Industrial animal agriculture involves the use of fast-growing or high-yield livestock breeds where the animals are subjected to painful production practices and prone to production-related diseases. Factory farming is energy-intensive, using concentrated feed and high mechanization. Similar to industrial feed production, factory farms have low labor requirements. The FAO 2013's recommendation for 30 percent mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are not as effective as curtailing demand. 

One review of global, regional and national levels of food's GHG outflows show that, in addition to technological mitigation, it will be necessary to shift consumption patterns, in particular away from diets rich in GHG-intensive animal-based and cow's milk products. This shift will be necessary not just in the developed North, but likewise, in the long term, in the developing world.(637)

Even if GHG discharges from food production were halved by 2050, and if 70 percent to 80 percent of the current forest carbon was preserved, global GHG pollution from other sectors still needed to peak before 2015. On top of that, total anthropogenic climate-altering gases will have to decrease 6.5 percent a year to limit planetary heating to 2˚C (3.6°F).(638)

The FAO 2013 report acknowledges that livestock's environmental problems "reflect weaknesses in institutions and policies." Yet, the international food agency remains completely silent on corporate governance and accountability. The UN authority only makes a token statement that safeguards should be in place to avoid the potential negative side-effect of efficiency gains.

Be that as it may, these 'safeguards' have done little in the past to prevent animal diseases, soil and water pollution, displacement, and so on. Repeatedly, safeguard language and criteria are used to justify expansion while they have little impact on deforestation, displacement, pollution, or the effects of large-scale expansion.

Given the difficulty of applying regulatory systems in the past, the likelihood of FAO's call for 'safeguards' being successfully enforced in the future is slim. The TFCs responsible for many of the existing problems have done little to deal with these problems.

Plus, the GHGs that will be generated in strengthening regulatory institutions and enforcing stricter policies are not part of FAO's calculations. Nor are the emissions released by cleanup efforts of the negative side-effects of efficiency taken into account. These outflows can dwarf all efficiency gains from this sector's emissions.

from Chapter 17: THE POLITICS OF MEAT, page 170

Animal Agribusiness Disorder

Meat Society: Number 8 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

In addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), there are dozens of grave concerns regarding livestock production. These concerns, listed below, are consequential and must be addressed. On top of that, they potently relate to climate warming since they often generate GHG pollution. For instance, rural displacement may stimulate increase of carbon footprints through migration to urban areas and adoption of animal-based diets.

Food animal production negatively impacts the following 19 areas: (1) the loss of forest and earth's sequestration capacity. This acerbates (2) resource scarcity, and (3) soil loss which is critical to food security. (4) The animal industry's water-use threatens food supply, security and human welfare. Factory farms are the number one consumer of water in drought-stricken California, for example.

(5) There is the moral issue of wasting calories. With a billion and upwards malnourished people, the production of animal protein is far less efficient than producing equivalent amounts of plant protein. (6) Particularly troubling is the trend toward greater intensification and industrial production methods without regard to animal welfare. Animal factory farming is a new phenomenon that has established itself as the predominant mode of food animal production.

(7) Another worry is the consolidation of ownership and the enormous power wielded by multinational trading companies over local and national governments. This unequal power impacts negatively on democracy, local control, accountability and oversight, sustainability disclosure, corporate governance, and policy changes.

(8) There are massive and widespread problems with land rights, rural unemployment, displacement, violence, inequality, poor working conditions, and other forms of exploitation related to the sector. (9) Another major concern is that vast numbers of livestock and feed crops are often located in remote areas with severe effects on the environment, such as deforestation and land degradation, that is causing a rapid loss of biodiversity.

(10) Food animal production is often located close to cities or ports, where insufficient land is available for processing the waste. This leads to soil, air and water pollution, which cause humans and animals to become prone to ill-health and disease. (11) Factory farming is the number one user of antibiotics in the US, up to 80 percent. This is causing bacterial resistance which defeats the use of these lifesaving drugs.

(12) Another anxiety is that factory farms are inevitably breeding dangerous new strains of bacteria. Factory farming is the number one reason for the rapid spread of bird flu (H5N2) and swine flu (H1N1). (13) A further concern relates to health effects of genetically modified crops, and residues from herbicides, like glyphosate.

(14) Stagnating crop yields is an immense worry. (15) So too are the effects of climate change, such as heat stress and disease, on the production and efficiency of food animals. And, (16) livestock over-consumption, and the effects of an animal-based diet on human health, are immense causes for concern as well.

(17) Nutrient flows in the earth system are instrumental to food security and short-term GHG discharges. Some scenarios project that by 2050 global crops will expand by 82 percent, and livestock production will soar upwards 115 percent from 2000 levels. This massive addition in nutrient pollution, land and water requirements will lead to intensifying global hunger, resource conflicts, and refugee crises.

In addition, (18) there is a multiplicity of concerns regarding dependency, distribution and corruption in the food supply. And, (19) a trend towards eating processed, animal-based foods produced in a different country multiplies GHG emissions per gram, and makes monitoring countries’ individual GHG pollution far trickier. These concerns, as well as others, present troubling perplexities for creating a just and sustainable food production system.

From Chapter 11: WHAT CRISIS? page 112

Addressing Livestock GHGs


(IPCC: Total GHG emissions from economic sectors in 2010. AFOLU is agriculture, forestry and land use.)

Meat Society: Number 7 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

Decarbonizing what we eat is just as important as decarbonizing what we drive or what we use to heat our homes. But animal agriculture is one of the most protected and supported industries in the world. National governments and international organizations shore up global economies, and the major domesticate producers who supply the world, regardless of environmental impact.

Peculiarly, greenhouse gas (GHG) discharges related to livestock production are generally attributed to the place of origin rather than the place of consumption. So efforts to shift consumption in a high animal consumption country might not lead to a reduction in its own emissions profile, which gives the country little incentive to act.

Moreover, livestock production is a valued livelihood and tradition in the heritage of many cultures across the globe. Small-scale animal husbandry is very different from industrial practices, but any efforts to encourage reductions in the industry is perceived as a threat to small farming and livestock heritage.

The upshot is animal agricultural being subsidized and protected far beyond its importance for national economies. And, when dietary guidelines begin to consider what we eat, especially dairy and animal carcass, powerful industry lobbies put their machines into motion, vilifying nutrition panels, scientists, advisers, and journalists.

Discussions, negotiations, and agreements regarding climate change refer to fossil fuels almost exclusively, and there is no question that oil, natural gas, and especially coal, are major sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). At the same time, the lifecycle and supply chain of domesticated animals have been vastly underestimated as a source of GHGs.

Is what we eat politically too hot to handle? Or, maybe it is simpler than this and due to a basic conflict of interests. After all, how many of the world’s leaders and climate negotiators are willing to follow a plant-based diet? The immense demand for food animals and industrialization of food animal production are deeply intertwined, and accordingly, both are perceived as normal and inevitable. 

Animal-based products are the preferred food for most of the world's populations, and efforts to control what others eat can be perceived as threatening. For many lower income countries, animal consumption is aspirational, so pushing for less animal carcass, cow's milk and chicken egg consumption, would make for a politically unpopular platform.

The point of de-legitimizing livestock over-consumption is not to divide the “good” people from the “bad people.” Rather, it is to recognize that what the majority once took as normal, or even “net beneficial,” has turned out to be “net detrimental” and needs to be re-conceived.

Most actions for mitigating climate chaos and slowing temperatures have relied on decreasing CO2 pollution over the long-term. A short-term solution to cut back short-lived GHGs by reducing animal consumption will permit appreciably greater time to implement long-term solutions of lowering CO2. This could cool the planet faster and cheaper, and help to avoid dangerous tipping points, than the current engrossment over CO2.

Replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing alteration of the climate. This intervention would have quicker effects on GHG releases and the pace of temperature advance, than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Climate warming is caused not only by what humans do in terms of burning fossil fuels, but by what humans eat as well. Admittedly, GHG pollution is released as an outcome of all diets, but they are much higher with animal-based foods. Human animals need to halt and reverse the destructive footprint of animal-based agriculture. And, humans need to farm the land much better. Agricultural improvement endeavors should give attention to places with a "yield gap," so larger magnitudes of food can be grown on the same quantity of land.

There are umpteen intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social and environmental organizations working on reducing GHGs from the fossil fuel industry. Hopefully, this will lead to major reductions in CO2 and CH4 discharges from oil, coal and gas production much earlier than 2100. The 2014 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis report warned that we must reduce fossil-base emissions to zero by 2100, or gamble with severe consequences.

Up to now, though, there are few international agencies or organizations working on reducing CO2, CH4, nitrous oxide (N2O), and other GHGs released from animal agriculture. Instead, livestock production is being actively promoted, and agricultural CO2 releases are set to double in 50 years.(71) Given opposite trajectories of fossil fuel and livestock industries, animal agriculture may well end up being much higher than 30 percent of GHG by 2050, and the leading contributor of GHGs by 2100.

Western countries consume the most animals, and their dietary preference for animal products is unsustainable. The consumption of animal flesh is steadily rising in countries such as China and India that once followed sustainable, vegetable-based diets to a large extent.(72) Only a few countries in the developed North are taking token steps at mitigation. To wit, UK dairy farmers have committed to making a 20 to 30 percent reduction of CO2, CH4, and N2O by 2020, based on 1990 levels.(73)

Even so, the US and other governments' policies are driving demand by encouraging the globalization of Western diets and consumption patterns through trade agreements, and by facilitating animal products at artificially low prices, via subsidies on livestock feed. The US alone spends $38 billion each year to subsidize cows raised for carcass and milk.

If humans bring down GHG pollution from livestock to a great extent, planetary heating could be curbed fairly quickly. By making the food system more efficient and by eating healthier food, humans can trim back GHG outflows from agriculture by up to 90 percent by 2030. That is the equivalent of removing all the cars in the world.(74)

Substantial global diminution in meat intake by 2050 could cut back agriculture related GHG discharges 50 percent (75), and as much as 80 percent, since producing 20 servings of vegetables causes less GHGs than one serving of cow carcass.(76) Lower demand for livestock products, combined with mitigation options in the agricultural sector, will lead to global agricultural non-CO2 releases of 2,519 CO2-e in 2055, which is an approximate halving of 1995 levels.(77)

Substituting food animal carcass with soy protein could bring down total human biomass appropriation in 2050 by 94 percent below 2000 levels, and greatly diminish other environmental impacts related to use of water, fertilizer, fossil fuel, and biocides. And curtailing animal products to 10 percent of the global human diet would enable future global populations to be fed on just the current area of agricultural lands.(78)

Personal action is consequential and everyday choices can lead to enormous improvement. The personal is political, and if individuals act with social responsibility in the present, the future can be a much brighter place for humans and nonhumans alike.

from Chapter 2: MEAT THE FUTURE, pages 19-20

Food Animals' GHGs

Meat Society: Number 6 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

The agriculture sector is responsible for at least 22 percent of total global manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, 80 percent of which comes from livestock production.(60) Despite the oversized footprint, animal products account for only one-third of global human protein consumption.

Eating local food makes environmental sense when we buy seasonal fruit and vegetables from local farmers. But the tendency is to overemphasize food miles and underemphasize other impacts. There is no support for claims that local food is universally superior to non-local food in terms of its impact on the climate or the health of consumers.(61)

On average, transport accounts for just 11 percent of the GHG pollution caused by the food industry. So beans and pulses shipped from the other side of the world can cause far lower impacts than locally produced animal carcass, cow's milk, and chicken eggs. In the UK, GHG releases per item of food would probably be greater under self-sufficiency than under the current food system.

There are many factors that add up to making animal-based agribusiness one of the largest GHG emitter, and driver of deforestation and ocean acidification. In essence, the sector is a major component of all three major sources of GHGs – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Both CH4 and N2O are especially dangerous because they are potent shorter-lived climate forcers that cause accelerated heating. These gases can push the climate to dangerous thresholds, or tipping points, for habitability.

The GHGs generated from a full life cycle of animal products adds up to an extraordinary volume of climate-altering gases. And, since livestock production is the main cause of deforestation, and thereby a reduction of earth's CO2 sequestration capacity, the sector's impact is far greater than its direct releases of GHGs.

This article argues that animal-based agribusiness is responsible for at least 30 percent of all GHGs. For example, in regards to CO2 releases, the food animal sector consumes most of the world’s grain and water, and produces the most waste, and is the main cause of the 26 percent that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 2014 Emissions Gap Report attributed to agriculture (11 percent), forestry (11 percent) and waste (4 percent).(62)

In addition, the livestock sector adds some part of the 39 percent of CO2 that UNEP attributed to industry (18 percent), transport (13 percent), and buildings (8 percent). In addition, there are CO2 releases from respiration, pollution, illness, and other aspects of the lifecycle of animals and their by-products.

For methane (CH4) discharges, livestock waste and digestive process are a major part of UNEP's 2014 estimate of 16 percent of the total manmade GHGs attributed to this gas. Methane is released from livestock production and fracking by the fossil fuel industry. And, in regards to nitrous oxide (N2O), the fertilizer used for animal feed is the main source of UNEP's 2014 estimate of 6 percent attributable to this gas. 

Most of the food animal sector's CH4 and N2O outflows come from manure and fertilizers used to produce feed for the animals. In addition, CH4 is produced from enteric fermentation, a digestive process that causes animals to release methane by exhaling, belching, or excreting gas.

Animal products, both flesh and cow's milk, require extra resources and cause additional GHG pollution compared to plant-based alternatives. Animal production entails colossal energy losses since only 4 percent of crops grown for livestock turn into edible carcass.(63) And 1 kg (2.2 lb) of animal protein requires 6 Kg (13.2 lb) of plant protein.(64) In a comparison of GHGs, protein from cows generates 40 times the global warming of beans, and 10 times that of chickens.(65)

It takes, on average, 28 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of meat protein for human consumption. In comparison, it takes only 3.3 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of protein from grain for human consumption.(66)

Nitrous oxide from fields and methane from livestock are projected to rise from 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 2000 to 13 GTCO2e in 2070. This is greater than all human activities combined can safely produce without exceeding 2°C of planetary heating. And, land use modifications and the carbon footprint from animal-feed were not even incorporated in these calculations. So dietary transformations are crucial for meeting the 2°C target.(67)

Both CH4 and N2O are rising faster than CO2, and livestock is a main source for each potent GHG. Global agricultural non-CO2 releases will climb significantly until 2055 if food energy consumption and food preferences remain constant at the level of 1995. Non-CO2 GHGs will climb quicker with enhanced incomes, due to its link to greater food energy consumption and dietary preferences towards higher value foods, like animal flesh and cow's milk.(68)

Yet, if the demand for livestock products is reduced by 25 percent each decade from 2015 to 2055, this will lead to lower non-CO2 emissions even compared to 1995. Notably, reduced animal consumption was determined to be of greater effectiveness than technological mitigation options.

Over the past 50 years, the global food system has become heavily dependent on cheap water and energy, nitrate fertilizers, chemical herbicides, pharmaceutical drugs, and so on. At the same time, production, trade, and processing are progressively being controlled by a smaller handful of transnational food corporations (TFCs).

In a global corporate-controlled food system, governments and regulations are co-opted, and profits come before people and planet. The industry is the recipient of massive state subsidies and support and has vast influence over media, national and international agencies.

From local to global, livestock is one of the top contributors of serious environmental problems.(69) Despite this, there are few cases of the industry being held responsible for any of the problems it creates. Case in point, the USDA estimates that 89 percent of US cow carcass ground into patties contains traces of the deadly E. coli strain.(70) Yet, the animal-based agribusinesses are not held accountable for illness or treatment for the life-threatening diseases they cause.

Alarmingly, many of the world’s recent pollution problems and health pandemics have stemmed from corporate-controlled factory farms. As a ramification of livestock production, there have been decades of deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss and extinction, rural conflict and displacement, herbicide and waste pollution, water shortage, air pollution, dead zones, chronic diseases, global warming, and so on.

In spite of its multiple hazards, uncertainties over GHGs from animal-based agribusiness relates to the fact that while most of fossil fuel emissions are measured and accounted for, this is not the case with the livestock sector. And while eating tofu dogs will not correct everything that is wrong with the atmosphere and planet, ignoring livestock's GHG pollution and effects will make a monstrous problem much worse.

from Chapter 2: MEAT THE FUTURE, pages 18-19

Food's Footprint

Meat Society: Number 5 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157)http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

Animal agriculture has an enormous greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, and is the second main source of climate-altering gases. In the EU, for instance, 29 percent of all consumption-derived GHG emissions are food related. This almost 1/3 figure does not include discharges from goods produced within the EU and exported.(50)

There is overwhelming evidence that animal-based diets cause greater planetary heating than plant-based foods, but there are differences in GHG production. The environmental costs per calorie of dairy, chickens, pigs, and eggs are strikingly lower than the impacts of cows - the production of which requires 28, 11, 5, and 6 times the sum of land, irrigation water, GHG, and nitrogen, respectively, than the other livestock categories. On top of that, plant foods use two to six-fold lower land, GHG, and nitrogen than even those of the non-cow animal-derived calories.(51)

Greater trade liberalization, like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will lead to higher economic benefits for some, and come at the expense of the poor, the environment and the climate if no other regulations and safeguards are put in place. In addition, mounting demand for agricultural goods will intensify the pressure on global water resources over the coming decades.(52)

Deforestation, mainly in Latin America, leads to remarkable amounts of additional carbon pollution due to trade liberalization. In the future, non-CO2 outflows will mostly shift to China due to comparative advantages in livestock production and rising demand for animal products in the region.(53)

Eliminating all CO2 pollution from the energy and transportation sectors is not enough to stop global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that agriculture, land use, land-use modification, and forestry total around 23 percent of total manmade GHGs. This means that powerful GHGs from food and agriculture - mainly nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural soils, and methane (CH4) from livestock - will continue to cause planetary heating.(54) 

Excessive nutrient flows cause eutrophication, worsens biodiversity loss, and exacerbates transformation of the climate. Eutrophication is the ecosystem's response to the addition of inorganic plant nutrients, especially phosphates and nitrates, through detergents, fertilizers, or sewage. One example, is the "bloom", or great increase, of phytoplankton in a water body. Negative environmental effects include hypoxia, the depletion of oxygen in the water, which may cause death to aquatic animals. 

Nitrous oxide is the third biggest contributor to manmade climate warming, and although there is far less in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it is a salient greenhouse gas for three reasons. First, it is very efficient at absorbing energy; second, it stays in the atmosphere for a long time; and third, it is the most significant ozone-depleting substance in the atmosphere. Once emitted, nitrous oxide stays in the atmosphere for about 120 years. Nitrous oxide (N2O) lasts a long time, and for over 100 years, each molecule has a warming impact almost 300 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2), and around 9 times greater than methane (CH4). And, N2O outflows could double by 2050.(55)

A 2013 Worldwatch Institute report estimated that global greenhouse gas pollution from the agricultural sector totaled 4.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e) in 2010, up 13 percent over 1990.(56) A 2006 report from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showed that the global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector.

The world’s livestock population is expected to increase 76 percent by 2050, with a 65 percent surge in demand for cow's milk. And, remarkably, 80 percent of growth in the sector comes from industrial production systems. Currently, mirroring their fossil fuel releases, the world’s largest food animal consumers are China, EU, US and Brazil.(57)

The FAO's 2013 follow-up livestock report reiterated that livestock is the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector. The food agency's newer assessment was limited to direct farm discharges, but it still estimated that the animal food industry produce 14.5 percent of total anthropogenic climate-altering gases, which is in excess of all forms of transportation.(58)

The FAO figure still places the animal food industry at second place, after energy production, in terms of global manmade GHG pollution. A 2010 UNEP report likewise showed that animal products caused greater damage than producing construction minerals, such as sand or cement, plastics or metals.

In 2009, one of the World Bank's most distinguished environmental assessment experts, Dr. Robert Goodland, wrote a thought-provoking research paper estimating that the lifecycle and supply chain of animal-based meats, egg products, and dairy products accounted for at least 51 percent of manmade global GHGs.(59) One of the main reasons for the difference between the FAO and Goodland's GHG figures is that the FAO's 15 percent estimate is a partial assessment that only takes into account GHG discharges from the farming part of animal-based agriculture.

In fact, all of the lower 11 to 18 percent GHG estimates do not represent a full life-cycle GHG analysis of the animal food industry. These lower assessments end at the farm-gate and, therefore, exclude downstream GHGs from transportation, food processing, packaging, and sale of food animal products. Goodland's 51 percent estimate encompass these post-farm emissions, which are critical to assessing the total contributions of the animal food industry to global warming.

While the pathways between anthropogenic climate-altering gases and planetary heating are complex, and emissions are not equivalent to warming, there is still a strong correlation between livestock GHG releases and planetary heating. After energy production, animal-based agribusiness is the second, and possibly the main source of manmade climate warming pollution. The evidence for this is presented in Parts II and III of the book, Meat Climate Change.

In contrast, if we limit human activity and livestock production in the tropical forests of the world, this could play a valuable role in helping to curb the rise in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Preventing further losses of carbon from our tropical forests must remain a high priority.

From Chapter 2: MEAT THE FUTURE, pages 16-17

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