Livestock’s Shrinking (U.S.) Shadow
No question about it: The 2006 United Nations report Livestock’s Long Shadow put a new jolt into animal-rights and other anti-meat campaigns. (Examples? Click here, here, here, and here.) The report’s claim that 18 percent of global greenhouse gases are caused by animal agriculture has become a rallying cry for activists whose fondest wish is to weld the animal rights and environmental movements into one giant behemoth to remake the way we eat. But something has always smelled a little funny about that “18 percent,” and this week a New Zealand meat company helped us put our finger on it.
The Marlborough Express reports that the company’s marketing manager spoke with Pierre Gerber, a livestock policy officer who co-authored the UN report. And Gerber apparently agreed that “18 percent” was a generalization that might not apply to every country.
“Buried in the report,” writes Express reporter Jon Morgan, “is the information that deforestation—mainly in the Amazonian rainforest—is included in that figure. Without it, livestock's contribution falls to less than 12 per cent.”
They don’t clearcut or burn down forests for pasture land in New Zealand, you see. And neither do we in the United States. Read More
Most anti-animal agriculture groups love to quote the UN study about agriculture emissions. They have never agreed with the EPA numbers and seemed unbelievable. It seems when you use their own data, we find out why their numbers don’t work. When you eliminate all of the things US agriculture isn’t actually responsible for, we finally see the truth.