Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Climate Change and Animal Agriculture

James O'Donovan has written an in-depth 4-part report on how animal agriculture is exacerbating climate change.

Download the full report as a pdf here (8.6 MB) 

Part 1 – Overview 

This section presents some background information on the global carbon and methane cycles, current global emissions and future emission projections, GHG emissions by sector and by gas type, a comparison of the GHG emissions of different foods, global warming potential, and the emissions of the large meat and dairy companies. 

You can download this as a pdf here (6.2MB) 

Part 2 – Animal Agriculture Emissions 

This section explores in detail the contribution of Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Changes to GHG emissions.  We highlight the assumptions the IPCC makes in its calculations.  We bring together information from the FAO and the UNDP to arrive at an estimate for the total food system emissions and the contribution of animal agriculture.  This estimate includes emissions from deforestation, the fossil fuels used in the food system and from food waste.  We also include estimates for soil carbon emissions and biomass used for animal feeds. 

You can download this as a pdf here (1.1MB) 

Part 3 – Solutions to Climate Change 

This section outlines the various solutions to reverse climate change.  All GHG emissions in the atmosphere can be sequestered by converting to a vegan diet and reforesting 41% of the land currently used for grazing.  The conversion of the existing entire fossil fuel sector to renewable energy WILL NOT REMOVE ANY GHG from the atmosphere and is estimated to cost $53 trillion.  It will dramatically reduce annual emissions and significantly reduce air pollution.  We explain why biomass and biofuels produce at least double the GHG emissions of fossil fuels and are not a climate change solution.  Finally we outline the social and cultural potential of veganism to stimulate a non-violent transition that can completely reverse climate change. 

You can download this as a pdf here (0.9MB)

Part 4 – Climate Change and Animal Agriculture Research Papers 

The final section presents a selection of research papers that illustrate how Veganism and re-wilding have the potential to reverse Climate Change, save millions of human lives, restore damaged forests and ecosystems and stop the 6th Mass Extinction of wildlife.  Of particular importance is the paper, The Lifestyle Carbon Dividend, which shows that climate change can be completely reversed by a transition to a vegan diet and reforestation.  The other research papers highlight various issues including the negative impacts of animal agriculture subsidies and the incredible inefficency of food and protein production by farm animals.  They also highlight the human health, climate change and ecosystem benefits of a transition to a plant based diet.   

You can download this as a pdf here (1.7MB) 


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