One kilogram of beef is the source of around 60 kilograms of greenhouse gases (CO2-equivalents), mostly methane. Likewise, cows’ milk leaves a weighty footprint. A highly potent greenhouse gas, in a twenty-year timespan, methane has a warming potential up to 80 times that of CO2. On average, a single cow releases over 250 liters of methane per day – making cows a conspicuous contributor to global warming.
Livestock farming and the meat industry are responsible for 18% of total global greenhouse gas emissions and over half of what the food sector emits. In tandem with rice production, livestock accounts for over one-third of the human-based methane sources, contributing to atmospheric methane concentrations 2.5 times higher than before the Industrial Revolution.