Arguments For Beef Farming

Cows are special, because they can do something that most animals can’t.

Cows can eat only grass, and grow enormous.

In parts of the world where people have very little, cows are amazing - they can take seemingly useless, infertile grassland, and turn it into milk, beef, leather and even power to pull ploughs.

If you look at the Sahel region in Africa, where there are humans clinging to life with barely any resources, a cow is an incredible thing.

But in places where food is plentiful, industrial-scale farming of beef is not only a ridiculously inefficient way to make protein, it’s also extremely damaging for the environment.

Protein Density

Beef is a very protein-rich food, and for some people in the world, without eating beef, they might not be able to get enough protein...

...but for most of us this isn't the case.

In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re very possibly in a part of the world where almost 50% of food is thrown away before it's eaten.

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Food being thrown away is the biggest tragedy when it's meat, because it's so expensive in terms of the burden it puts on the planet.

If you have meat, value it. Never bin it.

Cows And Roots

When cows eat grass, there’s evidence that the grass puts down deeper roots, storing more carbon dioxide in the soil...

…but for this to happen, the grazing has to be very gentle, and regularly rotated as well.

All too often, grazing is too intense, and the overall effect is that grassland is damaged more than it’s fortified.

Even in cases where the grazing is gentle, the absorbing effect doesn’t even come close to offsetting all of the emissions from farming beef (despite numerous claims otherwise).

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This is because, cows produce methane (a greenhouse gas 86x more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years), and because if the beef farms didn’t exist, the land could often be forest instead.

At the moment, 10% of net greenhouse gas emissions globally can be traced to forests being turned into farmland.

It’s true that some regions wouldn’t ever be forests and, if left undisturbed, would remain grassland. In these places perhaps there’s some argument for grazing cattle making up for some of their damage by causing deeper root growth…

…but do we have to use all grassland for growing our food, when we already have so much food?

Wild grasslands are important for supporting and protecting the marvellous biodiversity that surrounds us and is rapidly disappearing.