Can we save the world by eating chicken?
September 7, 2007 9:55pm CST
My reasoning is that it would take less food, less land and it would create less pollution if we only had chicken as livestock. Facts and Figures According to the United Nations, the livestock sector (primarily cows, sheeps, chickens, and pigs) emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to our most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. Livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture, or 30% of the land surface of the planet.It is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases—responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5% of the CO2. It produces 65% of human-related nitrous oxide (which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2) and 37% of all human-induced methane (which is 23 times as warming as CO2). It also generates 64% of the ammonia, which contributes to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems. What do you think? Or even better... Replace our pastures with large articial lakes and breed fishes for our consumption. That sound like a good idea to me...
2 people like this
9 Sep 07
Your theory may be good. But do you think we can produce enough chickens so that they can be consumed by the whole world population? To produce chicken, we also need to grow other grains (chicken need to eat grains, don't they?).
10 Sep 07
Well... I do agree that you would need to produce enormous quantities of chicken to replace meat. On the plus side... they do grow a lot faster and take less land. Sheep and cattle are also eating grain. Furthermore... with the drought conditions in Australia... those sheeps have been hand feed for the last 15 months I have been here. I am on an 1400 acres properties... and there is not enough grass on it to support 700 sheeps. Imagine how many chickens you could have on 1400 acres... More than enough to replace the meat of 700 sheeps... However... it was just a theoretical question. It is not likely to happen. People like their meat far too much.
10 Sep 07
Well that would work for me because I prefer chicken over beef or pork anyway. While you are working to resolve some of our environmental concerns...why don't we increase consumption of alternative protein sources such as soy, lentil beans, rice, nuts seeds..etc. Why grow the food and feed it to the animals that we have to slaughter. If we did that...and ate more chicken..together we may have one great solution. Hmmm...great minds think alike...lets keep the flow going!LOL Raia
9 Sep 07
That's such a great theory. And chicken is so much nicer to eat. But i guess there'd be people out there that don't like eating chicken. I hope it doesnt happen though, because my partner works on a beef feedlot, and well, if there was no beef, there'd be no job for him!
13 Sep 07
The Sydney Morning Herald of today confirm my story six days later. (laugh) Less meat means less heat. It's a slogan that leading scientists hope will catch on worldwide, part of a call for people to reduce consumption of meat and dairy products to slow the pace of climate change. Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, a team of international health experts led by Tony McMichael warns that the world's growing appetite for meat is increasing greenhouse gas emissions, as vast areas of rainforest are bulldozed for grazing land and as more sheep and cattle burp. Professor McMichael teaches at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, Canberra. The study says that people in wealthy countries should more than halve their daily meat intake - particularly red meat - over the next 40 years to stop emissions rising even further, with the long-term goal of cutting average meat consumption worldwide to 90 grams a day by 2050. Agriculture contributes nearly a quarter of the world's greenhouse pollution, overwhelmingly from livestock production. People living in developed countries such as Australia eat roughly their own weight in meat every year, consuming more than 80 kilograms each, or about 224 grams a day. That is the equivalent of almost two quarter-pounder burgers every day. The daily average in developing countries is 47 grams. Professor McMichael and his colleagues argue that "for the world's higher-income populations, greenhouse-gas emissions from meat eating warrants the same scrutiny as do those from driving and flying". Their study does not advocate that people stop eating meat entirely, but recommends reducing red meat consumption and switching to chicken and fish. The study also points out that reducing red meat consumption would have health benefits for many Westerners, including potentially lowering the risk of several types of cancer. "Assuming a 40 per cent increase in global population by 2050 and no advance in livestock-related greenhouse gas reduction practices, global meat consumption would have to fall to an average of 90 grams per day just to stabilise emissions in this sector," the paper says. "A substantial contract in meat consumption in high-income countries should benefit health, mainly by reducing the risk of ... heart disease ... obesity, colorectal cancer and, perhaps some other cancers. An increase in the consumption of animal products in low-intake populations, towards the proposed global mean figure, should also benefit health." Livestock production, including transport of livestock and feed, account for nearly 80 per cent of agricultural emissions, mainly in the form of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. At present, the global average meat consumption is 100 grams per person per day, which varies from 200-250 grams in rich countries to 20-25 grams in poor countries. The global average should be cut to 90 grams per day by 2050, with rich nations working to progressively scale down their meat consumption to that level while poor nations would do more to boost their consumption, the authors propose. Not more than 50 grams per day should come from red meat provided by cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants. A spokesperson for the Australian Meat Industry Council was not available for comment. On a recent visit to Melbourne, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, endorsed calls to eat less meat, saying it was a simple but effective way for individuals to reduce their contribution to global warming. According to a study published in July by Japanese scientists, a kilogram of beef generates the equivalent of 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide, more than the equivalent of driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on back home. http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/limit-meat-eating-to-tackle-climate-change-study/2007/09/13/1189276861060.html
14 Sep 07
I've known for a long time that meat production is one of the most inefficient forms of protein production. I can't remember the exact figures but weight per weight soya and other bean foods contain about twice as much protein than meat and are far healthier because they contain cholesterol related fats. It is for these reasons that I am a vegetarian. Chicken is already the most popular meat in the world and there are lots of questions about the way it is produced and the quality of the food.