For more on the subject of how grass-farming and cattle will save the world, please read this article about Nicolette Hahn Niman's new book, Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat. Nicolette is a trained biologist, former environmental attorney for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeeper organization, the wife of rancher Bill Niman and, interestingly, also a vegetarian.
Ten reasons why 100% grass-fed/finished meat is better for the environment:
- Total emissions for greenhouse gases are 8 percent lower
- Ammonia emissions are reduced by 30 percent
- Reduces fuel use, as well as the carbon dioxide emissions from farm equipment (grass is solar powered)
- Converting cropland to grassland captures carbon in the soil, substantially reducing the carbon footprint
- Compared to land used to grow feed stock (soy and corn), grassland greatly reduces erosion and flooding.
- Improves water quality because of the huge drop in sediment erosion caused from growing feed stock (corn and soy)
- Feeding animals grass greatly reduces manure and fertilizer runoff, thereby significantly reducing phosphorous in the water
- Since fertilizer is not used to grow feed stock, there's no runoff causing huge algae blooms, "dead-zones," in the oceans
- Since manure lagoons or piles are unnecessary, there's no pathogen runoff that pollutes the water system or stinks up the air
- Grass feeding benefits wildlife, since it encourages biodiversity of native grasses rather than monoculture with barren winter fields [ii]
The choice is clear – 100% grass-fed/finished meat is the environmentally conscious way to eat.
Feel good about the meat you eat.