Why cows are getting a bad rap in lab-grown meat debate
Advocacy / Biotechnology / Climate Change / Consumption / Environment / News clipping / Nutrition / Opinion piece / Policy / Rangelands / USA / Water

Why cows are getting a bad rap in lab-grown meat debate

The narrative posited by cultured meat proponents is that animal agriculture requires large amounts of land and water and produces high levels of greenhouse gases (GHG). The environmental impacts of a product, such as a beef hamburger, is then compared to the anticipatory ones for producing a cultured hamburger patty through tissue engineering-based cellular agriculture. While it is true that conventional meat production has a large environmental footprint, the problem with this dichotomous framing is that it overlooks the rest of the story. Continue reading

Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate
Advocacy / Climate Change / Consumption / Environment / News clipping / Opinion piece / Policy

Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate

As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it. A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, as I will show. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change. Continue reading

‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought—and could help spare habitats
Agriculture / Climate Change / Crops / Dairying / Environment / Farming Systems / Intensification / Science paper

‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought—and could help spare habitats

New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species—provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland. Continue reading

FAO on the common but flawed comparisons of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and transport
Advocacy / Climate Change / Environment / Opinion piece / Policy / Pro-Poor Livestock

FAO on the common but flawed comparisons of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and transport

Livestock experts Anne Mottet and Henning Steinfeld, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), warn of the pitfalls of simplification when looking at greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and transport are often compared, but in a flawed way. Continue reading

Four major livestock investment opportunities highlighted at Burkina Faso national planning conference
Animal Production / Burkina Faso / Environment / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / Presentation / Pro-Poor Livestock / Research / SLS

Four major livestock investment opportunities highlighted at Burkina Faso national planning conference

Augustine Ayantunde, the ILRI regional representative in West Africa, presented investment opportunities to enhance the productivity of Burkina Faso’s livestock sector, based on decades of ILRI and partner research in the West African Sahel. Continue reading

One-size-fits-all ‘livestock less’ measures will not serve some one billion smallholder livestock farmers and herders
Advocacy / Biodiversity / Communications / Crop-Livestock / Environment / Food Security / Nutrition / Opinion piece / Policy / Pro-Poor Livestock

One-size-fits-all ‘livestock less’ measures will not serve some one billion smallholder livestock farmers and herders

Once again, the debate on sustainable diets and in particular on (not) eating animal-derived products is resurfacing in the media, as illustrated most recently by an article in The Guardian. The paper reported on a study by J. Poore and T. Nemecek entitled ‘Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers’, published in the latest edition of Science magazine. Continue reading