Grass-fed cows can help save our planet!
By Nasar Ali, Jul 21 2013
Not only are there numerous health benefits to eating grass-fed beef, but there are also other reasons why grass-fed cows are awesome. In a previous blog post, we began to look into grass-fed cows being good for our environment and this week we are taking that one step further and letting you know how they can help save our planet- in more detail.
It’s true that livestock and cows in particular, have been blamed for contributing to global warming and a high percentage of green-house gas emissions and this has even been used by various activist groups in order to convince people to adopt an all-plant diet. We touched upon the global warming aspect of this argument last week- since cows are known for consuming feed that is more energy intensive and they also let off more methane (which is a powerful green-house gas) than any other livestock.
We already explained last week how grass-fed cattle can be responsible for spurring the growth of new grass due to their grazing and also that their manure and trampling make soil richer. Rich and healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground. In comparison, an estimated 99% of U.S cattle are raised on feedlots, leaving millions of acres of grassland abandoned or turned into cropland for livestock feed. Growing grain to feed cattle requires fuel-based fertilizers, pesticides and transportation- and this is what contributes to the majority of the carbon footprint that comes from beef. Grass-fed beef has a much lower carbon footprint.
Raising cows on grass-land, as was initially intended, is much more eco-friendly than factory farming. Furthermore, allowing cows to graze on grass results in that cow becoming not only carbon-neutral but carbon-negative. With proper management of pastures, we could achieve a 2% increase in soil-carbon levels on existing grass-land within the next two decades. This (over a LOT of acres of grassland) could be enough to capture an equivalent of the world’s green-house gas emissions.
So, by eating grass-fed beef you are not only ensuring your own health, but also the health of our grass-land and soil- which in turn can help save our plant!!