Full disclosure: I don’t believe in anthropomorphic global warming. If you know the history of this movement, and those who push this theory, you see that this is just another effort to destroy capitalism, private property and individual liberty. Do you not remember the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit scandal? If you want to be red-pilled go here, here and here to start.
So why the disclaimer? Because our intrepid authors, Rodgers and Wolf, do believe in global warming. However, they make their case in Chapter 9 that cows are not a part of the problem. For this chapter, I’ll lay out their arguments without chiming in every five seconds about my views on climate change.
So cows get attacked because they produce methane. I always thought that this was due to flatulence, but apparently, most of it comes from belching. The authors’ key argument is that methane from cows and other ruminants is a part of a natural carbon cycle. Cattle transform existing carbon from grass into methane. This goes into the atmosphere, is broken down over ten years into carbon dioxide and water and is cycled back into the environment to grow more grass and other plants. In contrast, burning fossil fuels releases trapped carbon (coal, oil, etc.) that is not a part of this cyclical process.
Rodgers and Wolf then spend some time citing several studies that undermine the “cows are bad” narrative. For instance, a recent NASA study concluded that the “largest contributors to methane are fossil fuels, fires and wetlands or rice farming.” Surely some mistake! Similarly, the plant-based hysterics often claim that livestock contribute something like 18-51% of all greenhouse gasses. According to our authors, even the Environmental Protection Agency, which is hardly against the whole Climate Change narrative, argues the number is more like 2%. Finally, and this may shock you dear reader, it turns out that chemical-driven industrial monocrop agriculture emits far more methane than was previously understood.
But you might say, “okay it’s not so bad and the numbers have been exaggerated. But those damn cows are still belching out methane. It still needs to stop!” Well no according to our authors. That’s because ruminants, if raised properly, contribute to soil health which actually stores carbon. Lot’s of it. The rest of the chapter delves into a recent Michigan State University study which argues that grass-fed, pastured beef actually is a net-loss in carbon emissions. In contrast, these plant-based burgers which have been pushed on us for the last two years are a net gain, “for every Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger you eat, you’d have to eat one White Oak Pastures grass-fed beef burger to offset your emissions.”
This is a good chapter to use against the plant-based crowd who demonise meat. The fact that rice farming produces far more greenhouse gasses than ruminants would be enough to end the attack on meat in a sane world. The fact that well-farmed ruminants would mean a net loss in greenhouse gasses is more ammunition.