[Listen to this Crap (in bold text)]
by Brian Stallard
According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, beef cattle require 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, eggs, poultry or even diary.
“We have a sharp view of the comparative impact that beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs have in terms of land and water use, reactive nitrogen discharge, and greenhouse gas emissions,” lead author Gidon Eshel, from Bard College in New York, told BBC News.
To reach their findings, Eshel and his team collected and analyzed data on five edible livestock industries from 2000 to 2010, as provided by the US Department of Agriculture. Based on consumption models, they then calculated what kind of burden each of these industries placed on the environment.
Being exceptionally inefficient energy converters and a hugely popular source of food, cattle have long been known to have a greater environmental impact compared to other livestock. However, this is the first time that their impact has been quantified.
According to the report, land and irrigation burden aside, the emissions from cattle alone nearly make up the ten-fold impact seen, compared to other livestock.
Methane gas (CH4) has increased in average world volume by an estimated 50 percent compared to pre-industrial levels, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Alarmingly, this gas is far more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).
“Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period,” the EPA reports.
“The result is that the researchers estimate that over 60 percent of the environmental burden of livestock in the US results from beef,” commenting expert Mark Sutton, from the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, told BBC. “Although the exact numbers will be different for Europe, the overall message will be similar: Cattle dominate the livestock footprint of both Europe and US.”
But don’t go thinking about veganism just yet. A past Nature World News report detailed a new proposed solution for the environmental burden of sheep in Europe – genetically tweaking the animals to reduce their methane footprint. If a similar technique could be used in cattle populations, we all can keep munching on hamburgers even as the “beef burden” is lightened.
Thinking Beyond the Animal Factories to Save This Planet
“In the alchemist’s dungeon that is almost any well-appointed shopping center in the “developed” world, you can buy cosmetics, transmission fluid, and pet food made from whales; you can buy the hide of lynx in the form of a hat, or gloves made from the skin of an unborn lamb; you can buy a coat made from seal whelps; you can buy a tropical finch in a metal cage and a Siamese fighting fish in a plastic bag; you can buy firearms and whammo ammunition and multiple hooks with barbs on them; you can buy sharkskin shoes and the unspawned eggs of a sturgeon; you can buy the pulverized enlarged liver of a force-fed goose and the testicles of a bull and the brain of a calf . . . . You can buy the sterile eggs of an untrod chicken and the tongue of a feed-lot steer that spent its last weeks hock-deep in its own manure; you can buy medicines made from the blood and viscera of living laboratory animals . . . . You can also buy the Holy Bible and the Declaration of Human Rights.” The John Livingston Reader (2007), p. 149.
by Mike Hudak,
Ranching’s boosters, in addition to telling the public how great their product tastes, have often promoted their cause by citing ranching’s supposed benefits to the landscape—cattle’s removal of weeds and fertilization of the soil among other things. Then they’d claim that all this cattle activity provided abundant habitat for wildlife. And, oh yes, they’d also mention that THEIR approach to ranching would increase a rancher’s profits.
But now ranching advocates (and even climate-change leader Bill McKibben) have jumped on the “climate change” bandwagon with claims that ranching can reduce greenhouse gasses. Grazing guru Allan Savory (of Holistic Management fame) even stated in his TED Talk of February 2013 (and I’m paraphrasing here) that grazing under Holistic Management is the ONLY chance we have to avert the virtual collapse of civilization from climate change. (For Savory’s verbatim statement, see footnote #11 of my essay http://mikehudak.com/Articles/HM_Memo_131113.html.)
To support such claims, ranching advocates have often cited scientific, peer-reviewed articles, such as the one by Franzluebbers & Stuedemann: “Soil-Profile Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen During 12 Years of Pasture Management in the Southern Piedmont USA,” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129 (2009): 28–36. This article’s take-away message is that a properly cattle-grazed pasture that was previously cropland (and originally forest) sequesters more atmospheric carbon than does a similar pasture without cattle. In sequestering this carbon the landscape is helping to lessen global climate change. And the cattle are an essential component in that process.
I was recently asked by a member of the Sierra Club’s Grazing Team to examine the Franzluebbers & Stuedemann article for errors or omissions that would negatively impact its conclusions. Consequently, I did find deficiencies that render meaningless the article’s claimed benefit of a cattle-grazed landscape sequestering atmospheric carbon, even if that conclusion is true.
My essay about the article is now installed at
You can also view the essay in PDF format which is more suitable for printing:
I encourage you to read my article and to forward it to people who might find it of interest.
Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)
[NOTE from All-Creatures.org: The confinment, harassment and slaughter of bison is because cattle ranchers do not want wild animals “competing for food” with their cows. GO VEGAN and you will help save bison!]
HB 194 is another attempt by special interests to block the resoration of wild bison in Montana. This act must not become law.
Contact Montana Governor Steve Bullock and let him know you stand for recovering America’s wild buffalo. If you live out of state, let him know why you visit Montana and what is important to you. Tell him to veto HB 194.
And/or better yet,make direct contact:
Governor Steve Bullock
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
phones (855) 318-1330 or (406) 444-3111
fax (406) 444-5529
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
- HB 194 is an act requiring a forage (range) analysis before wild buffalo (or bison) are released, transplanted, or migrate naturally, onto land in Montana.
- HB 194 is another unfunded mandate required to be performed before transplanting or reintroducing buffalo as a wildlife species in Montana.
- HB 194 provides no funding for a required forage analysis by a range scientist from MSU-Ag or US NRCS.
- HB 194 uses agricultural theories based on livestock grazing principles rather than professional ecological analysis by wildlife and wildlands professionals.
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!
Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!
Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live!
In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of …bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.
The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead.
The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.
In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry.
Click here to take action:
See this alert on our website here:
THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2015, MIDNIGHT
Kretz legislation proposes relocating wolves
Washington’s best wolf habitat is in the southern Cascade Mountains, where vast federal lands support more than 20,000 elk in the state’s two largest herds.
State biologists expect wolves to discover this prime territory and thrive there by 2022, after gradually dispersing south along the Cascade range.
But seven years is too long a wait for state Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, whose Northeast Washington legislative district is currently home to 11 of the state’s 14 wolf packs, as well as cattle ranchers and sheep herders.
He’s again sponsoring what he calls a “share the love” bill that would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to try relocating wolves to other parts of Washington.
“Most of the support in the state for wolves … comes from areas where there are no wolves,” said Kretz, who last year sponsored a bill to capture Eastern Washington wolves and transplant them to the districts of West Side legislators opposed to any controls on the predators.
But the current bill, HB 1224, isn’t a jab at Western Washington, Kretz said. Instead, it’s intended to speed up wolves’ colonization of the state, which would hasten the removal of federal and state protections for wolves and allow for more active management.
The legislation is among several wolf-related bills scheduled for hearings today in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Relocating wolves would face steep political hurdles, but some livestock producers and environmental groups think the idea has merit.
The Washington Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to have more options for dealing with wolves that attack livestock, said Jack Field, the association’s executive vice president. That won’t happen until wolf populations recover to the point that federal protections are lifted throughout the state, and relocating wolves would make that happen faster, he said.
According to Washington’s wolf recovery plan, wolves will remain a protected species until at least 15 breeding pairs are documented across the state for three years. The pairs must be geographically dispersed so there are breeding pairs in Eastern Washington, north-central Washington and a zone that includes the south Cascades and Western Washington.
Environmental groups also support faster colonization.
“The South Cascades has the best wolf habitat in the state because of the prey base,” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest’s executive director. In addition to the Yakima elk herd, with about 10,000 animals, the area contains the St. Helens herd, which is infected with a bacterial hoof disease.
“The state is hiring gunners to mercy-kill some of those elk. Wolves would do a better job,” Friedman said.
But the southern Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula, which also has good wolf habitat, are rural and conservative, much like Northeast Washington. Politically, it would be difficult to get the support to relocate wolves, Friedman said.
“There’s a big difference between wolves coming there on their own paws versus in a state pickup truck,” he said.
That’s one of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s concerns, said Dave Ware, the agency’s policy lead on wolves. In the Northern Rockies, anti-wolf advocates have never forgotten the federal government transplanted Canadian wolves into Yellowstone and Central Idaho.
“There’s that stigma that you brought them here, versus them moving in naturally,” Ware said.
The endeavor also would be costly and time consuming, he added. State biologists figure they would need to trap and transplant about 30 wolves – preferably in packs – to end up with several breeding pairs that would stick around in their new location.
Such an action would require thorough state and federal environmental analysis, which would take two to three years to complete. A wolf relocation pilot project, as outlined in Kretz’s bill, would cost about $1 million, according to state estimates.
In a few years, wolves will be establishing packs in the South Cascades on their own, Ware predicted. Wolf tracks have been documented northwest of Yakima, in the foothills of the Cascades, where credible sightings of multiple wolves also have occurred. Last spring, a photo of a wolf was taken in Klickitat County.
“They are bounding around. They’re looking,” Ware said. “It’s just a matter of time before a male and female find each other and decide to start a pack.”
But Kretz said livestock producers in Northeast Washington need faster action to protect their animals from wolf attacks. He and Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, also are sponsoring or co-sponsoring several other wolf bills.
Also on the agenda for today’s hearing are bills that would order the Fish and Wildlife Department to manage wolf problems with “lethal means” under certain circumstances and give the Fish and Wildlife Commission more leeway in changing a state endangered species classification.
Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, is sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate, allowing state endangered species to be declassified by region. If adopted, it would allow the state to manage wolves differently in the eastern one-third of Washington than in other parts of the state.
“We’re putting out a number of ideas,” Short said. “We’re saying we just need some relief.”
Yellowstone National Park has shipped at least 200 bison near the park boundary with Montana to slaughter as the famed tourist destination seeks to reduce a herd by 900 animals this winter, a U.S. conservation group said on Friday.
A park spokesman, Al Nash, could not immediately confirm how many bison may have been handed over to tribal partners and taken to slaughter. But he said 162 bison had been captured and placed into a holding facility as of a week ago.
The Buffalo Field Campaign, which opposes the culling and has been monitoring it, said the bison had been dispatched to slaughter since Wednesday, and anticipated that 55 more could be sent on Monday.
The culling plan allows the bulk of bison marked for death to be transferred to Native American tribes for slaughter and a certain number of the wandering buffalo to be killed by hunters.
The strategy is designed to address worries by ranchers that bison infected with the bacterial disease brucellosis, which can cause miscarriages in cattle, could transmit it to their herds, potentially threatening Montana’s brucellosis-free status.
The plan this winter to reduce the bison population to 4,000 from 4,900 comes as conservation groups are seeking federal protections for a herd that is a top attraction for the 3 million annual visitors to a park that spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay called the culling practice “the brutal abuse and slaughter of the only wild population of buffalo remaining in this country.”
The iconic hump-backed animals once roamed by the tens of millions west of the Mississippi until hunting campaigns reduced their numbers to the fewer than 50 that found safe harbor at Yellowstone in the early 20th century.
The Buffalo Field Campaign said that roughly another 100 bison have been killed by hunters outside the park in Montana, while Nash, citing state officials, put that number lower, at 70.
Nash said the park usually engages in culling in winter, when bison migrate to lower elevations in search of food. Federal and state officials on horseback have been capturing animals along the park boundary, both inside and outside the park.
Conservationists petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year to provide federal safeguards for the Yellowstone herd, contending it was the only free-roaming band in the country to retain its genetic integrity.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Listen up, ladies (and men who care about women’s rights, duh!), because this one’s for you:
As an animal rights activist AND a feminist, I’ve always felt that it’s important for us women and girls to recognize the connection between feminism and the treatment of cows used by the dairy industry. While this may sound like a stretch at first, here’s why:
All cows who are used for their milk are female—in case ya didn’t already know that!
Female cows don’t need to be milked. Female cows produce milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed THEIR babies. On factory farms, calves are torn away from their mothers so that the momma cow’s milk can be saved for human consumption (we’re the ONLY species that drinks another species’ milk regularly—so weird!). This is what it looks like:
Cows produce milk only after they’ve been pregnant. In order to get cows pregnant, farmers forcibly impregnate them on what the industry calls a “rape rack.” Uhhhhh … read that again. A rape rack. That’s literally what it’s called. Can you really consider yourself someone who stands up for all females if you condone farmers’ use of RAPE RACKS to impregnate cows—just so they can DRAG their babies away and repeat the whole thing again?
Female cows in the dairy industry are treated as nothing more than baby- and milk-making machines—with no regard for their emotional lives. If they were allowed to do so, mother cows would spend months with their young, teaching, nurturing, and bonding with them. On factory farms, all they can do is cry out for their babies as they’re violently dragged away. For the milk to make it to grocery-store shelves, cows are hooked up to milking machines for most of their lives. No “old MacDonald’s farm” here. When their milk production decreases and the cows are no longer profitable, they’re sent to slaughter.
If you still aren’t getting the connection, let me break it down for you: Women and girls EVERYWHERE are being used and abused. Many of us have grown up in male-dominated societies that tell us what to do with our bodies and how they should be used, and sadly, we’re often seen as nothing more than objects. Many women and girls are forced into situations where they lose control over their bodies—and far too often, other people think that they deserve this control. That’s what’s happening to cows on dairy farms every single day—all for a totally unnecessary and disgusting product.
No moms want to be hooked up to a rape rack, be forcibly impregnated, and have their baby taken away from them. It’s up to us to exercise our “girl power” (the best kind of power there is!) and say enough is enough!
You know that this is wrong, but the good news is that it’s SO easy to help. All you have to do is stick to dairy-free alternatives to milk and cheese, which is easier than ever!
Learn more about dairy products and how you can help cows:
1. Check this page out for tips on ditching dairy.
2. Get the scoop on vegan cheese here!
3. Take action here for cows used for their milk, then share this page by clicking the buttons below.