The American cattle meat market gets a lot of blame for CO2 being produced, is this true?
Cattle are a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is more effective than CO2 in trapping heat in the atmosphere. Methane is released during enteric fermentation, which is a natural digestive process in cattle. In addition, the production of beef and other meat products requires a significant amount of energy and resources, such as water, land, and feed. These resources require large amounts of fossil fuels, such as oil and natural gas, to produce and transport, which leads to additional CO2 emissions.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2019, the agricultural sector, including livestock, accounted for approximately 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Within this sector, enteric fermentation, which includes methane emissions from cattle, accounted for approximately 4% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.