It takes about 10 years for the methane cattle emit as burps and farts to be removed by natural processes from the environment
Frank Mitloehner says cattle are getting a bad rap as a contributor to global warming.
The University of California researcher says that, in fact, there is as much methane taken out of the environment by farming as cattle contribute.
It takes about 10 years for the methane cattle emit as burps and farts to be removed by natural processes from the environment, he explained for a feature article in Meatingplace Magazine.
So if the cattle population remains steady – yet in North America it has been declining – then over a 10-year period cattle are not increasing methane leading to global warming, he explained.
And cattle make many valuable contributions to the environment, nutrition and health, he said. For example, 80 per cent of what cattle consume is forages that people can’t digest and those forages contribute to soil health.
Beef is also nutrient dense, moreso than plants, so is beneficial for balanced diets that contribute to good health, he explained.
Mitloehner has been advocating for animal agriculture for 20 years, drawing attention to mistaken claims and calling on the authors to correct their mistakes.
For example, he is currently challenging the EAT-Lancet report that calls for a sharp reduction in meat production and consumption, on the one hand to improve the environment and the other to improve human health.
Mitloehner has written to those authors to point out mistakes and he said he knows they are busy now checking their claims and report, but he has yet to hear back from them.