1.41 trillion cow burps and 23.7 billion cowpats damaging the planet daily

23 October 2018

Farm animals around the world are causing devastating damage to the environment by burping and farting out immense amounts of greenhouse gas. We must eat less meat to slow down global warming and improve animal welfare

The problem in numbers

  • 1.47 billion cows alone are burping and farting out approximately 150 billion gallons of methane every day
  • 95% of the greenhouse gas produced by cows is from burping
  • Cows burp approximately every 90 seconds
  • 1.41 trillion methane-rich cow burps are being released into the environment every day
  • Methane is thought to be 25-100 times more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide
  • Over 23.7 billion methane-rich cowpats, weighing a staggering total of 43.4 million tonnes, are deposited around the world every day

Cows aren’t the only culprits

Animal agriculture is accountable for producing the equivalent of 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 per year, or 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than all cars, planes and other forms of transport put together.

We’re urging Environment and Agriculture Ministers of the world’s biggest livestock farming nations to encourage their people to eat less meat to reduce global warming. Fewer farm animals means less greenhouse gas.

Eating less, but higher welfare, meat would also improve animal welfare.

Dairy cows on pasture

We need to eat less meat

Meat consumption is increasing around the world, as is the number of factory farms. If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.

Of the 70 billion+ animals currently farmed annually around the world, 50 billion of them are factory farmed.

These animals are treated more like cogs in a machine, than living, breathing, feeling animals. They endure short, miserable lives and are often crammed together in cages, crates or pens where they’re unable to engage in natural behaviour.

Many animals are selectively bred to be fast growing; lameness, weakened or broken bones, infections and organ failure are all common place. By avoiding cruelly produced meat, consumers can support farmers who are doing the right thing.

Our work fighting factory farming

We’ve been running campaigns all over the world fighting for the welfare of factory farmed animals.

Our petition calling on KFC to improve the welfare of chickens in its supply chain garnered over half a million signatures and has led to us opening positive lines of communication with the global fast food giant.

We’ve also moved some of the world’s largest pork producers to commit to ending the use of cruel gestation cages.

Learn more about our work here.

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Steve McIvor, our CEO, says: “The environmental impact of meat production needs to be taken much more seriously as does the suffering endured by 50 billion animals on factory farms every year.

By eating less, but higher welfare, meat people can reduce global warming and improve the lives of billions of animals every single year.”

Eating more responsibly

We created a short guide to help meat eaters make better choices for themselves, farm animals and the planet.

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The environmental impact of meat production needs to be taken much more seriously as does the suffering endured by 50 billion animals on factory farms every year

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