Eating chicken may decrease greenhouse gases more than going vegetarian. So how can this be? Well, first I am going to give you a few statistics, so stay with me, and I will try not to bore you too much.
The number one cause of global warming is burning fossil fuels for electric power but we also need to look at the impact our farming methods are having. It's no mystery that farming has a major impact on global warming. With increased prosperity and population growth, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tons in 2001 to 465 million tons in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tons.
Beef creates some 18% of the worlds’ greenhouse gases. With an average of 6% in the United States. Over 70 percent of the Amazon's deforested land is used for pasture, and a substantial part of the remaining land is used growing feed. Chickens have the ability to turn a relatively small amount of grain into a large amount of protein. A chicken requires 2 pounds of grain to produce a pound of meat, compared with about 6 pounds of grain for a cow and 3 pounds for a pig.
Before you read further into this article, our Vegan friends would want you to know the difference between a Vegan and Vegetarian. A Vegan does not consume anything connected with animals such as eggs from chickens and dairy products from cows. A Vegetarian does eat eggs and dairy but not the meat from the animal. In other words, they will eat animal products that don’t involve killing the animal.
Trees cut down to make room for cattle are burned or decompose, creating carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.
Those vegetarians who consume dairy products rely on cattle. Chickens however, are very efficient producers of protein. It doesn’t take as much grain to produce chicken as it does beef on a per pound basis.
Another source of greenhouse gases are methane and nitrous oxide emissions generated by livestock. Cows, bison, sheep and goats, release methane from their mouths. In other words, they burp out a lot of methane. Methane gas traps 23 times more heat per ton than carbon dioxide. Chickens, on the other hand, don’t burp.
So you can combat global warming with your fork by consuming less beef, pork and dairy. The best choice is to become a Vegan. However, if you find yourself craving some meat, then turn to chicken and help out our environment.
Another thing you can do if you have to eat beef is to choose pasture raised, pasture rotated local animals. Choose beef products produced in the U.S. rather than in Latin America. Eat fewer quantities of meat per meal and think of it as being a side dish over the main part of a meal. This will save not only money, but greenhouse gases as well.