Halloween candy and Black Friday weren’t enough. Now livestock production affects climate change. Another feather in the cap of environmentalists who seek to curb human activity if not human life itself comes in the form of a study released by British-based think-tank Chatham House. The group’s research reveals that producing meat emits more greenhouse gasses than air, sea and road transportation combined. The country most responsible for almost 15% of the emissions from meat production is (you guessed it) the United States.
But, as Quartz reports, the study does not analyze individual activities but the it stresses that eating meat is bad for the environment. The activities cited as having the worst impact are the largest source of methane and nitrous oxide on the planet with most of the emissions from manure used to make feed for animals including the methane the animals release themselves. Chatham House also cites United Nations figures that meat consumption will rise 76% by 2050.
Despite the potential for backlash and other innovations to streamline or to quicken meat production so it has less impact on climate, Chatham House reports that they will not be enough to curb emissions that contribute to the globe warming a whopping 2 degrees Celcius. If there was ever a study that was filled with so much manure this most certainly is it. Now green groups can use reports like this to enact controls on meat production in the name of curbing climate change. Once done, the price of meat goes up making it nearly impossible to afford meat. PETA would jump for joy at the prospect of something like this.
Controls on meat production are not out of the realm of possibility. A 2012 study states that meat production involves a lot of water and scientists who conducted that study said people would have to change to vegetarian diets in order to avoid food and water shortages in 2050. Imagine paying $50 as opposed to $10 for a steak at your favorite local diner (if the business survives the impact of the price increases). Maybe even paying more for much less for chicken, pork, ground beef and steak. One can only fathom the massive amounts of job losses resulting from new meat rules too. But, for now, environmentalists will use research like this as a means of shaming people for eating meat just like they scold us for all other activities.