The combined pollutant methane emissions of 15 of the world's largest meat and dairy companies are equivalent to 80 per cent of those of the entire European Union (EU) and more than those of Russia, Canada and Australia, according to new research.
If these 15 companies were a country, the document reads, it would be among the top 10 in the world for polluting greenhouse gas emissions.
"We can't continue to have a handful of companies check so many animals," he says Shefali Sharma, director of the IATP European office that conducted the research (I link it to you here).
Polluting emissions, mega companies enemies of the ecosystem
Although the data is already enormous, the researchers are keen to point out that the calculation of polluting emissions could be even greater. The lack of transparency from these few large companies makes it difficult to measure them. The results are therefore an estimate based on available data of agricultural practices and milk production.
An initial warning, released last year, found that livestock, especially cows, were responsible for about a third of man-made methane emissions.
Cows and other grazing animals such as goats and sheep produce methane when they burp. And that's a big deal, because methane is a potent greenhouse gas. IS 80 times hotter of CO2 in its first 20 years in the atmosphere.
Due to its short half-life, according to the UN, cutting polluting methane emissions would have a rapid impact on global warming.
Eat greener, for your own health and that of the planet
Many scientists have declared that switching to a more plant-rich diet is an essential response to the climate crisis.
in 2018 the University of Oxford estimated in this study that we would have to cut our meat consumption by 90% to avert climate collapse (e reduce the risk of cancer). In April 2022, a United Nations report made it clear: the world needs to eat less meat. And urgent measures are needed against polluting methane emissions.
Nonetheless, world leaders and public opinion are reluctant to accept what international bodies, scientists and activists: our diets are unsustainable.