Cattle roam where once the Amazon rainforest stood in Brazil. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.
The world’s livestock industry has tripled in thirty years according to a new report on the ‘livestock revolution’. While a researcher contends that the livestock industry emits a smaller share of greenhouse gases than previously reported, other environmental impacts of the nearly 2 billion livestock in the world include land use, grain-consumption, deforestation, pollution, waste-management, and water issues. Currently, a quarter of the world’s land is devoted to raising livestock. While livestock remains an important protein source in poor countries and provides vital small-scale income for many of the world’s poor, its consumption is increasing in many parts of the world where incomes are on the rise, such as China and Brazil. The new report estimates that the livestock industry could double by 2050.
To read more about the complex issues surrounding livestock production and the environment: Just how bad is meat-eating for the environment? .