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Meat Production Adds More Greenhouse Gases than Transportation

The UN Millennium Project report points out that the population in developing countries is increasing while food prices are rising, fresh water resources are drying up, corruption and organized crime are on the rise, and climate change is accelerating. The researchers point out that we know how to solve these problems. They look hopefully to the coming biological revolution to bring answers more profound than even the industrial or information revolutions. This revolution may develop synthetic life forms for food, water, medicine and energy. Information sharing via computers and the Internet could lead to tele-education and tele-medicine to make this information available to half the world’s population that lives in poverty.

The UN report suggests that a simple step forward is eating less meat as it adds more greenhouse gases (18%) to the atmosphere than transportation. It takes 2,400 liters of water to make a hamburger: The average American eats, on average, 200 pounds of meat a year. The livestock industry produces up to 51% of greenhouse gas emissions and requires eight times more fossil fuel that what’s required to produce non-animal protein.[i]

[i] Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, “Livestock and Climate Change,” World Watch Magazine, July 2010.



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