Presentation on theme: "Livestock Production and Climate Change"— Presentation transcript:
1 Livestock Production and Climate Change Heather Owen
2 What we’ll cover… What is the current state of livestock production? What is climate change and its effects?What is the causal relationship between livestock and climate change?How can we mitigate these effects?
3 Livestock ProductionLivestock refers to domesticated animals intentionally reared in an agricultural setting to produce food or other products (leather, wool, etc.).Includes cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep, horses etc.A January 2007 count indicated there were around 97 million cattle in the USLivestock are raised in agricultural settings such as factory farms, family farms, and cattle ranches.1.2. U.S. Cattle Supplies and Dispositions, United States Department of Agriculture,
4 Factory Farms v. Family Farms Family farms cannot raise the capital to compete with high efficiency factory farms and as a result….The number of U.S. farmers dropped by 300,000 from 1978 to 19992% of Cattle farms account for 40% of the nation’s cattleDuring a 15 year period hog farms decreased by over 400,000, but the number of hogs sold increased1. The Humane Farming Association,
5 Factory Farms Today The number of farms has decreased. 1. United States Department of Agriculture, Trends in U.S. Agriculture,The size of individual farmshas greatly increased.
6 Factory Farms Today Production has increased… 1. USDA, Trends in U.S. Agriculture,Production has increased…
7 Factory Farms Today …so has efficiency. 1. USDA, Trends in U.S. Agriculture,…so has efficiency.
8 Farming Today According to a USDA report… 91.2% of farms are small family farms-Make up 27.1% of production7.1% of farms are large-scale family farms-Make up 59.1% of production1.2% of farms are non-family farms-Make up 13.7% of production1. United States Department of Agriculture 2003 report,
9 Factory Farms Today1. United States Humane Society, US Slaughter Totals,
10 Livestock Production Summary Farms are getting biggerNumber of farms are decreasingFactory Farms are taking over the market and pushing out family farmsFactory farms have high production rates and lots of wasteOver 9 billion slaughtered, doesn’t include dairy producing animals!
11 Factory Farms and the Environment Water PollutionEPA estimates that animal waste from factory farms has polluted over 35,000 miles of river in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 statesLivestock produce about 500 million tons of manure each year which is often sprayed onto croplands or left to sit in lagoonsLivestock pollution kills fish and contaminates drinking waterIn 2001 the EPA forced a hog farm to supply bottled water to local residents because their farming activities contaminated the drinking water supply1. Sierra Club, Clean Water & Factory Farms Reports and Fact Sheets,
12 Factory Farms and the Environment Air Pollution, foul odors, and land degradation are just a few more problems that factory farms cause.1. Picture from2. Sierra club, Factory Farm Factoids,Manure pit off a HogFarm
13 Climate Change What is climate change? Greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere prevent heat from escaping the atmosphereHuman caused greenhouse gas emissions account for much of the problemCarbon Dioxide (CO2)Methane (CH4)Nitrous Oxide (N2O)1. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change,
14 1. Global warming art - year 2000, www.globalwarmingart.com
15 Climate ChangeIncreased concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases is causing temperatures to increaseEarth’s temperature has increased an average ºF since 1900It’s estimated that if greenhouse gases continue to increase Earth’s temperature will raise 2.5 to 10.4°F by the end of this century1. EPA, Climate Change,
16 Effects of Climate Change Rising sea levelsShrinking glaciersThawing of permafrostTrees blooming earlierChanges in range and distribution of plants1. EPA, Climate Change,
17 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and feeding livestock Fertilizer is used to grow crops fed to livestockLarge amounts of CO2 is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels to make this fertilizerThere is an estimated 40 million Tonnes of CO2 emitted annually from this practice1. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
18 CO2 and feeding livestock CO2 is emitted during livestock feed production (including electricity)An estimated 60 million Tonnes1. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
19 CO2 and DeforestationDeforestation is essential to create land for pasture and growing feedWhen forests are harvested or burned large amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere.1. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
21 Methane (CH4) Enteric Fermentation Refers to the digestive process in animals in which microbes ferment food consumed by the animalsMethane is a natural by-product of Enteric FermentationThe methane is exhaledThe amount of methane produced and excreted by the animal depends on the animal’s digestive system as well as the type of feed they consume1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
22 Methane Ruminant animals v. non-ruminant animals Ruminant animals (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels) are the major emitters of methane because of their unique digestive process that occurs in a large “fore-stomach”This process allows ruminant animals to digest coarse plant material that non-ruminant animals can’tNon-ruminant animals (swine, horses, mules) also emit methane, but at smaller levels1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
23 Methane Feed quality and quantity effect the amount of methane emitted Lower quality feed increases methane emissionsHigher quantity of feed increases methane emissions1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
24 MethaneIn 2002 it was estimated that 5.5 tonnes of methane was emitted from enteric fermentation in the USThis accounted for 19% of total methane emissions in the US1. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
25 Methane Anaerobic decomposition of manure Occurs when manure is treated and not left outMethane is emitted during the decomposition of manureEmissions are dependent on the storage of the manureFactors like temperature and moisture can facilitate in the growth of methane producing bacteriaEmissions are dependent on the manure composition which is effected by feed type and the animals digestive systemFeed that is easier to digest leads to manure with lower manure emissions1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
26 MethaneGlobally, methane emissions from manure have been estimated to total 10 million tonnesMethane emissions from manure have been estimated to account for 4% of methane emissions in 20051. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
27 Animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions in the US! 1. Goveg.com, Fight Global Warming by Going Vegetarian,
28 Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Manure management N2O emissions occur in dry waste management systemsEmissions have increased 10% from 1990 to 2005“Unmanaged” manure also emits greenhouse gases1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
29 Livestock’s ImpactLivestock account for an estimated 9% of global CO2 emissions!Livestock account for an estimated 35-40% of global CH4 emissions!Livestock account for an estimated 65% of NO2 emissions!1. Livestock’s Long Shadow; Environmental Issues and Problems. The Livestock, Environmental and Development Initiative (LEAD).
30 Mitigating CO2 emissions By replacing your “regular car” with a Toyota Prius the average person can prevent the emission of about 1 tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere1. New Scientist, “It’s better to green your diet than your car”, December 17,
31 CO2By replacing an omnivorous diet with a vegan diet the average person can prevent the emission of about 1.5 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.That’s 50% more CO2 saved!1. New Scientist, “It’s better to green your diet than your car”, December 17,
32 Mitigating CO2 emissions Federal incentives for buying hybrid cars include tax credits of up to $3,150Other incentives include stickers that allow hybrids to travel in “carpool” lanes, and free parking in some cities.New tax credit for 2006,Local Incentives,
33 Mitigating CO2 emissions Would it be more effective to create incentives for vegan diets? Some things we could try…Tax incentives for vegan eatingFood stamps only for vegan foodTax incentives for vegan food producers
34 More Mitigation Options Carbon sequestrationThe EPA suggests carbon sequestration as a solution to climate change. Carbon sequestration is the process in which plants and trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere.Deforestation and CO2 emissionsCreate incentives for forest conservation1. EPA; Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: ; Agriculture.
35 Mitigation Options Enteric Fermentation and CH4 emissions Increase production efficiencyDecrease the number of animalsDecrease the time they are emitting methaneIncrease nutritionDecreases the amount of methane produced
36 Mitigation Options Manure Management and CH4 and N2O emissions Be mindful of temperature, moisture levels, time of storage, and other factors that lead to higher emissionsGive livestock easily digestable feed to control manure contents
37 Mitigation OptionsThe most effective way to stop greenhouse gas emissions from factory farms is to maintain a vegan diet!1. Goveg.com, Fight Global Warming by Going Vegetarian,