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Livestock's Long Shadow

livestock.jpg The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's ominously-titled report, Livestock's Long Shadow, went largely unnoticed when it was first published in November 2006. The report details the environmental impacts of the rapid increase of livestock agriculture--with some startling figures. For instance, who would have guessed that our lust for red meat was contributing more to global warming (estimates show it causes about 18% of global warming effect) than global transportation emissions? Or that livestock grazing occupies about 26 percent of Earth's land surfaces, and 33 percent of all arable land?

The prosperity of the developed world--as well as the population explosion of the last half-century--means that demand for livestock has never been higher, and will likely do nothing but increase, if current projections hold. However, thanks to a New York Times editorial and subsequent mentions on environmental blogs, the issues raised in the report seem to be gaining some wider exposure.

Livestock's Long Shadow (full report, PDF)
Livestock Impacts on the Environment (FAO Spotlight; report summary)
Livestock a Major Threat to Environment (FAO newsroom)
Meat and the Planet (New York Times, Dec. 27, 2006)
Livestock's Long Shadow (Gristmill; environmental news blog)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 2, 2007 4:00 PM.

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