Why animal agriculture is a world asset

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By Gene Hall

Many people believe cutting back on eating meat will drastically reduce world greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this is based on a 2009 analysis by a Washington-based group.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has rained on that parade, but it’s hard to put toothpaste back in the tube.

The report blamed animal agriculture for 51 percent of greenhouse emissions, but a recent FAO report pegs the number at 14 percent.

If Americans were very diligent about “meatless Mondays,” emissions by could be reduced by .5 percent!

The world’s poor nations want more meat in their diets. It’s nutrient dense, packing more nutritional punch than almost anything else.

According to the FAO, about 70 percent of agricultural lands around the world are grasslands, not suited for growing anything else. We harvest that grass with animals.

Raising livestock is a reliable income for many farmers around the world. No wonder food-deficient countries want some of that.

The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.

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