The Effects Of Cattle Consumption On Human Health, And Environmental Health

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Raising cattle for consumption has an increasingly negative impact on both human health, and environmental health. The largest environmental impact from food comes from the production and consumption of meat and dairy products; the estimated greenhouse gas emission (GHGE) is 50%. (Biesbroek et al, 2014). Meat and dairy products also supply about one-third of the dietary energy intake and are major sources of saturated fatty acids in the diet. The more saturated fat you consume, the greater your risk of developing high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, circulation problems and certain types of bowel cancer. This paper evaluates the impact of cattle consumption on both humans and the environment as it investigates the associations/linkages…show more content…
Rumen Gases Of all ruminant animal types, (cattle, goats, and sheep), beef and dairy cattle are by far the largest emitters of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As part of their digestive process, cows produce methane. An average cow in North America, which “includes beef cows, bulls, calves, growing steers/heifers, and feedlot cattle,” eructs via belching 117 pounds (53 kilograms) of methane (CH4) per head per year, according to 2006 guidelines from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The ruminant animal is unique because of its four stomach compartments: reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum. The function of the rumen as a fermentation vat and the presence of certain bacteria promote the development of gases. These gases are found in the upper part of the rumen with CO2 and CH4 making up the largest portion (Table 1). The proportion of these gases is dependent on rumen ecology and fermentation balance. Typically, the proportion of carbon dioxide is two to three times that of CH4, although a large quantity of CO2 is reduced to CH4. The eructation of gases via belching is important in bloat prevention but is also the way CH4 is emitted into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), methane is more than 20 times as effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere/ global warming potential. The U.S.
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