Cows are the new coal

Cows are the new coal! Companies supplying meat and dairy to McDonald’s, KFC, Tesco, and Nestlé, among others, are falling short of their pledges relating to methane emissions and deforestation, a new report found. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.

Jeremy Coller is chair of the FAIRR investor network, made up of members with $40 trillion in assets. In a statement, he said: “The post-COP26 era leaves large parts of the meat and dairy supply chain looking outdated and unattractive. Failures from methane to manure management underline the growing sense in the market that cows are the new coal.

The meat and dairy sector is to blame for 44 percent of methane emissions, so it’s especially important that they adhere to their climate pledges. To give you an idea of how much methane we’re talking about, it would take a forest three quarters of the size of the whole of South America to sequester it all.

Researchers also discovered that major companies with zero-deforestation pledges, including JBS and Marfrig, which supply McDonald’s, do not monitor third party suppliers. This is significant, given that these suppliers are responsible for up to 90 percent of deforestation from sourcing cattle. Further, titan companies like Marfrig source more than half of Amazon cattle from indirect suppliers.

The fact that just one in five meat and dairy giants measure even part of their methane emissions is a “red flag” since these companies pledged to cut methane by 30 percent within the decade.

We’re glad to see that some environmentalists are beginning to see the connection between raising meat and the environmental crisis we find ourselves in. Some are even beginning to call themselves planetarians. A planetarian follows a veg diet for the good of the earth. They point out that reducing meat and dairy consumption is the most effective way to shrink your carbon footprint.