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Does Cow Flatulence Cause Climate Change?

18:13PM Apr 29, 2015

Anti-dairy and vegan groups often cite a now well-refuted study by the United Nations that cows are a major source of methane and thus are contributing mightily to global warming and climate change.

The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, says Juan Tricarico, director of the Cow of the Future Project for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. For starters, because cows ruminate, they do produce methane. Most of that methane, some 97%, is released through belching.

But the entire carbon footprint of the dairy industry, from the farm to the table, is just 2% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, more than 30% of emissions come from electricity production, nearly 30% from transportation and the balance from other sources.

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