11 January 2022

A lot of hot air is expended by critics of the meat industry – regarding the methane emissions produced by cattle and the effect they have on climate change. Many of their claims are disputed and, as we have reported before, new science shows that methane from ruminant agriculture is not categorically causing global warming. However, even if these methane emissions are found to contribute in any way to global warming, that is still only half the story. Report by One 4 Leather.

In an appeal for “greater understanding of the whole picture”, an article in Successful Farming recently highlighted how grazing livestock actually help to store increased levels of carbon in the soil – and in quantities that far offset the cows’ much-debated methane production.

All plants contribute to a degree of carbon sequestration by taking carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and using it to grow roots, shoots and leaves. But scientists have now discovered that grazing increases the amount of carbon stored in grassland soils. As it turns out, the action of cattle grazing actually encourages the plant to produce more roots, absorbing more CO2 to do so. The researchers point to studies “where the average mass of plant roots harvested from grazed grasslands was more than 2,400 pounds (1088 kg) per acre. Compared to ungrazed grasslands, the average mass of plant roots was 740 pounds (335 kg) per acre” (study published in Global Change Biology).

The amount of sequestered carbon far outweighs the amount of methane that critics claim the cattle are responsible for producing. Of course, there are also the additional benefits that grassland provides in terms of water purification, flood mitigation and the propagation of diverse wildlife.

The role of cattle in global warming is often cited as an argument against the leather industry. Although critics may concede that genuine leather is simply a by-product of the meat industry, they turn their ire on the very existence of cattle herds in the first place. However, now, it looks as though those cattle are actually playing a major role in reducing carbon emissions – not increasing them as previously claimed.

關於亞太區皮革展 ​

我們為皮革、物料及時裝業界創造面對面洽談的機會,爲客戶締造實質商機。我們雲集世界各地的商家,讓他們尋找新的合作伙伴,發掘潛在客戶或供應商,並掌握業界最新發展。   我們主辦多個專注時尚及生活潮流的商貿展覽會, 為這不斷變化的行業,提供最全面的買家及參展商服務,方便他們了解急速轉變的行業環境,並預測來季趨勢。

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