Friday, November 27

1.41 trillion cow burps and 23.7 billion cowpats damaging the planet daily

The problem in numbers

  • 1.47 billion cows alone are burping and farting out approximately 150 billion gallons of methane every day
  • 95% of the greenhouse gas produced by cows is from burping
  • Cows burp approximately every 90 seconds
  • 1.41 trillion methane-rich cow burps are being released into the environment every day
  • Methane is thought to be 25-100 times more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide
  • Over 23.7 billion methane-rich cowpats, weighing a staggering total of 43.4 million tonnes, are deposited around the world every day

Cows aren’t the only culprits

Animal agriculture is accountable for producing the equivalent of 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 per year, or 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than all cars, planes and other forms of transport put together.

We’re urging Environment and Agriculture Ministers of the world’s biggest livestock farming nations to encourage their people to eat less meat to reduce global warming. Fewer farm animals means less greenhouse gas.

Eating less, but higher welfare, meat would also improve animal welfare.

Dairy cows on pasture

We need to eat less meat

Meat consumption is increasing around the world, as is the number of factory farms. If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.

Of the 70 billion+ animals currently farmed annually around the world, 50 billion of them are factory farmed.

These animals are treated more like cogs in a machine, than living, breathing, feeling animals. They endure short, miserable lives and are often crammed together in cages, crates or pens where they’re unable to engage in natural behaviour.

Many animals are selectively bred to be fast growing; lameness, weakened or broken bones, infections and organ failure are all common place. By avoiding cruelly produced meat, consumers can support farmers who are doing the right thing.

Our work fighting factory farming

We’ve been running campaigns all over the world fighting for the welfare of factory farmed animals.

Our petition calling on KFC to improve the welfare of chickens in its supply chain garnered over half a million signatures and has led to us opening positive lines of communication with the global fast food giant.

We’ve also moved some of the world’s largest pork producers to commit to ending the use of cruel gestation cages.

Learn more about our work here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up
Sign up

Indicates required field
– Country of residence –
Afghanistan
Aland Islands
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Caribbean Netherlands
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (Brazzaville)
Congo (Kinshasa)
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curaçao
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Southern Territories
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jersey
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao S.A.R., China
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Mariana Islands
North Korea
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Palestinian Territory
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
Saint Barthélemy
Saint Helena
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Martin (French part)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
South Sudan
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan, P.R. China
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu
U.S. Virgin Islands
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
United States Minor Outlying Islands
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Western Sahara
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

We have a local office in Africa. Please sign up through our Africa website instead.

We have a local office in Australia. Please sign up through our Australia website instead.

We have an office in Brazil. Please sign up through our Brazil website instead.

We have an office in Canada. Please sign up through our Canada website instead.

We have a local office in China. Please sign up through our China website instead.

We have a local office in Denmark. Please sign up through our Denmark website instead.

We have a local office in India. Please sign up through our India website instead.

We have a local office in Latin America. Please sign up through our Latin America website instead.

We have a local office in the Netherlands. Please sign up through our Netherlands website instead.

We have a local office in New Zealand. Please sign up through our New Zealand website instead.

We have a local office in Sweden. Please sign up through our Sweden website instead.

We have a local office in Thailand. Please sign up through our Thailand website instead.

We have a local office in the UK. Please sign up through our UK website instead.

We have a local office in the US. Please sign up through our US website instead.

You must tick both boxes to sign up

World Animal Protection will not sell or swap your information with any third party. If you’d like to stop hearing from us, or change the way we communicate, please email info@worldanimalprotection.org. For information on how we use your details, and how we keep your details safe, please read our privacy policy.

Steve McIvor, our CEO, says: “The environmental impact of meat production needs to be taken much more seriously as does the suffering endured by 50 billion animals on factory farms every year.

By eating less, but higher welfare, meat people can reduce global warming and improve the lives of billions of animals every single year.”

Eating more responsibly

We created a short guide to help meat eaters make better choices for themselves, farm animals and the planet.

Join our movement

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news and features about our vital work protecting animals the world over.

Pigs in a group pen

Not convinced you could become vegetarian? Eating less meat is still better for farm animals, the planet and your health

Posted on26/04/2018 by Steve McIvor

An ethical approach to eating meat can make a huge difference to your life and the lives of billions of factory-farmed animals