In the ongoing war being waged on animal agriculture, the beef industry has come under attack from multiple angles. As is typical of anti-agriculture campaigns, the assault on beef production is built on cherry-picked information, partial truths, and outright falsehoods. Of particular focus has been the disinformation propagated about the environmental impact of the beef industry. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the environmental extremist narrative has been embraced and widely disseminated by most of the mainstream media. One such agenda-driven article appeared in The Economist in October 2021. The authors of the article went so far as to claim that beef should be treated like coal in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).
The Economist article is comprised of numerous fallacies and errors of logic. First off, it’s important to note that a 2016 EPA report showed that all of agriculture contributes only 9% of greenhouse gas, with the entirety of animal agriculture contributing only 3.9% to total emissions. The article also conveniently fails to acknowledge the entire role of methane in the atmosphere, as well as the natural limitations of the United States’ ability to affect global emission levels, warming patterns, and established patterns of commerce.
The article claims that beef is a more “carbon intensive” food choice since cattle emit methane via their digestive processes,