Humane Being's S.C.R.A.P. Library
How Factory Farming Harms People, Planet and Animals

Can’t pasture fed cows help with the climate crisis?

What’s the truth behind the amazing claims of regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative Agriculture: the belief in ‘less and better meat’

Less is good but none would be far far better

‘Better’ means ‘grass-fed’ as opposed to pellet-fed animals

This assumes that that cows, should eat grass because grass is ‘naturally’ what a cow eats, ignoring the obvious point that there is nothing ‘natural’ about modern agricultural methods. It also skirts round the reason for the feeds in the first place as it helps somewhat with the release of methane from cows.

‘Better’ means reared on grass-land because cow manure improves the soil.

Because it is argued that cow manure is ‘essential’ to the restoration of previously marginal land because the manure increases the bio-diversity of the soil.


Lobbyists posing as experts do seem to have the ear of the government.

But Vicki Hird, of Food and Farming Alliance Sustain, told a Westminster forum on Wednesday (21 April) that there was a need to look at the ‘bigger picture’.

“Just focusing on carbon reductions could simply force the sector towards pig and poultry production, which might have lower emissions for each kilo of meat produced, but also involves a huge “land take” around the world to provide the feed. There are many other factors to consider, not least biodiversity and the soil carbon, which can be sequestered with a really well-managed pasture system,” she said. “But that does not mean all UK beef systems are really well-managed pasture systems, so we really should be looking at a less and better meat scenario.”
She assumes ‘a really well-managed pasture system’ for cows represents a solution yet putting all cows on pasture would require more land than the earth has available, and really should be considered as green technology a solution for a different world with different less urgent problems:

  • The sequestration of carbon using ‘really well managed pasture systems’ rests upon a single study of a single tiny “White Oaks Farm” The main proponents of this view are from a book ‘Sacred Cow’ here is an explanation and debunking:
  • Turning marginal land to crops does NOT require manure
🔗 Source: Thinking about planting crops into marginal land?
🔗 Source: Meat and dairy intake escapes stricter UK climate goals

Further Reading

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