Today is National Cow Appreciation day. Many people enjoy eating a steak or burger from time to time, and others eat beef every day. Cows contribute a large quantity of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s demand for beef is responsible for 9% of Carbon emissions, 65% of Nitrous oxide, and 37% of Methane emissions.

The rising number of cows being raised to satisfy our high meat and dairy consumption is responsible for fertilizers entering rivers and streams from growing food for livestock. This in turn, hurts humans and other wildlife throughout the country. In addition, they are a large driver of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

We don’t treat our cattle very humanely either. Reporting from the Chicago Sun Times shows that cows are mistreated from the time they are young through adulthood. If we appreciated cows, we would eat less of them and work towards saving the environment. We need to work toward a future where cattle can graze in pastures again, a method that can cut greenhouse gas emissions dramatically while also treating cows respectfully.

Written by Justin Stanphill