Can Eating Cows Save the Planet?
Many leading researchers tell us that animal agriculture is devastating to our environment and a central driver of climate change. But we’re also hearing some fans of regenerative agriculture tell us that cows can be raised in ways that sequester carbon in the soil and reverse climate change, increase productivity and biological diversity, and enhance economic and social well-being. So what’s the truth? Is it the cow, or is it the how? And if there really is a way that beef could be part of the solution to the climate crisis, don’t we all (whether we call ourselves omnivores or vegans) need to give it an honest look? At Food Revolution Network, we wanted a thoughtful analysis, so we commissioned a report from one of the most seasoned scientists in agriculture today, Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman. Dr. Gurian-Sherman, now a consultant with Strategic Expansion and Trainings, LLC in Minneapolis, has held key positions at the U.S. EPA, Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Food Safety, and is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University. The opinions expressed below are his, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Food Revolution Network. But there’s no doubt that this is a critically important topic, and we think you’ll find his insights fascinating.