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Cattle industry association says study damning beef production misses the big picture

The Canadian Cattleman’s Association says people need to look at the bigger picture after a new study labelled beef as significantly more environmentally damaging than other animal production.

The National Academy of Sciences published the findings that show raising cattle causes significantly more greenhouse gases, water consumption, and takes up more land compared to operations like poultry or dairy production.

Fawn Jackson, Manager of Environment and Sustainability at the Canadian Cattleman’s Association, said it’s difficult to accurately show the full benefits and environmental implications of cattle production.

“We can produce high quality meat products on land that otherwise couldn’t be used and deliver ecosystem services at the same time,” said Jackson. “Things like habitat and carbon sequestration and water filtration.”

The study shows eating a pound of beef causes the same amount of greenhouse gases as burning about three litres gasoline.