Farming is a major contributor to climate change. Factory farming creates about 1/3 of greenhouse gas and more than 40% of methane. Worldwide, farm animals account for between 14.5% and 18% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

The effects of the climate change also has negative effects on farming.

The use of chemicals to helps plants grow, bug killers and animal wastes are the major causes of these effects. Overall, the relationship between farming and climate change is becoming more clear.


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines harmful gases from agriculture as greenhouse gas from farm animals such as cows, farm soils, and rice growing. According to the COWSPIRACY “Animal farming is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases (these gases heat up the earth), more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.”

For instance:

  • Fertilizing soils, forest clearing, produce moving, and animal farming cause about 1/3 of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases including more than 40% of methane.
  • Worldwide, farm animals account for between 14.5% and 18% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. These harmful gases heat up the earth and are very dangerous.
  • Methane levels have doubled in less than 10 years after remaining flat since the 1990s.


  • The clearing of forests and other natural habitats for agricultural expansion contributes to emissions by releasing carbon stored in vegetation and soil.
  • The use of fossil fuels in farming equipment and transportation, including transporting produce to markets.
  • The use of synthetic fertilizers requires energy to produce and emit nitrous oxide when used on fields.

Manure management and enteric fermentation (a natural digestive process in the stomachs of animals such as cows, sheep and goats) results in the release of methane.


  • Extreme weather-related disasters are increasing, which can damage crops and livestock. 
  • Leads to water scarcity and loss of fertile land, making it more difficult to grow crops.
  • Weather changes reduce the number of crops farmers can grow
  • Higher levels of CO2 reduce the nutritional value of crops (concentrations of protein, iron, and zinc are up to 17% lower).
  • CO2 can contaminate crops by changing the rate of photosynthesis, which can damage or kill crops. It can also affect the water-use efficiency of plants, which can lead to reduced crop yields, decreased quality, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.


Is it time to stop the political games that rule food safety policy? Should politicians start focusing more on human health? Luckily, discussions about food safety reform are becoming more common.


The production of meat, particularly beef, generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. In addition to the emissions from animal agriculture, the deforestation and land-use changes associated with raising livestock also contribute to the problem.

One way to lower our carbon footprint and reduce the impact of climate change is to reduce our consumption of meat. This can be done by choosing to eat less meat overall, or by choosing to eat meat from more sustainable sources, such as grass-fed beef or free-range chicken. These meats are produced using practices that have a lower environmental impact, such as reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and avoiding the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Consumers can eat “clean meat”, which is meat from a plant source.


Developing countries now eat about 1/3 of the meat. Also, they drink 1/4 of the milk produced worldwide. In fact, the amount of meat and dairy consumption in developing countries is increasing faster than in the developed countries.

• Meat is an important source of nutrition and worldwide demand for meat is growing. It has more than quadrupled over the past 50 years!
• Asia is the largest meat producer. They account for around 40-45 % of total meat production.
Meat consumption is highest across high-income countries. High-income countries consume nearly 80 kilograms per person in one year.
• Meat-eating patterns across Africa differ. Some African countries eat as little as 10 kilograms per person in one year.


After scientists found a link between animal farming and global warming, media coverage increased, and the farming industry was criticized. However, there is resistance to changing current farming practices due to a number of factors, including the high costs of implementing sustainable practices, lack of understanding or awareness of the issue, and the influence of powerful lobbies in the agriculture industry. 

We need more education and new innovations that make it affordable for farms to operate in a more environmentally-friendly way.


How can we reduce greenhouse gases from farming? Can we do so and still eat meat?

Helpful Teaching Resources:

Other Recent Posts:

  • what is habitat conservation

What Is Habitat Conservation

Comments Off on What Is Habitat Conservation

WHAT IS HABITAT CONSERVATION? Habitat conservation means protecting the places where things on earth live.  A habitat is a place where a certain animal, plant, or other living thing lives. These places are [...]

  • sick building image

What Is Sick Building Syndrome?

Comments Off on What Is Sick Building Syndrome?

WHAT IS SICK BUILDING SYNDROME? Sick building syndrome is a term that describes a wide range of undefined symptoms that people have when they live in a building. It is mostly because of [...]

  • What Is Hydrology

What Is Hydrology?

Comments Off on What Is Hydrology?

WHAT IS HYDROLOGY? Hydrology is the study of water from a scientific standpoint. It includes the study of water's occurrence, properties, circulation, and distribution on, beneath, and above the earth's surface. Hydrologists are [...]

  • define ocean acidification

What Is Ocean Acidification?

Comments Off on What Is Ocean Acidification?

WHAT IS OCEAN ACIDIFICATION? Ocean acidification is the process by which the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus decreasing the ocean’s pH. The ocean absorbs up to one-third of the carbon [...]

  • what is the wildlife trade

What Is the Wildlife Trade?

Comments Off on What Is the Wildlife Trade?

WHAT IS THE WILDLIFE TRADE? It is called the "wildlife trade" when people trade and sell living or dead wild animals and plants. This practice has a direct effect on biodiversity and also [...]

  • Why corals are important

Why Are Coral Reefs Important?

Comments Off on Why Are Coral Reefs Important?

Why Are Coral Reefs Important? At first look, you may think you’re looking at a lump of colorful rocks. But, these are not rocks. These eye-catching figures are coral reefs! Found in oceans [...]

  • ocean dead zone

Ocean Dead Zones

Comments Off on Ocean Dead Zones

Ocean Dead Zones The ocean is an important part of our ecosystem. It produces most of the oxygen we breathe. It’s also very important for our economy, providing food for many people around [...]

  • walking outside and fitness

Walking for Fitness

Comments Off on Walking for Fitness

Walking is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. In fact, walking has been proven to be one of the best ways to lose weight because it burns calories. It also helps [...]

  • What's Avian Flu

What’s Avian Flu?

Comments Off on What’s Avian Flu?

What is Avian Flu? Avian flu, also known as avian influenza or bird flu, is a viral disease that primarily affects birds. The virus can be transmitted between different species of birds, but [...]

  • what is carbon absorption

What is Carbon Absorption

Comments Off on What is Carbon Absorption

What is Carbon Absorption? Carbon absorption, or carbon sequestration, is the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This process occurs naturally through photosynthesis in plants and algae, which absorb [...]

Have a Topic Suggestion ? We are Open to New Ideas!