“Regenesis” is a new book from The Guardian reporter George Monbiot that is a damning indictment of the impact of meat-raising on land use efficiency, output per acre, wildlife, and carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) load. He called organic pasture-fed beef and lamb the “most damaging farm products.”
It also takes regenerative meat, and even organic meat, to task for inefficient production and argues that due to a lack of data we’ve fooling ourselves. Monbiot claims that GHG emission from organic beef is astonishingly high, even in comparison with conventional beef farming.
“Arable crops, some of which are fed to farm animals, occupy 12% of the planet’s land surface. But far more land (about 26%) is used for grazing: in other words, for pasture-fed meat and milk. Yet, across this vast area, farm animals that are entirely pasture-fed produce just 1% of the world’s protein.
Livestock farmers often claim that their grazing systems “mimic nature”. If so, the mimicry is a crude caricature. A review of evidence from over 100 studies found that when livestock are removed from the land, the abundance and diversity of almost all groups of wild animals increases. The only category in which numbers fall when grazing by cattle or sheep ceases are those that eat dung. Where there are cattle, there are fewer wild mammals, birds, reptiles and insects on the land, and fewer fish in the rivers. Perhaps most importantly – because of their crucial role in regulating living systems – there tend to be no large predators.”
Another study revealed investing in food production from hempseed instead of animal products can result in three times more GHG reduction compared to investment in green cement technology (like Hempcrete), seven times more than green buildings, and 11 times more than zero-emission cars.