As the rise of veganism continues to question the methods of the meat industry, one chemical compound still resonates as the true danger of mass meat production.
People who promote the leather industry will state to vegans (and truly so) that methane is the natural gas created when bacteria breakdown organic matter, indeed , we can all produce methane quite embarrassingly! The trouble comes with excess. Although methane stays in the atmosphere for a shorter time than other greenhouse gases, its effects are more damaging:
Methane produces 21 times as much warming as C02
The level of methane has risen 2.5 times since the industrial revolution
Methane has unpredictable removal processes
Its capability of locking in heat to the atmosphere makes it responsible for 20% of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ even though it is present in less concentrations.
As for the natural gas argument , 2 thirds of global methane comes from man made sources i.e fossil fuels and of course (we had to mention it) cattle ranching. With the rise in demand for cheap leather, the lack of vegan alternatives as well as the demand for cheap meat, how can we limit methane in the atmosphere without changing paradigms? The answer is that we can’t.