Beef sustainability defended by farmers
Canadian cattle producers are working to make beef a more sustainable food source, say farmers in the wake of a study that shows beef production is far more environmentally damaging than other food production.
The study, published recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said raising beef does more damage to the environment than producing dairy, poultry, pork or eggs, producing more greenhouse gases, using more water, and taking up more land.
The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef was established a year ago to address some of those issues. Its aim is to both find better ways of raising beef cattle, and point out ways in which cattle farmers are working more sustainably.
P.E.I. cattle farmer Ivan Johnson is on the roundtable. He is using social media to inform consumers about the beef industry.
"If I was doing some certain practice on my farm, I take a selfie of myself, send it to the advocacy and that would be out to millions of people within a matter of time," said Johnson.
Beef producers point out cattle help preserve pasture land, which is a critical habitat for many species. That includes burrowing owls, swift fox, greater prairie chicken, sage grouse, and black-tailed prairie dogs, all of which are species at risk.
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