Beef’s Dirty Secrets (VIDEO)

Is meat a sustainable food? In 2006, the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization released a revealing report that showed animal agriculture may potentially contribute more to global climate change than cars, producing roughly 18% of the greenhouse gases that human activities add to the atmosphere each year.

And the environmental damage caused by large scale industrial production of meat doesn’t stop there — improperly handled animal waste from factory farms has been implicated as the cause of poisoned crop fields and contaminated water supplies.

Inform, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, recently created a video, The Secret Life of Beef, that highlights several major environmental problems associated with industrial farming of cattle for meat.

It’s a great quick summary of the primary reasons why many environmentalists and sustainable food advocates are concerned about the industrialized world’s ever-increasing consumption of beef. Vegetarians who are tired of explaining their dietary choices to skeptical relatives over Thansgiving dinner, take note: The Secret Life of Beef could serve as a good introduction, for the uninitiated, to the environmental argument for vegetarianism.

But for the benefit of eco-conscious omnivores, Inform’s video also highlights the efforts of environmentally-conscious farmers who are working to promote more humane, eco-friendly methods of producing beef.

Photo by Jon Sullivan. Public domain. From Wikimedia Commons.


Jim Ven
Jim V19 days ago

thanks for sharing.

federico bortoletto
federico b4 years ago

Grazie delle informazioni.

Vicky F.
Past Member 4 years ago The Secret Life Of Beef. A link.

Vicky F.
Past Member 4 years ago The secret life of beef link.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

I bless the day I decided to be a "veggie!"

Sir Walk F.
Sir Walk F6 years ago

Diane, we can't go 'back', but we certainly can go forward to family farms. Small, locally-based farms CAN feed the current population.

We just need to invest in them in the same way we currently invest in the Industrial Agriculture model with billions in subsidies. Imagine of that money was directed towards sustainable farmers instead of Cargil and Mopnsanto!

Diane B.
Diane B6 years ago

Reducing our population would help reduce the need for fast turnover, production of our food sources, both plant and animal.
It's the need for more food to support our ever growing population that causes the current problems. I wish we could go back to the manageable family farms, where people really cared about the treatment of their farm animals.

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar6 years ago


Adam G.
Adam G6 years ago

you don't need to give up meat to help the environment immensely.

kangaroos produce almost NIL greenhouse gasses, the meat looks & tastes exactly the same as beef but with less fat, and 'roos domesticate incredibly easy. I eat more 'roo than beef, pork & lamb together & my health is fantastic for it.

Sir Walk F.
Sir Walk F6 years ago

Ms Judy-The exception I take is your first paragraph that inaccurately attempts to interpret the UN study in question as implicating all 'meat' when it is ACTUALLY a an indictment of factory farm methods, and not animal husbandry in general.

To inaccurately reference the 2006 UN study is a common tactic I see here on care2, and from other PETAphiles. Since I have actually READ the study numerous times, I know just how badly you are bastardizing it's info and conclusion in order to prop up your pre-determined ideas about 'meat'.

So, perhaps it is you who needs to actually read the UN study in question instead of repeating PETA talking points that have been debunked repeatedly for years now.