5-speed listening (Level 3)

Beef production damages the environment



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A new study says beef production is very damaging to the environment. It damages the environment around ten times more than the production of pork, lamb, chicken or other farm animals. Scientists said cows need 28 times more land and 11 times more water than pigs, sheep or chickens. They also produce a lot of greenhouse gas after they eat. Compared to food like potatoes, wheat, and rice, beef production needs 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases. The scientists said farming (of livestock and crops) is a major cause of global warming. It causes 15 per cent of all greenhouse gases. About half of this is from livestock.

One scientist said we could all reduce our carbon footprint by eating less beef. Professor Mark Sutton from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK said cutting down on the amount of beef we eat is better for the environment than using the car less. He also said that if we ate less beef, we could use the wheat that farmers give to cows to feed starving people. He said this sounds simple, but many governments would not try to do it. Professor Sutton said: "Governments should consider these messages carefully if they want to improve overall production." He added: "The message for the consumer is even stronger. Avoiding excessive meat consumption, especially beef, is good for the environment."

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