(A) new analysis from Worldwatch Institute shows that the impact of raising livestock and poultry is much greater than previously thought and actually amounts to approximately 51% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions:
The FAO's widely-cited 2006 report Livestock's Long Shadow listed annual greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to be 11.8%. However, Worldwatch shows that the FAO severely undercounted or misallocated emissions from a number of areas in the livestock production chain.
More than anything it seems an exercise in making sure emissions are properly attributed.
Yet another reason to hug a vegetarian. If you like to eat meat, as I admittedly do, you can still dramatically reduce your impact by sticking with organic chicken and MSC-approved fish, and by avoiding beef as much as possible.
What, you say? You love yourself a big juicy steak -- at least on occasion? Aim for one that is organic and grass-fed, ideally from a local ranch is truly sustainable: not only organic, but also doesn't overgraze, fences off streams from cows, and so forth. While we still need a good eco-certification for vetting sustainably produced beef and lamb (and helping us avoid meat from ranches that are overgrazed to smithereens), Bay Area friends can check out Stemple Creek Ranch...
Read about Worldwatch's meaty accounting of emissions>>