Debunking the myths about beef with the facts and truth


By Jordan Vos, Alberta Farmer Express (Canada)

September 4, 2019


Jordan Vos, 21, of Burdett was the senior winner in the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition at the Calgary Stampede. She chose the topic: ‘Bust a myth in Canadian agriculture.’


Take a deep breath, smell the juicy burger with all the fixin’s… featuring an all-Canadian beef burger! Mmmm Mmmm!


One of the biggest myths in Canadian agriculture is: Cattle are killing the climate. Along with this, it is often said “Stop eating beef!” to do your part.


I have friends and co-workers who have made their decision to eat a plant-based diet. We have had many great discussions on their reasons for their decision. In many cases, their reasoning is the same: It is more environmentally friendly to not eat beef, or that raising beef cattle reduces biodiversity and resilience of the ecosystems.


The David Suzuki Foundation advocates for “meat-free meals” and organic local foods. I am all for supporting local, but the foundation’s claims on organics are based on vague and nameless studies.


I must not get angry when reading and hearing about these things.


Instead, I need to debunk these myths with facts and truth, along with my viewpoint. Speaking from my own experience along with detailed research, I completely disagree that cattle are the culprits to blame for climate change.


In 2006, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization released a report called Livestock’s Long Shadow. This report asserted that cattle were responsible for 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and concluded that livestock were doing more harm to the climate than all transportation forms combined.


This report didn’t compare them fairly.


It used the factors of the transport, production, and life processes of cattle, and pitted them only against the exhaust of transportation.


When you think about it logically, does it make sense that cattle eating grass and being shipped to market would have more impact than cars being produced en masse in a factory? Including the mining and production of the materials used to make them? I know this is definitely not the case.


The wonderful fact is that ranching has become more and more efficient.


The Beef Science Cluster funded a project in 2015 and discovered...