UN definition of food systems transformation as Reduction NOT Elimination

During the UN SDG Food Systems Transformation session on September 17, 2023, I learned that “food systems transformation” is defined as the reduction of nonhuman agriculture rather than the elimination of nonhuman agriculture for two reasons according to a UN chief economist:  protein (primarily cow’s milk) and carbon emissions.

First, with respect to protein and cow’s milk, the UN chief economist to whom I spoke falsely stated that human beings need cow’s milk. The Truth is that there exists no reason that human beings cannot be weaned (from their own mothers’ milk or cow’s milk) like all other species. If human beings are stealing cow’s milk, then what are the baby calves who need to gain 400 pounds drinking? Not only do human beings not need cow’s milk, it has proven detrimental to human health. (See plethora of posts throughout this site.)

Second, regarding carbon emissions, UN FAO statistics provide a limited picture of livestock’s full climate impact. FAO research is not peer reviewed which is the number one rule of research. Research must be peer reviewed to count. FAO’s latest numbers were produced by the third version of its Global Livestock Assessment Model (GLEAM), a tool FAO has been refining since 2009. The new decreased estimates do NOT mean the world is successfully mitigating emissions from nonhuman animal agriculture. Rather, the FAO has been changing the parameters to measure them. 2021 study found significant discrepancies between real world measurements of methane and FAO’s modeled versions.

Specifically, the Count All Data Coalition (CADC) reminds scientists, economists and academicians that nonhuman beings who breathe CO2 must be counted.

In addition, the UN does not count 70% of deforestation (action of clearing a wide area of trees.) Deforestation is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. FAO excludes one of the most important ways nonhuman animal agriculture exacerbates climate change, the immense amount of land it requires. Livestock uses 75% of the world’s agricultural land (including land farm nonhuman animals live on and land devoted to growing crops to feed them.) FAO also ignores the major carbon opportunity costs of the massive land use of nonhuman animal agriculture. FAO does not count the opportunity cost of nonhuman animal agriculture’s land use (a massive 40% of our planet’s habitable land area). Furthermore, FAO does not factor in significant climate benefits we would receive if we freed up some of the land now dedicated to livestock farming and allowed forests to return, unlocking their potential as “carbon sinks” that absorb and sequester greenhouse gases from the air. Freeing up land would allow large scale reforestation and native ecosystem restoration.

Rewilding is a form of ecological restoration aimed at increasing biodiversity and restoring natural processes (aspires to reduce human influence on ecosystems.)

Nonhuman animal agriculture is responsible for 87% of global emissions.

UN Data
FAO estimates nonhuman animal agriculture (production of meat, dairy, eggs) has been decreasing.
and accordingly, CO2 emissions have been decreasing;
2015…..nonhuman animal agriculture accounts for 6.19 billion tons of CO2
2013…..nonhuman animal agriculture accounts for 7.10 billion tons of CO2
Methane is now 27X as potent as carbon dioxide (CO2). (Previous IPCC estimate was 34X.)
Nitrous Oxide is now 273X as potent as carbon dioxide (CO2). (Previous IPCC estimate was 298X.)

Raw Data
Number of nonhuman animals raised for food
2021…..83 billion land nonhuman animals slaughtered for food (mostly chickens)
2011…..68 billion land nonhuman animals slaughtered for food (mostly chickens)
2006…..55 billion land nonhuman animals slaughtered for food (mostly chickens)

Legal Limitations
US EPA has been blocked from using its funds to measure livestock emissions and a bill introduced in the Senate in 2022 aimed for an outright ban on monitoring methane emissions. Nitrous oxide is difficult to measure and model.

Awaiting confirmation of Final Bill before posting herein.