Eating Beef Destroys Wild Horses and Causes Global Warming
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from

FROM IDA In Defense of Animals
May 2021

Help fight the climate crisis and protect wild horses and burros and many other animals of various species who rely on our public lands by ditching meat.

cattle vs. wild horses

The worsening climate crisis with its rapidly accelerating global warming is a problem that must not be ignored or disregarded. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows livestock production is a major contributing factor to greenhouse gases. Ranching interests in the U.S. continually push our government to rid the public lands of wild horses while they overrun them with their exploited cattle and sheep, which causes environmental mayhem to the planet.

The U.N. data reveals that 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, and 41% of that comes from cattle raised and brutally killed for beef. Organizations and commercial companies are realizing that mass livestock production is destructive to the planet. For example, Epicurious, a popular cooking website, recently announced that it wouldl no longer publish recipes using beef precisely because of the impact cattle ranching has on the climate crisis.

Climate scientists have told us that cattle ranching and dairy farming are unsustainable, generating high levels of greenhouse gases. One reason is that cows and cattle produce vast amounts of methane as a byproduct of their digestive processes.

Private ranchers grazing the cattle they exploit on public lands that belong to all of us pay a monetary cost exceedingly below fair market value. The government program expenses far outweigh the income generated. The immense ecological harm to the planet is from ranchers exploiting cows and cattle while severely degrading our public lands.

In contrast, wild horses and burros benefit the range and environment in many ways. For instance, grass seeds go through their digestive systems intact to reseed areas, while the complex, four-stomach digestive systems of bovines prevent that process from occurring.

Yet special interest groups that want the public land resources for their personal gain blame the wild equids for the damage and convince the government to remove them. As a result, wild horses die in brutal government roundups or after they are captured and sold to slaughter buyers.

A recent letter addressing these environmental issues signed by major environmental organizations, including In Defense of Animals, was sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior. It asked for the removal of livestock from public lands that are Herd Management Areas (HMAs). These HMAs are, by law, to be used primarily for wild horses and burros, yet the wild equines are vastly outnumbered by private livestock. The letter stated:

“Addressing livestock-induced ecological problems within BLM Herd Management Areas would potentially restore the ability of these lands to sequester carbon, help climate stabilization efforts, and also address biodiversity issues.”

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