The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals livestock and hamburgers contribute to greenhouse gas pollution
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Animals, Causes, Environment.
Photo: CIR

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), known for their video “Hidden Costs of Gas,” has released a new video titled “The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers,” revealing startling facts about the effects of worldwide livestock and the consumption of beef on our planet.

In the video, seen below, it explores the major threat of animal agriculture to our environment. As CIR reveals, “[It] turns out that worldwide livestock are a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, right up there with cars, planes and trains. And at the rate we are producing beef worldwide, emissions from cows, along with other harmful practices and beef production, threaten to mess up our climate, land and water big time.”

So, what are the hidden costs of beef, especially eating hamburgers? Here’s one statistic: On average Americans eat three burgers a week, resulting in three times more meat consumption than people in other countries. Now, that’s a lot of meat.

If you do the math on hamburger consumption, it averages out to 156 burgers per person per year or more than 48 billion burgers every year!

The video puts into perspective how meat contributes to greenhouse gas pollution. For example, one quarter-pounder clocks in at 6 ½ pounds of greenhouse gases, but with Americans eating three burgers per week it equals out to more than 158 million tons of greenhouse gases per year. That’s quite astonishing.

Even though you can order a burger at basically any fast food chain for $1 (if you order off the dollar menu), there are still remarkable environmental costs. CIR reports that every burger costs us an additional $1.51 in hidden costs, resulting in $72 billion in extra costs per year.

For more information on the beef industry and its devastating effects on the plant, watch the video. As we all know, eating too much red meat can lead to heart disease and now many other hidden costs.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

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  • CharleyX

    LOL! People who flap their lips about hamburgers create greenhouse gas pollution!

  • Kim Far

    My butt creates greenhouse gas too! hahahaha

  • kmb42vt

    With the understanding that my comment does not reflect on Allyson Koerner whatsoever…

    Oh good heavens! What next? Have they just discovered this after decades of knowledge that large herds/flocks are one of the top contributers of methane gas (besides other particles as the article states)? Methane being one of the major greenhouse gases? I read a report on this back in the late 70’s (National Geographic if I recall) that the highest contributor to greenhouse gases were large flocks of sheep and large herds of beef and dairy cattle.

    One of the largest contributers to green house gas pollution, as always, is people, not hamburgers.

  • David Carlson

    Solution: bypass the cow and eat the corn and soybeans directly, avoiding environmental and heath drawbacks.

    Try the Bill Clinton diet: no animal products.