Updated: Feb 2, 2022
During a late 2021 interview about the release of his new book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" with MIT Technology Review, the notorious philanthropist Bill Gates said that "all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef." In simple terms, Gates is saying to the people of western world, that they can’t eat red meat any more.
What kind of nonsense is this self-proclaimed medical doctor and climate scientist joker talking about? He is erroneously claiming that livestock production is as heavily disparaging to the climate as any other cause of greenhouse-gas emissions.
Let's debunk Bill Gates' livestock production caused climate change claim, shall we?
First things first. According to EPA, the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions from human activities in the US in 2019 was from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.
Greenhouse-Gas (CO2) Emissions From Agriculture
Only 10 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions came from agriculture – this number is the combined amount from livestock production, agricultural soils, and rice production.
Let's break down the Agriculture economic sector in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions:
Agricultural soils (5 %):
According to EPA data, various agricultural soil management practices such as application of fertilizers, the growth of nitrogen-fixing crops, the drainage of organic soils, and irrigation accounts for half of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Agriculture economic sector.
Livestock production (2.5 %):
Livestock such as cattle, produce methane (CH4) as part of their normal digestive processes. According to EPA data, this process represents a quarter of the emissions from the Agriculture economic sector.
Concluding Facts on Greenhouse-Gas Emissions From Agriculture
In 2019, livestock production accounted to a mere 2.5 % of the total CO2 production in the USA. While livestock production is evidently one of the contributors to over all greenhouse-gas emissions in the country, with only 2.5 %, livestock's contribution is definitely negligible compared to energy production, transportation and industrial and commercial activity (over 85 %).
During the last three decades, the greenhouse-gas emissions from agricultural activity remained the same.
Furthermore, after decades of relentless anti-meat campaigns in the US, beef consumption per capita has fallen substantially.
So, why is Bill Gates is so much interested in eliminating livestock production and consequently, real meat consumption?
Gates claims that plant-based fake meats have lower carbon footprint than that of beef, pork, chicken and other poultry.
This unproven claim serves purely self interest, as he is heavily invested in the companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods which are both producing plant-based fake meat alternatives.
Gates also claims that he carbon footprint of energy intensive cell-cultured meat (also referred to as cultivated, lab-grown, or cell-based meat) is also lower carbon footprint than that of beef, pork, chicken and other poultry.
Correctness of this claim is far from proven either. Gates is also heavily invested in Uprise Foods which is producing lab-cultivated cell-based meat.
We will look into cell-cultured meat (also referred to as cultivated, lab-grown, or cell-based meat) in depth in another blog post.
Our Answer to the Self Serving Claims of Bill Gates
There are simply no plant- or cell-based substitutes that taste, look, and feel similar to whole meat cuts which make up a large share of meat consumption.
No sir. We won't put down our forks at once because you are making such unfounded, sheer stupid claims which are only self serving. Go ahead and stuff yourself with your junk. And also, go ahead and shove your book somewhere fitting.