To Save the Earth, Gobble Chicken
Beef production worst, but vegetarian diet isn't eco-friendliest
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2007 4:06 PM CDT
Activists from People for the Ethical treatment of Animals, or PETA, protest in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, July 19, 2007. When PETA chose to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When it comes to environmentally friendly eating habits, a vegetarian diet isn't necessarily the answer. PETA would have us believe that meat consumption is the single biggest cause of global warming, but the group is misinformed, Salon says—fossil fuels are to blame. To chow down ethically, steer clear of gas-producing beef and pork products and order chicken.

Livestock—especially cattle—generates methane and nitrous oxide with its burps and manure, and emits 6% of US greenhouse gases. But chickens don't, and they're hyper-efficient protein producers. An industrial chicken may not have the happiest life, but because of gases produced in raising crops, eating one is more energy efficient than following a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.