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65 million buffalo once gave off methane

65 million buffalo once gave off methane


Cattle can be blamed for producing methane and adding to the global warming situation, but has it ever occurred to anyone about the 65 million buffalo that roamed North America before settlement?

Buffalo have the same four-chambered digestive system and produce the exact same "methane-killing gas" that cattle do. It didn't hurt the atmosphere back then considering there weren't vehicles or fossil fuel-powered machines. In Yellowstone National Park, there are still thousands that inhabit the area that have not changed their digestive systems, mind you. It is a natural process, it's what its body does, and it can't be helped.

I'm not saying that cattle and bison are to blame. Yes, poor range/grazing management will harm the land if not properly managed and maintained. Grazing has been a major part of the Western states and a major part of producing food worldwide. Poor climate conditions and drought have an impact on grazing, resulting in a negative effect. But if we did go vegan, you have to produce the vegetables and grains, you have to till the land to farm, which is worse than cattle grazing. Tilling land exposes minerals and other components that are essential for native grasses. There are many factors involved, just not one lone area. Devising a good grazing management plan would be beneficial. On the feeding of livestock topic, the soybeans, corn and grain consumed by livestock are mostly the after-products not for human consumption, so it doesn't benefit us in any way except to feed the livestock.

Cattle and bison are natural beings that should not be removed considering they keep a majority of the world from starving. I think we should look at all the factors, not consider just one. Doing some homework before confronting people should be on the to-do list.

Ashley Boomer, Philipsburg

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