20 things to think about when you sit down to a beef or chicken meal

Kent Comfort
3 min readMay 9, 2022

1. According to IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) animals such as cattle, goats and sheep (the four leggers) have the highest greenhouse gas contributions among our food sources. Does that get your goat?

2. The World Resources Institute states that without a dramatic reduction in beef consumption, it will be impossible to prevent global warming from exceeding 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. You probably do not want to live with that.

3. Measured in grams of protein, beef has 10 times the carbon footprint of chicken. But wait, there’s more!

4. Beef uses 23 times more farmland and three times as much water as chicken. Yes, cows are bigger than chickens.

5. The per capita U.S. beef consumption has declined nearly 33% from the 1970s to 2017. Then, why aren’t we healthier?

6. During that some period, chicken consumption has more than doubled, to 5 pounds per year per person in the last five years. That Costco 3 pounder adds up quick!

7. Approximately 134 chickens are required to equal one cow’s worth of meet. That might depend on which parts of the chicken and cow you are eating, right?

8. More than 9 billion chickens are killed for meat each year, nearly all of which are produced in factory farms. That’s more than one chicken per man, woman, and child for the entire planet!

9. Factory chicken farms confine chickens to less than one square foot of space per animal. We need to move them out of those Brooklyn apartments!

10. Chickens artificially bred for faster than natural growth commonly have skeletal weakness that causes extreme pain in movement resulting in them sitting in their own waste which leads to sores and infections. Does that sounds appetizing!

11. Chicken manure accumulates at a rate of 150 tons per chicken house per year. I’m not stepping into that house!

12. Over 10 million tons of chicken manure is produced from 230,000 poultry farms in the U.S. Does that make us number one at something?

13. The common use of chicken manure for fertilizers does not come close to using the volume of manure currently produced. Read on to see what happens to much of the leftovers.

14. Poultry waste runoff is contaminating waterways that cause dead zones which create pathogens like salmonella, staph infections, and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Ugh!

15. If a major shift from beef to chicken consumption were to occur, this would lead to a devastating ripple effect on communities close to poultry production facilities that are generating this pollution. So eating only chicken is not sounding like a solution!

16. Shifting meat consumption practices away from factory farm production to smaller local farming operations that produce open pasture raised animals would have a major favorable improvement of as much as 50% toward environmental impact. Get to know your farming neighbors!

17. Factory farm’s manure produces 100 times higher methane emissions than manure distributed on open pasture. Your nose knows this if you drive by a feedlot.

18. If the U.S. population ate plant-based food one day per week, and only pasture-raised animal products another day each week, 2.8 billion animals per year from factory farms would be spared. That doesn’t seem like a lot to ask!

19. Taxpayer funded subsidies for corn and soy feed production have the effect of artificially reducing cost as much as 26%, resulting in chicken factory farm production being 13% below actual cost. Does that mean corn, soy and chicken producers are on welfare?

20. FSRA (Farm System Reform Act) is pending federal legislation designed to phase out factory farming and shift support to local family farming operations. Let’s learn more about this and support it!



Kent Comfort

Kent Comfort is a writer, entrepreneur and podcaster. He enjoys life in the southwest with his wife and their cocker spaniel.