CATTLE CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL WARMING
RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil could reduce a large portion of its contribution to global warming just by making improvements in its cattle industry. Grazing animals, such as cows, produce a great deal of methane, one of the leading causes of the greenhouse effect. Cattle contribute an estimated 29 percent of the total volume of methane emitted within national territory, whether through internal fermentation in the digestive process or through defecation, Magda Lima, coordinator of the livestock division of the gas inventory, told Tierramérica. But cattle do not only generate gases that contribute to global warming. In Brazil, the animals are also associated with the country's top environmental problem: the burning of forests and the concentration of rural property in the hands of a few, which has proven to be a source of serious social conflicts. In many cases, especially on the agricultural frontier, people burn forests in order to create pasturelands, and abandon thousands of head of cattle there just to ensure ownership of large tracts of land by showing it is occupied. Meat and milk production is not the central goal.
OSAVA, Mario. Disponível em: <http://www.tierramerica.net/2000/1126/acent.html>. Acesso em: 15 ago. 2007. [Adaptado].
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