Letter: There's a bison-shaped hole in Calvert's logic
I am writing in response to the letter published on Dec. 19th by John Calvert who shared some alarming numbers on greenhouse gasses and water consumption associated with animal husbandry. I was shocked by his claims that methane gas from bovine flatulence may be causing climate change, so I decided to do a little research.
Calvert is correct; there is roughly 92 million head of cattle in the United States today, and these bovines do indeed flatulate and consume large amounts of water.
One might worry themselves to death over these numbers, unless they understand their historical context. It turns out that 200 years ago, in addition to domesticated cattle there were vast herds of large bovine creatures roaming the western plains of North America. These bovines were called bison, and estimates of their historical numbers range from 60 to 100 million.
I did a little more research, and I determined that these bison also drank water and their flatulence also contained methane.
My advice to Calvert is to get back to the drawing board and figure out some way to move the goal posts because I'm not convinced.