Carnivorous diets burn more fossil fuel as animals and humans have same basal metabolic rate

January 14, 2015

Animal diet is 2100W as opposed to vegetarian diet of 1500W
Humans and animals generate power through a different process from burning fossil fuels, but the physics and end-prodcts are exactly the same.
Adult humans consume about 1500 W per capita from fossil fuels and "the basal metabolic rate of an adult human, is about 150 W."
"practically every warmblooded creature dissipates about 2 W kg^ -1 to stay alive."
"The weighted average for species that we eat is close to the value for humans."
To eat our own body mass in meat each year, we have to maintain three times our mass of life farm animals: newborns, breeding animals and edible stock... we require animals to oxidize organic chemicals to carbon dioxide and water at the rate of about 450 W per human. Add this figure to the 1500 W we use from fossil fuels and our own personal 1500 W and we get a grand total of 2100W.
Farm animals generate about 21% of all carbon dioxide attributed to human activity.
"It takes about 60% less land to produce a given quantity of fat and protein from plants than from animals. If we cultivated the same fields, the world would be in food surplus rather than shortage, and we could grow biofuel crops to replace fossil sources. "

 

Alan Calvert, "A radical approach to Kyoto." Physics World. July 2005
[verified 4/15/14]

 

Please reload