Going Vegan, Ep. 16: Digestion, bloat, methane, global warming.
Time for a digestive check in
Still flatulent. Not as much. But think about it: I’m not a very creative vegan yet, so my idea of a meal is a head of broccoli and some hummus. Hmmmm, raw veggies and beans! What a great combination!
So it’s not surprising that another Facebook trail about vegetarianism struck a chord. The exchange was entitled “Vegetarian Gas and Bloat.” Apparently vegetarians deal with this a lot.
However, it’s not just the personal discomfort that’s such a problem; the final exchange is a bit chilling:
“One final word: Did you all know that methane (from cows) is far worse for global warming than car emissions? Isn’t it interesting how governments won’t even consider going after (or even exposing) the agriculture industry to encourage more vegetarianism? Regardless, it’s just one more thing we can all feel GREAT about.”
Hey all, I just started being vegan. Mucho flatulence, just outrageous stinky town. Getting better, but thanks for all the resources. It will help me explain to my boyfriend that this is only temporary 😉
I was suspicious about the claim that methane was worse for global warming than car emissions, so I decided to do some recon and find out.
According to the EPA, it turns out, that yes, “mobile emissions” (which include cars, airplanes, trucks, ships, trains, etc…and your weedwacker) rated just 2 while “Enteric fermentation” (fermentation that takes place in the digestive track of domesticated livestock – doesn’t include emissions from stinky vegetarians) measured a whooping 139.8 in 2009.* Manure management adds another 49.5. The only other source that beats the animals is “Natural Gas Systems,” which comes in at 221.2.
My vegan friend Steph spends time on a farm (not a working farm, but where farm animals have been rescued to). I mentioned my shock about methane emissions to her.
“Oh yeah,” she nodded, “One cow can output 150 pounds of manure per day.”
*And these numbers are teragrams of CO2 equivalents, where 1 teragram = 1 million metric tons. Good lord.