There is no clear evidence that livestock grazing can significantly enhance soil carbon stores. And there is significant research that demonstrates greater carbon storage with no grazing. Livestock grazing appears to be a questionable strategy for reducing global atmospheric carbon. Climatic conditions year to year, for instance, can shift carbon storage in grazed areas from a positive to a negative. Furthermore, any storage is gradual and takes years to accumulate, while carbon uptake by soils is finite and slows over time. And compared to almost all other ecosystems, arid rangelands are among the least productive ecosystems—hence have little potential for soil carbon storage compared to other ecosystems like forests.<...>
One cannot look at the soil carbon storage issue out of context. Livestock are among the greatest source of GHG emissions now—and reducing livestock numbers is the quickest and perhaps the most effective means of significantly altering GHG emissions. Furthermore, there are a host of collateral damages created by livestock production, from the destruction of soil biocrusts, killing of predators, water pollution, clearing of forests for pasture, and so on.
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Significant Ecological Impacts of Livestock Production
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The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - the average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all - ~97% - healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
The process for setting the RDA depends on being able to set an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). If an EAR cannot be set, no RDA will be set. The EAR is the daily intake value of a nutrient that is estimated to meet the nutrient requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group.
The RDA is set at the EAR plus twice the standard deviation (SD) if known (RDA = EAR + 2 SD). If data about variability in requirements are insufficient to calculate a standard deviation, a coefficient of variation for the EAR of 10% is ordinarily assumed (RDA = 1.2 x EAR).
The RDA for a nutrient is a value to be used as a goal for dietary intake by healthy individuals. The RDA is not intended to be used to assess the diets of either individuals or groups or to plan diets for groups.