Michael Eisen, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Patrick Brown, a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University and the CEO of Impossible Foods Inc created a study claiming that by eliminating all animal agriculture within the next 15-20 years, we could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Michael Eisen, is a consultant for Impossible Foods, and he and Brown used a climate model to look at the impact of eliminating emissions tied to animal agriculture and of restoring native vegetation on the 30% of Earth’s land surface that is currently used to house and feed our livestock.
They then discovered that the resulting drop in methane and nitrous oxide levels, and the conversion of 800 gigatons (which is 800 billion tons) of carbon dioxide to forest, grassland, and soil biomass, would have the same beneficial impact on global warming as cutting out the annual global CO2 emissions by 68%.
“Our work is showing that ending animal agriculture has the potential to significantly reduce atmospheric levels of all three major greenhouse gases, which, because we have dithered in responding to the climate crisis, is now necessary to avert climate catastrophe,” said Eisen.
Both Eisen and Brown are vegans and convinced themselves to stop eating meat after learning about the impact of animal agriculture has on the world's climate.
Patrick Brown recently launched plant-based chicken nuggets and ground pork products for Impossible Foods.
Eisen and Brown's conclusion is that a 15-20 year phaseout of animal products could immediately eliminate a third of all methane emissions globally and two-thirds of all nitrous oxide emissions, which would then allow the atmosphere to achieve a new equilibrium at lower levels of both.