Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Help! Cows are hurting the planet!

Methane gas is a greenhouse gas much like carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 enters our atmosphere by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane gas has a 23 times higher negative effect on the environment, than the effect of CO2. The release of 100kg of Methane gas per cow each year, is equivalent to approximately 2300kg of CO2 each year.

There are approximately 971.4826 million cows on our planet.

Premise 1: Cows produce high levels of methane gas.

Premise 2: Methane gas emissions is a cause of global warming.

Conclusion: Cows cause global warming.

Image provided by Joe Gough


“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”  – Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch

Truth- Yes, this argument is factually correct.

Validity- Yes, this argument is valid.

Soundness- Yes, this argument is sound because it is both factually correct and valid.

When you look at global warming, it is a topic that is very controversial. Some people believe in it, meanwhile others think it is a pile of manure. If global warming is real, then yes, cows and other livestock have a part in this; but so does the human race.






4 Responses to Help! Cows are hurting the planet!

  1. kennedyka says:

    Hey Marina!
    I was really intrigued and slightly confused as soon as I saw the title of your post. I’m shocked after reading the information in your post. I never would’ve expected cows to be a cause for global warming! Do you think there’s anything we can do as humans to help this situation?


  2. JordanC says:

    Thanks for your post Marina! You raised some interesting questiosn that I haven’t really thought about. Your wording towards that end of the post when you state “if global warming is real” seems to imply that you are unsure if global warming is real or not. This seems kind of at odds with both the rest of your post, stating that cows cuase global warming, and established fact. While global warming is a controversial topic there are undeniable facts surrounding it, such as the raising of global temperature and sea levels. http://climate.nasa.gov/ has some great info. I reallly enjoyed reading your post! Thanks!

  3. benedict says:

    Hi Marina! I loved this post, and am very passionate about the subject of global warming. I just have a few questions.

    As humans who raise cows as cattle, are there ways we can adjust for the amount of methane produced by cows in the way we treat and feed them? And also, outside of doing something different with the cattle, what other things can humans do to reduce the amount of methane gas in the atmosphere. I’d also be interested to know if there’s a lot of research going into this by scientists, thanks!

  4. isabellasaujani says:

    Hi Marina! I appreciate the various arguments raised in the discussion. Your choice in topic is a very relevant and controversial one. Though you raise a good point about cows producing methane gas edmissions, your conclusion doesn’t really seem to follow the above premises. You said cows produce high levels of methane gas, and that methane gas is a cause of global warming. With the key word being “a”, meaning one of many. Your conclusion disregards that and may make your conclusion sound as though you are naming cows as the sole reason for global warming. Though what I believe you were stating was cows are a contributing aspect to global warming, this was just my interpretation of your argument though I’m sure many people would disagree. Do you believe that there could be advancents made to help aid the threat of global warming? Anyways, I really enjoyed your view on global warming and if you were interested here is a sight on global warming for some background information:http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-causes/



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