Although the large oil industry is much to blame, the animal agriculture industry is rapidly becoming the worst greenhouse gas emitting industry out there. The global spike in meat and animal product consumption and the rising population is forcing the meat and dairy industries to grow and an incredible rate. It is estimated that by the year 2050, animal agriculture will make up around 81% of all global emissions.
In the United States alone, about 42% of emissions come directly from animal agriculture. The majority of those gases are caused by animals that use bacteria in their stomachs to ferment food. When they burb or pass gas is causes a very large amount of methane gas to be released into the atmosphere.
A 2018 study found that when taking into account entire supply chains (fertilizer production, growing of feed, transport, etc), the combined emissions of the top 5 global meat and dairy producers exceeds that of the top oil producers like Exxon-Mobil, Shell, and BP.
The below scorecard shows us the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in order to produce each type of food. What we see is the incredibly large difference between the emissions from plant-based foods and animal agriculture.
By switching to a plant-based diet alone, you can save greenhouse gas emissions immediately. For example, eating beef has 20 times more negative impact on land use and greenhouse gases than eating beans.