We keep hearing about how cows are releasing carbon into the atmosphere. So lets talk about something called the “Law of Conservation of Mass.” It’s a thing. Now cows, like nearly all living things on the planet, are made of organic compounds. An organic compound is a chemical compound that contains the elements oxygen, CARBON, and hydrogen, which means that they contain carbon-hydrogen bonds.
Again, nearly all living things on the planet get their energy either directly from the sun, or from consuming other living things. The cow gets those carbon atoms by ingesting other living things- namely plants. Plants are largely made of carbohydrates, which are organic compounds.
Where do plants get their carbohydrates from? They make them, using water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and energy from the sun.
This process is called the “carbon cycle.” The carbon is absorbed from the air, ingested by the cow, and then either becomes part of the cow or is discharged in the form of cow farts, exhaled CO2, or manure.
The point here is that the cow can’t release more carbon from the atmosphere than it has absorbed from plants. Where does the plant get the carbon? From the atmosphere. It’s a cycle.