According to the EPA, livestock emissions are a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture contributes 24 percent of total emissions, compared to only 14 percent for transportation. Included in the agriculture number is cultivating the feed for animals and deforestation, but a significant portion of the emissions is methane from livestock. Methane is one of the worst types of greenhouse gases.

Now, let’s be honest, the entire world isn’t going to go vegetarian anytime soon but at the same time, it will be hard for the planet to handle the continued effects from livestock production. What if there was what seems like a magic pill that decreases livestock emissions by at least 30 percent? That is exactly what Mootral claims, and it is a possible game changer in the fight against greenhouse gases and livestock production.

What is Mootral? Mootral is a natural supplement made from plant extracts that decreases methane production in enteric fermentation of food digested by livestock (mainly through burping). You might be surprised to hear that over 80 percent of livestock methane comes out of their mouths as opposed to the other end. Besides reducing methane emissions, it also promotes healthy growth and development in livestock. The scientists at Mootral claim that if 40 percent of all cows were specifically fed Mootral, it would equate to 3 billion tons of CO2e or 2.5 percent of current global emissions; that’s the equivalent of taking at least 200 million cars off the road!

While the supplement has been tested for the past 10 years with success, it is still in its infancy in regard to use by the industry, which has been almost exclusively in Europe. There are many reasons for farmers to eventually utilize the supplement, beside the reduction in emissions; the supplement could eventually be free by establishing a new carbon credit related to the use of Mootral. Throughout the world there are government mandated, market based approaches to controlling population through trading and purchasing of carbon credits and providing incentives for reducing emissions. The use of Mootral could eventually qualify farmers for such incentives.

The use of Mootral appears to be a win-win for the planet, consumers and farmers. While many more are becoming vegetarians, the sheer total of animal consumers will undoubtedly increase; therefore, it’s time to do something about the emissions, and Mootral might just be the magic supplement the world needs.