Bill Gates: “Cows have a digestion system that emits methane. We need to change cows and work towards artificial meat”

“Cows have a digestion system that emits methane. We need to change cows and work towards artificial meat” ~ Bill Gates.

In May 2021, Bill Gates officially stepped down from the board of Microsoft, the tech giant he co-founded nearly fifty years ago. Since departing from his active role at Microsoft, Gates has garnered significant attention for his relentless efforts in combating infectious diseases and addressing climate change.

In his post-Microsoft career, Gates has become a prominent voice in the climate change discourse, repeatedly sounding the alarm about the impending environmental crisis. He also made waves after he urged wealthy nations to transition entirely to lab-grown meat, presenting it as a viable solution to the escalating climate crisis.

During a Q&A with MIT Technology Review, Gates was asked whether he believes plant-based and lab-grown meats could be a comprehensive solution to the global protein problem, particularly in poorer nations. Gates responded,

“No, I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will be eating synthetic meat. But I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and they’re working to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, the green premium will be modest enough that you can change people’s behavior or use regulation to shift demand completely.”

For over a decade, Gates has been vocal about the dangers of climate change. He has committed to reducing his own carbon footprint by flying less and consuming more lab-grown meat. “I plan to fly a lot less now that the pandemic has shown we can get by with fewer trips,” Gates said during a Reddit AMA session.

As a dedicated climate change activist and environmental philanthropist, Gates has invested millions in cell-based meat startups like Memphis Meats through his climate fund, Breakthrough Energy.

In the ongoing fight against climate change, Gates has further emphasized the need to modify cows to reduce methane emissions. In an interview with Economic Club president David M. Rubenstein, Gates explained in this unearthed video that cows and other grass-eating animals emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“Cows alone account for about 6 percent of global emissions,” Gates noted, stressing the need to “change cows.

When asked how to achieve this, Gates highlighted the potential of “artificial meat” and the progress made by companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, both of which he has invested in.

“Artificial meat is slightly healthier in terms of less cholesterol and significantly reduces methane emissions,” he said. “You can now go to Burger King and buy an Impossible Burger. It’s not only healthier for you but also reduces animal cruelty, manure management issues, and the environmental pressure from meat consumption.”

In his recent book, Gates further underscores the urgency of raising climate change awareness globally and providing a clear framework for understanding climate policy. He outlines the necessary steps to eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing climate action for maximum impact.

Gates’ advocacy for lab-grown meat and his investments in sustainable food technology reflect his broader commitment to finding innovative solutions to the climate crisis. As he continues to champion these causes, the hope is that rich nations will heed his call and take significant strides towards a more sustainable future.

Below is a video of Gates with Economic Club president David M. Rubenstein.