Biogas from pig slurry, gas from suffering

Biogas from pig slurry, gas from suffering

Carbon balance and intellectual swindle

Download the study on the carbon footprint of biogas from pig slurry

Producing biogas from pig slurry improves the carbon balance of pig production by only around 7% 1. Given the heavy environmental impact of the industry, this is a very small improvement, and does nothing to legitimise the mass production of pigs. The promotion of this biogas serves the economic interests of the industry, but the supposedly favourable balance sheet is based on conventions that take no account of the real environmental impact of pig production, nor of the much more favourable alternatives that exist for the use of biomass and land use (in terms of nutrition, biodiversity and carbon storage).

The distress of the pigs that produce the slurry means that this biogas is a gas of suffering. Biogas plants for conventional pig farms rely on longlasting suffering.

Jeanne Cadiou concludes her thesis2 on methanisation in the Grand Est region as follows:

“In conclusion, our analysis of the sustainability of methanisation highlights the fact that the challenge of developing agro-ecological methanisation lies, above all, in supporting the transition of agriculture.”

We need to add and to clarify: “… and in supporting the transition of livestock farming”.

1 The figure may vary slightly depending on the live weight, source of soya, farming practices… but the order of magnitude is the same.
2 Jeanne Cadiou : Le déploiement de la politique de méthanisation agricole en France : implications pour la transition agroécologique, 2023