SIR - According to Keith Thomson (T&A, October 6) some 1.5 billion cattle are responsible for 18 per cent of climate change.

Producing fertiliser for feed, clearing forests for grazing and transporting meat products produces nine per cent of all CO2, 37 per cent of all methane is cattle burped and 65 per cent of the nitrous oxide comes from manure.

He suggests we eat less meat to reduce these gases but I suspect he would rather we all became vegetarians or better still vegans.

Unfortunately there are four times as many people on this planet as there are cattle and all exhale CO2. If we all ceased being omnivores to placate the environmentalists, surely there would be an increase in climate change gases like those associated with cattle?

Methane is produced by decomposition of vegetable matter and in any case, as it is inflammable, I would have thought the sun would burn most of it off.

Statisticians shower us with figures like confetti but are too often inconsistent leaving us none the wiser.

Andrew Lang (Scottish man of letters) seems to have hit the nail on the head with his quote: "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts - for support rather than illumination."

David Rhodes, Croscombe Walk, Bradford