THESE weekly columns imply that you would expect me to do all I can to reduce my personal contribution to the increasing level of CO2 and methane gases that are warming the climate, and you would be mainly right.

So while I use public transport as I don’t have a car, don’t fly for pleasure, wear the life out of my clothes, and grow some of my own food there’s one area I’ve neglected.

I haven’t eaten red meat for years but I’ve always had small quantities of chicken, bacon, pork, mutton and milk until recently when I decided that I needed to do my bit to reduce the amount of methane produced by cows, and other smaller ruminant animals. So there’s now one more at the million plus UK vegetarian table.

Methane, though less abundant and shorter lived than CO2, is 23 times more effective in warming the climate, and cows produce almost one third of the UK’s total from their four stomachs. On average they each generate 100 kg annually, the equivalent of about 2,300 kg of CO2.

Indeed the global herd of almost two billion cows is a significant climate change threat, as just one kilo of uncooked beef is responsible for 36 kg of CO2, the same as the emissions from the average car driving from Bradford to Norwich.

My main problem was I could no longer consume milk or cheese products if I wanted to withdraw support from cows, but there are edible vegetable alternatives that make it possible to live on plant based foods rather than milk and meat.

Globally animal farming uses 83 per cent of the land and yet only produces 18 per cent of our calories. Indeed a plant based diet would reduce land use by three quarters, allow us to feed the world’s growing population, and plant more carbon sequestering trees.

Bon appetit.