Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Kevin Dietsch

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg has now made his debut in the farming sector. The tech billionaire has begun raising cows at his massive ranch in Hawaii to produce the "world's best-quality meat". He took to Instagram on Wednesday and posted a picture of himself eating a steak, along with a caption that detailed exactly how he plans to achieve this goal.

Zuckerberg revealed that he has started raising cattle at his Ko'olau ranch, a 1,400-acre compound on Kauai, Hawaii's oldest island.

He is raising wagyu and angus cattle, which yield some of the world's most expensive meat. To ensure that the beef is of the highest quality in the world, he feeds them macadamia meal, made of expensive macadamia nuts, and locally brewed artisanal beer.

"Each cow eats 5,000-10,000 lbs. of food each year, so that's a lot of acres of macadamia trees. My daughters help plant the mac trees and take care of our different animals. We're still early in the journey and it's fun improving on it every season. Of all my projects, this is the most delicious," added Zuckerberg.

Soon after Zuckerberg put out the post, social media users, including several non-profits, began to point out how beef production contributes to climate change. He was essentially slammed for not being climate conscious.

"The absolute stones it must take post 'I'm growing a macadamia orchard to feed my artisan wagyu' during an era of rising populism," wrote Shalin Gala from the animal rights group PETA in a Twitter (now known as X) post.

The big picture:

A fully developed cow can release up to 500 litres of methane each day, which accounts for approximately 3.7 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Methane is one of the three main greenhouse gases, whose concentration in the environment has increased significantly over the years. It is the primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, which is a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas.

Methane is, in fact, the second-largest contributor to climate warming after carbon dioxide (CO2). A molecule of methane traps more heat than a molecule of CO2. Over all, livestock emissions from manure and gastroenteric releases account for around 32 per cent of human-caused methane emissions.

In addition to contributing to global methane emissions, beef production also leads to deforestation as more land is cleared to provide pastures for cattle farming.

"Beef and soy production are driving more than two-thirds of the recorded habitat loss in Brazil's Amazon and Cerrado regions and Argentina and Paraguay's Gran Chaco region," according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund.