|Do ruminant animals actually increase atmospheric methane? Probably not and here’s why. All vegetation has a lifecycle. It grows and it dies. When it is dead, soil bacteria and microorganisms break it down into its mineral parts to grow another crop and this process creates methane. This is the same process that is occurring in an animal’s rumen. The point here is that if you eliminated all ruminant animals this natural process would still continue. Currently, the world’s largest methane producers are wetlands and rice paddies. Why are wetlands seen as a good and are even protected by Federal Law when they are major methane producers? It is because this whole debate is not about methane at all but is being pushed by those with an anti-red meat agenda.