In 2010, enteric fermentation accounted for 43% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from all agricultural activity in the world,  26% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activity in the ., and 22% of the total . methane emissions.  The meat from domestically-raised ruminants has a higher carbon equivalent footprint than other meats or vegetarian sources of protein based on a global meta-analysis of lifecycle assessment studies.  Methane production by animals, principally ruminants, is estimated 15-20% global production of methane, unless the animals were hunted in the wild.  
Intensive management practices in the horse industry present a unique challenge to the microbiome of the large intestine. Common management practices such as high-concentrate diets, low forage quality, meal feeding, and confinement housing have an impact on intestinal function, specifically large intestinal fermentation. The microbiome of the equine large intestine is a complex and diverse ecosystem, and disruption of microbiota and their environment can lead to increased incidence of gastrointestinal disorder. Digestion in the horse can be improved through a variety of approaches such as feedstuff selection, forage quality, feeding management, and inclusion of digestive aids. These digestive aids, such as prebiotics and probiotics, have been used to improve digestibility of equine diets and stabilize the microbiome of the large intestine. Probiotics, or direct-fed microbials, have been widely used in horses for treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal disease. The introduction of these live, beneficial microorganisms orally into the intestinal tract has yielded variable results. However, it is difficult to compare data due to variations in choice of organism, dosage, and basal diet. Although there are still many unanswered questions about the mode of action of successful probiotics, evidence indicates competitive inhibition and enhanced immunity. Lactic acid bacteria such as , and and yeast have all successfully been used in the horse. Use of these products has resulted in improved fiber digestibility in horses offered both high-starch and high-fiber diets. When high-concentrate diets were fed, probiotic supplementation helped maintain cecal pH, decreased lactic acid concentrations, and enhanced populations of cellulolytic bacteria. Similarly, use of prebiotic preparations containing fructooligosaccharide (FOS) or mannanoligosaccharides have improved DM, CP, and NDF digestibility when added to high-fiber diets. Furthermore, use of FOS in horses reduced disruptions in colonic microbial populations after an abrupt change in diet and altered fecal VFA concentrations toward propionate and butyrate. Potential use of prebiotics and probiotics to create greater stability in the equine microbiome impacts not only the digestibility of feed but also the health of the horse.
Saponins have the potential to favorably modulate rumen fermentation, but there is generally a lack of the chemical structures associated with the described effects. The activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis and Saponaria officinalis in the rumen was evaluated in vitro. The S. officinalis root extract, reduced CH₄ production by % and increased total VFA concentration by %. C. officinalis and S. officinalis root extracts and the S. officinalis aerial part extract decreased the acetate to propionate ratio from to %, according to the extract. An HPLC-ELSD analysis indicated that the saponin content ranged from to mg/g of dry matter (DM) in the C. officinalis extracts and from to mg/g of DM in the S. officinalis extracts, expressed as the hederacoside C equivalent. Identification of the saponin compounds present in the extracts by HPLC-MS(n) suggested that the saponin profile modulated the biological activities, showing the importance of determining the structure of saponins when evaluating extracts.