An analysis of the climate impact of various forms of beef production is carried out, with a particular eye to the comparison between systems relying primarily on grasses grown in pasture ('grass-fed' or 'pastured' beef) and systems involving substantial use of manufactured feed requiring significant external inputs in the form of synthetic fertilizer and mechanized agriculture ('feedlot' beef). The climate impact is evaluated without employing metrics such as ${\mathrm{CO}}_{2}{\rm{e}}$ or global warming potentials. The analysis evaluates the impact at all time scales out to 1000 years.