Saturday, April 25, 2009

Are Cow Farts Destroying the Planet?

Carol Keiser a cattle farmer from central Illinois wrote an article this week on Truth about Trade & Technology about cow farts and global warming. Carol points out about the enormous amount of information on the internet about this topic:

Global warming stinks.

Some people mean that so literally that they’re starting to blame rising temperatures on cow farts.

I am not making this up. Just Google the terms “global warming” and “cow flatulence” and check out the results. The hits number in the tens of thousands, and they comprise a long list of earnest environmentalists who think that bovines need to reduce the size of their fart footprint.

But as Carol points out many of the individuals and groups are attacking animal agriculture are using this as an opportunity to push their extreme agenda on the elimination of animal agriculture.

Harry Siemens, who has many fine commentaries about American agriculture also talked about Carol's article. You can listen this this here. He agrees with Carol's comments.

This is a mellow dramatic campaign against meat.
The extreme left is on a march right now to change our lifestyles, be it the food you eat, the choice of transportation you use, the way we heat our homes, etc. Unless the public acts now, it may be too late in the future.

Get informed!


Bea Elliott said...

Hello... I never can quite understand why supporters of animal agriculture view it's elimination as "extreme". Yet the measures we go through to consume animals seem... what? "moderate"?

It's becoming more clear every day that we are much better off planning a future based in plant foods than meat products. Doctors from all sectors are (reluctantly) admitting that there's good reason to reduce/eliminate meat from our plates. Ecologically animal agriculture is becoming a burden on the planet - contaminating water, threatening wildlife, mono-cropping, deforestation and yes, even "cow fart" issues.

We've also reached a time in our civilization where many are aware of the billion people who starve because of the poor distribution of grain... And even further still, many are becoming aware and disgusted at the cruelty to non-human animals as well.

With all these factors... animal agriculture still views a vegan or vegetarian diet as "extreme". Clearly, it is an option whose time has come. Not "extreme" at all. But rather, decreed by rational, sustainable, "survival".

American Farmer said...

I would say the elimination of all animal agriculture throughout the world is pretty extreme. I don't see how you can paint it in any other way.

Bea Elliott said...

Of course if this were to happen "overnight" it would appear extreme. But I'm thinking the process will happen through a gradual elimination - Enough cases of swine flu, sars, bse, etc. Eventually, we'll reach a point - with vat meat and other alternatives that animal agriculture will really have no place in a civilized world. Guess you don't see future progress the way I do. I figure if we're ever going to get off this planet - or even stay on it... it won't be hauling cows with us!

It's inevitable that we will "evolve"... just depends how much people want to scream and kick on the way there.

American Farmer said...

We should probably also eliminate all vegetable crops because of the salmonella outbreaks.

Bea Elliott said...

Well... being that the Salmonella bacteria originates in the intestines of animals (human and nonhuman) - perhaps we should not be storing billions of gallons of fecal matter close to the veggies we eat? Or spraying crops with it?

On it's own... salmonella is not found in vegetables. Contamination happens as a result from being infected with animal poop. So I think it's safe to say, under better fertilizing methods we can continue to grow our vegetables with no harm.

BTW - salmonella is a relatively "new" problem in non-animal based foods. Before factory farming - it was rare. We can only put so much poop in so many places. This is what's meant when saying that animal agriculture is not sustainable.

We can't expect the land to absorb the bacteria ad infinitum. It will contaminate our veggies and crops... 70% of crops are fed to livestock... what happens when both "food sources" are contaminated? With this scenario I see the potential for world starvation - what about you?

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

American Farmer - i agree with you. Since we raise cattle ourselves, and cattle have been on this planet for so many long years, it's silly to think that eliminating a species or livlihood for food or not is ludicrous. The entire world wont switch to an all vegan diet and there is more scientific evidence that humans need meat in their diets as well as plants than against it..we are after all made as meat and veg eaters..I think what God had in plan for us is best. Besides if farting cows are destroying our plant as some say, then why havent we died from the fumes of our cattle, and since they have been on the farm for 300 years (no not the same cattle ha ha) and they claim the ground is bad why havent we choked and keeled over dead yet?
I think we should just impose a fart tax on all creatures who fart! Lets make it equal and politically correct. I've blogged about this a lot and of course just my opinion and its not shared by all and thats okay, and I dont mean to get into a debate, but I just cant help myself over this issue! Your blog is great and informative and I really enjoy reading! So hope I havent stepped on your toes with this was not my intention.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello Wilmoth Farms... Rachel - I took the opportunity to view your blog... It's a lovely place you have! I see you are also an artist - I paint landscapes...

You say that cattle have been on the planet so many years... well, not the gene-altered bovines that exist today - but similar. However, never before has there been 6.8 billion people on earth - with each having a non-human counterpart in the livestock sector. These times are not like before by any stretch.

And you are right - that the entire world won't switch to a vegan diet (immediately)... I'm sure however, in decades/centuries to come there will be less and less animal consumption. And you and I must have different medical advice - everything I see says "less is better"... some even that "none is best".

And finally, in response to: "I think what God had in plan for us is best." In this view didn't God create us naked? Without plumbing? Toothbrushes? Vehicles? Why is it that we can pick and choose which things "God" wants for us? Isn't it simpler to say that we have free will and are self determined to set our own course? And our course at present, with too many cars and too many cow farts - something is going to have to give... The sad fact is that the resources can't replenish as fast as we consume them. I think we are more than up to the task to evolve to a better more sustainable future. Going vegan is definately part of that plan.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Fascinating (and little bit humorous) discussion. Maybe we could just run things like China and limit all Americans to having just one child. And why not go even a step further forbidding all humans on the planet to having anymore than just one child?

Because quite honestly, after humans convert to eating billions of pounds of beans each year, we are going to be the more dangerous source of lethal methane gas.


Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

I SO want to comment back....and this comment is NOT for you Bea Elliot, but this isnt a forum its someones blog and opinions left in comments really dont need to be replied to by other commentors ....especially those who are so self righteous and ludicris. its quite ugly and rude. So I apologize to you American I said I really love your informative blog.

Bea Elliott said...

I just re-read my comments... and actually I'm having a difficult time seeing where I was disrespectful... or rude. I presented another view - an opposing opinion. I'm sorry if this offended you, but this is how information and ideas are shared. That you find differences threatening, I appologize.

But at the same time, I also can't help but note that I'm trying to engage in serious debate and I see that replies are based in ridicule... (the human methane comment) - Or with some kind of (sarcastic) solution of force with proposed mandate of limiting child births.

Neither is my intent... to restrict personal liberties, nor to make fun of a global crisis.

The question was presented: "Are Cow Farts Destroying the Planet?". It's a good question and deserves discussion. Many of our best scientists are aligning themselves with this position. If it weren't at least in part true... why are so many dairies investing in "digesters"? No business spends hundreds of thousands without reliable science.

That people will "NEVER" stop consuming meat is probably something none of us will live to see. But I believe in the capabilities of man to rise above time worn prejudice and myth. We're smarter than you give us credit for.

We can live and thrive on a plant based diet; More than half the world does already... And honestly there is no good reason not to reduce/eliminate meat consumption. Aside that one likes the taste - and even that issue may be resolved within the next decade with "in vitro" meat.

This is not me "insulting" you... this is science and progress.

Don't shoot the messenger... Use the "delete" trash can instead.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You said: "I see that replies are based in ridicule... (the human methane comment) - Or with some kind of (sarcastic) solution of force with proposed mandate of limiting child births."

No, there was no ridicule or sarcastic intent whatsoever. You have quite obviously misunderstood my intent, which was just to offer another viable option, of which China already enforces, and which does seem to make a difference in the population, whether or not it is the 'right' thing to do. It can and does prevent overpopulation and extreme overuse and abuse of the planet.

And, in defense of the human methane flatulence issue, that could easily become a serious problem as the world's population skyrockets and humans are only eating foods that tend to be difficult for most of us to digest, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

A debate is a great thing, but not if only one person believes their opinions are the only ones correct, and they are the only ones making up rules on how others are permitted to respond.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello Lisa... sorry if I mis-read a sarcastic tone - I really never thought one would seriously propose restricting child births in American, let alone globally. At least not as a first option.

It would be a sad thing to get to that point... so that we could continue breeding and eating animals. There are so many people who desire a family of 2... and some have lost an only. But, you are right... if we continue our path - this might be the only option.

But the comment about humane methane... From my understanding cows burp/fart about 15 times the quantity of humans. So if we just halted the breeding of just the one cow... maybe that would make room for 15 more vegetable eaters? And then all things would be equal.

I love animals... don't get me wrong - it's just I don't know that we should sacrifice human life just so that we can eat meat.

Oh... and about beans and broccoli being difficult to digest! Whew! The last time I remember eating meat - it took my body 4 days to process it! That was 8 healthy years ago... And things are doing fine ever since.

But I don't wish to give you the idea that I think my "opinions" are correct... I was basing my information on science, and on the current efforts of dairymen to reduce methane gas... and the EPA desiring such...