- Farm Animals
- Cows (Electronic Zoo)
Provides a very comprehensive list of sources of information on cows.
- Cows - Mad Cow Disease in Veterinary Medicine (Awesome Library)
- -Cattle Diet to Reduce Methane Emissions (Science Daily)
"Beef farmers can breathe easier thanks to University of Alberta researchers who have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle."
"By developing equations that balance starch, sugar, cellulose, ash, fat and other elements of feed, a Canada-wide team of scientists has given beef producers the tools to lessen the methane gas their cattle produce by as much as 25 per cent." 05-11
- -Dietary Solutions to Methane from Cattle (Time.com)
"Most dietary interventions work by checking methogens — microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments such as cows' guts, where they convert the available hydrogen and carbon (byproducts of digestion) into methane, a colorless, odorless gas. 'We encourage well-to-do farmers to use oilseed cakes which provide unsaturated fatty acids that get rid of the hydrogen,' Dr. Singhal says. Another solution is herbal additives. Some commonly used Indian herbs such as shikakai and reetha, which go into making soap, and many kinds of oilseeds contain saponins and tannins, substances that make for lathery, bitter meals but block hydrogen availability for methogens. Dr Singhal says they are used in small quantities and the cows don't seem to mind the taste. 'Imagine how much potential they'd have in the international market,' he says." 04-09
- -Editorial: Domesticated Animals Should Be a Top Priority on Climate Change (WorldWatch.org)
"Whenever the causes of climate change are discussed, fossil fuels top the list.Oil, natural gas, and especially coal are indeed major sources of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). But we believe that the life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastly underestimated as a source of GHGs, and in fact account for at least half of all human-caused GHGs. If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replace fossil fuels withrenewable energy."
Editor's Note: The amount of GHGs is only a part of the issue. Methane from domesticated animals stays in the air for only a short time while CO2 can stay in the air for hundreds of years. 02-13
- -Vaccine to Reduce Methane Emissions (NewScientist.com)
"You cannot stop a sheep belching or farting, but you can make sure its eructations are less damaging to the environment."
"Belches and, to a far lesser degree, farts from sheep, cows and other farm animals account for around 20% of global methane emissions. The gas is a potent source of global warming because, volume for volume, it traps 23 times as much heat as the more plentiful carbon dioxide." 04-11
- Stop the Cows and Save the Planet (Time.com)
"Though carbon dioxide is the first gas that comes to mind when we think of greenhouse emissions, pound for pound, methane is more than 20 times more powerful in terms of its global warming potential. Methane doesn't linger in the atmosphere quite as long as CO2, and it's not produced industrially in anywhere near the same quantity, but it does its damage all the same — and livestock toots out a surprisingly large share of it."
"According to one Danish study, the average cow produces enough methane per year to do the same greenhouse damage as four tons of CO2. The average car, by contrast, produces just 2.7 tons. Multiply that by the planet's 1.5 billion cattle and buffalo and 1.8 billion smaller ruminants and you have the methane equivalent of two billion tons of CO2 per year. According to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), livestock account for about 4.5% of all of the country's annual greenhouse gas emissions. Globally the figure is thought to be higher — about six percent."
"If you change what goes in, you should be able to change what comes out."
"That's the conclusion reached by a just-released DEFRA study, which not only argues that traditional animal feeds must be replaced, but suggests what the new mealtime fare should be. The big three additions to the livestock lunch-line, according to the DEFRA scientists, should be maize silage, naked oats and grasses higher in sugars."
"Maize silage, which, as its name suggests, is produced by fermenting corn shuckings in a silo or in covered heaps, can reduce tailpipe emissions by as much as 6%. Higher-sugar grasses can mean a 20% reduction, and naked oats—or oats without husks—reduce methane by a whopping 33 percent." 04-11