Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cow farts and global warming

One thing well known about cows is that their fart cause global warming. The best natural solution to that would be to go veg or on the very least, reduce meat consumption to reduce factory farm's production of cows. Unfortunately, there are people out there who don't see this "cause" and just see the "problem of the farts" as the cause (which is actually the effect).

Now scientists also see the farts as the cause of the problem. They are now trying to test feed the cow with garlics to reduce gas production. And then another team is trying to see if feeding them garlic will taint meat and milk. I won't be surprise if there's another research to test if meat from garlic-fed beef causes certain problems in humans etc. Such a simple problem which can be solve by reducing the production of cows is now rolled into a large snowball.

I can't imagine what effects feeding garlics to cows can have. You kill off the natural methane-producing bacteria in the gut of the cow, the population of the rest of the bacterias which live in balance with that methane-producing bacteria will change, and this may cause problems to the cow. And then what? The scientists will think of more tests or experiments to try to restore the balance. No wonder my friend say he sees a cow, a Master sees the tail of a cow, a PhD sees the hairs on the tail of the cow (well... maybe not Masters and phDs :)).

Problems are best solved at their root.

Picture source:


Anonymous said...

"the population of the rest of the bacterias which live in balance with that methane-producing bacteria will change, and this may cause problems to the cow."

What are the rest of the bacteria? Also, if the garlic could kill the methane-producing bacteria, it may also simultaneously kill the other bacteria. So the balance might not be affected.

Although I do agree that problems are best solved at their roots, we must also view it from a different perspective. That is, under circumstances where humans still love to eat beef, it would be wise to find an alternate way to solve the "fart" problem.

It is similar in a way that cars/or other transportation means cause global warming because of their carbon emmissions. So, we now have hybrid car that are "greener". We don't solve this by scrapping all vehicles and use the sailing boat, bicycles or walking only.

dreamy said...

Haha.. I have no idea what are the rest of the bacteria in a cow. But what I know is our body natural microflora live in balance (and i assume this is the similar in cows' case), and garlic may not kill the other bacteria simultaneously (though it may be possible). Killing off the natural bacteria may allow the non-resident bacteria to flourish and cause problems.. Actually, the main point I am trying to highlight is not about bacteria, but is that some scientific experiments do not cure problems - instead lead to more problems :)

You have a point about perspective and the transportation. But that's moving towards the more friendly direction. Solving the fart prob that way won't help ppl live more healthly hehe :D

Anonymous said...

well, your title is abt fart and global warming, so the scientists are on the right way in this "scope". The scientists are not claiming that using garlic would make the meat healthier for consumption. :P

dreamy said...

That's a way of reducing farts yes. But their approach is not a good way of reducing global warming as it may lead to more problems in future. For example, we want to be able to have certain properties in some veggies so scientists come up with genetically engineering.. and now there's lots of concern about animal and bacteria genes being introduced to veggies. So in a way it "solves" the problem and leads to more problems :)

KleoPatra said...

i <3 cows! ALIVE!

Ayush said...

hehehehe, thats funny as well as scientific. Have a look at these : Fart Sounds

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