Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Chewing the cud - no more?

Now that us evil apes have received a slap on the wrist and due punishment in the form of Live Earth's global caterwauling and exhibitionism (I enjoyed the show but who isn't sceptical about the influence of a pop concert on human excess...?), it's time to take the fight against climate change to our bovine buddies.

I'm having trouble taking this seriously. Cows have been squelching and burping away for the thousands of years that we've been farming them en masse, the poor things can't help it...The scientific community, however, sees animal emmissions as a very real concern and it's hard to argue with the facts: cows and sheep have labourious digestive systems and emit a staggering 100-200 litres of atmosphere eroding methane each day. Livestock fart and belch out about a quarter of the amount of methane that is produced by humans through industry, transport etc...Officials and academics are set to spend thousands of pounds looking into how to improve cattle feed and circumvent their stubborn biology. I feel sorry for the poor lab lackeys who'll have to measure the changes in methane output in swealtering polytunnels but hopefully (with a decent set of nose plugs) it'll be worth it, and at least the animals'll eat what they're given.

It is believed that the solution could lie with easily digestible plants, such as the common but underused Birdsfoot trefoil, and more carbon conscious farming methods. Shame this strategy doesn't translate to human's - ditch your 4x4, munch a flower. Maybe we'll end up with food warnings/endorsements: every Happy Meal made from only the best, highly processed, methane neutral beef...

A young Muslim woman faces jail after repeatedly turning up late for jury service, ignoring evidence and, astonishingly, listening to her walkman during proceedings. Good, I hope she recieves some form of punishment for what appears to be a flagrant lack of repect for British values (nobody likes jury service but most people actually want to do a fair job). It'll be interesting to see if there's any reaction from our Islamic communities.

3 comments:

James said...

I'm so glad I didn't read this post while eating my lunch as the whole methane / cow picture in my head wouldn't of been nice.

I saw the story about the iPod juror, unbelievable. I hope in the future someone pins a crime on her and they refuse to give her a jury. I did jury service once and I actually enjoyed it, but then I'm odd.

Em said...

sorry about the cows...like I say, it almost looks like a joke but no...cows are destroying our atmosphere :)

Mm, I think that lady acted disgracefully...Really? What was the case? (I've never been there but have friends who have - they all said it was a hassle but once they were in court, involved and immersed, they found the whole process fascinating and worthwhile).

Fritz said...

I like my beef, but we should probably eat a little less of it.

Does the juror's religion/culture have anything to do with her disregard for due process?