Beano for Bovines

India’s ubiquitous flatulent cows are heating up the globe.  This may seem like a problem for the biologists, but nay! (or moo), it is a sociocultural issue!  It is illegal to kill the sacred cow in India, even when its milk has run dry, its owner has run out of money, or perhaps the beast simply ran away.  This article http://news.yahoo.com/s/time illustrates the problem of the 283 million methane-producing cud-chewers that populate the country.  It seems as though scientists are so concerned about this methane pollution that they are vigorously trying to come up with a diet or dietary supplement that can curb the flatus.  Ahh, but lets throw a monkey wrench in that scheme.  Most rural farmers are clueless to the fact that there is a problem called global warming.  Also, these rural farmers are quite poor and can’t afford the ruminant Gas-X that the West is touting.

For starters, most Indian livestock is underfed and undernourished, unlike robust counterparts in richer countries. The typical Indian farmer is unable to buy expensive dietary supplements even for livestock of productive age, and dry milch cattle and older farm animals are invariably turned out to fend for themselves. Poor quality feed equals poor animal health as well as higher methane production. Also, even when western firms are willing to share technology or when western products are available, these are often unaffordable for the majority in India. For instance, Monensin, an antibiotic whose slow-release formula reduces methane emission by cows, proved too expensive for widespread use in India.”

To dispose of cows that are no longer productive or physically able to do work goes against religion.  India has cow shelters where homeless and decrepit bovines go to live the last days of their lives, instead of bumping brisket with buses.  Will India begin killing its cows to save the world?  It seems that a dietary supplement will come to the rescue so an ancient cultural practice can be maintained.  It is interesting that nations that have the time and can afford to get their panties in a bundle over global warming do so at the expense of the poorer nations.

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One Response

  1. Ya man, leave the cows be and focus on vehicles!

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