Scientists work out a way to stop cows causing Climate Change – Liberal Article
No, this isn’t April fools. Yes, this is a real product. Yes, I was just as surprised as you, but scientists have created a device which, when put on cows transforms their produced methane into CO2. This product is still new but is quickly growing.
In 2006, a UN report noted that due to growing sizes of cow herds, cows were becoming bigger polluters than cars. In fact, livestock is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases with the main polluter being cows, who make up 80% of all livestock pollution. Livestock also contributes greatly in producing acid rain.
To combat the growing demand for cattle, many members of society have become vegan. Between 2016 and 2018, we saw a growth of 388% in vegan take-away meals. However, despite their actions, most have chosen not to do so. I admit I would struggle to ever say goodbye to a burger or steak forever.
To add to this, farmers are also starting to struggle. In an already incredibly competitive market for British farmers, falling demand only makes it harder. While competition from other countries, who produce cheaper animals, is starting to take its toll. Especially for sheep farmers with the growing demand for Australian lamb meet.
However, there is now a new device produced by a company, called Zelp, that could change all this.
A little-known fact is that 90% of all methane emissions from cows comes from burping. Not only that, but it also comes out through their nose. Zelp has created a device which when placed on top of the cow captures the methane, turning it into CO2.
The bizarre yet impressive product has already been funded by the EU horizon committee. Not only is the device useful for combating global warming, but it can also help farmers track their cows’ movements, notice and prevent the early onset of diseases, and monitor cows’ heat levels. All this works effectively to help keep the animal healthy.
To add to an already impressive device, critical data needed by scientists to continue to work and combat climate change it also recorded. The device stores a cow’s emissions’ frequency and quantity.
This is not to say we should now go mad eating beef left, right and centre. I would be the first to put my hand up and admit I consume way too much red meat.
Beef can have major repercussions on health as well. Some studies have suggested that red meat can even cause cancer, although the World Health Organisation continues to maintain that evidence for this is limited.
However, what this does allow is an opportunity for this livestock’s continued farming. But time is ticking. As we know, the UK decided to leave the EU, so farmers won’t be receiving subsidies to buy Zelp’s fantastic product. Therefore, there must be pressure to get the UK government purchasing this product. Even if you are a vegan, and I praise you for being so, you must see this product’s advantages. I would be shocked if anyone didn’t back and understand how vital it is to save British farming, but most importantly to stop climate change!
Written by Liberal writer, Max Anderson
Point of Information
Fitbit for cows, for a healthier planet – a Conservative response
I’ll admit as a Remainer that reading something such as this is disheartening. So advantageous does this piece of tech sound that missing out on playing our part in fighting climate change by getting behind its development and deployment (in the UK and more widely) would be ill-judged.
Developing more sustainable farming – reducing how cows burp the planet to death, is certainly an attractive policy for any government. So yes, Mr Anderson, I see no reason, even in times like these, to not lobby and pressure the government in jumping onto the ‘tractor-wagon’ with our former EU partners.
More than anything, after I heard that emissions for the first 4 months this year are down 17% from the same period in 2019, I was optimistic that if nothing else, this pandemic would shock governments and heads of states to reconsider emissions and other contributory outputs. The figure in this linked article details the breakdown of who has contributed most and least to the emissions slump.
What I would also like to see is countries taking ownership and thinking about how they can maintain the changes. Or if not maintain, at least adapt to overcome some of the problems that the coronavirus crisis has enabled us to re-evaluate.
In summary, I agree that this piece of innovation is vital. We know we need to manage our emissions, and we know that beef farming needs to play its part, but we have to support the beef farmers as well. Any tech that does this gets my vote.
Written by Conservative writer, Joshua Tyrrell
I struggle to be moooved by Zelp – a Labour response
The slaughter of animals on an industrial scale is wrong. Dressing up cows with a glorified face mask doesn’t minimise the unfathomably large amounts of suffering caused by the meat industry.
I challenge anyone reading this response to look up footage from a slaughterhouse and not be deeply disturbed. Remember the philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s formulation about animals, “the question is not, Can they reason?… but, Can they suffer?”. The fact that cows feel pain and have inner emotional lives should be enough to make meat consumption a moral issue worthy of our attention.
The human cost of animal production is also immense, not to mention the environmental cost acknowledged by Zelp. Slaughterhouse workers often face high levels of PTSD, and other mental illnesses because of their jobs. No one should have to work under such conditions.
Rather than addressing fundamental issues at stake with farming, the company wants to help rise to consumer demand. Even if emissions were turned into less harmful greenhouse gases, costs are still associated with meat like intensive land and water use to farm cattle. Also, have we all forgotten about the Amazon rain forest fires?
I think a different solution is possible. I am encouraged by synthetically produced animal products and meat-free alternatives, such as Impossible Burgers, developing.
Instead of providing new technologies to correspond to increasing demands, we should be increasing meat taxation to greater reflect the real cost of global meat production, sustained by barbarism.
Written by Labour writer, Jack Walton
I am currently in my second year of reading Politics at the University of Exeter. My first interaction with politics was at the tender age of four years old.
‘Hold a flexible mindset’ was a piece of advice I once heard and I find it appropriate to mention when introduction myself as a member of the POI team.
My beliefs in libertarian socialism were adopted gradually. Since a child I was immersed in the language of social justice and liberal politics from my membership of a progressive Jewish youth movement.