Be green, eat a cow

I recently received an alarmed phone call from one of my friends, you know, the one who knits her own sandals and recycles her bathroom tissue to save the planet.  Breathlessly, she asked what I was going to do to stop some Pacific Island with 23 people living on it from drowning because they are only 6 inches above sea-level and in 100 years their house will be flooded, all because I drive a car and I am single-handedly causing global warming.  I thought about this for all of two seconds.  “Help buy their grandchildren a house on higher ground” would be the obvious answer, but I knew that my friend would want more.  So, I decided that I would help by going ‘green’.  That’s right, I have decided that I will do my bit for the planet – or at least try to minimize the damage caused by the extra electricity I have used since I started writing, especially as I write slowly as I know a lot of you cannot read very fast.

Realising that locking my pet hamsters on their wheel would only provide enough energy to recharge my electric toothbrush and anyway, I would probably have to spend more on feeding them, I thought I would aim bigger.  As there is some law against putting my children on a treadmill to generate electricity, it was no good; I will have to think of something else.   But when I asked for some uranium suitable to start nuclear fission at my local Home Depot (sort of like B&Q in the UK, but at least Home Depots have staff, even if they don’t know what on earth they sell),  I got arrested, all because I wanted to build a nuclear reactor in my back garden (apparently, you have to be a bona fide terrorist or an evil dictatorship to be able to buy uranium and, anyway, I can’t have an atomic power station where I live because I am not on an active seismic fault line and I will not be hit by a tsunami. I phoned my friend back and asked her is there another way to be green.  “Just offset your carbon” she replied, “that way you can do it and be guilt free.”

This sounded promising and a little bit of thinking later gave me the perfect way to go about it.  I realised that the best way was to eat a cow.  Yes, I do mean all those tasty rib-eye steaks, New York strips, short ribs and tenderloins, followed by roasts and ground meat dishes or if I want to eat the whole animal, the lips, hoofs, ears and connective tissue that is used to make my local supermarket’s ‘premium’ 100% Beef burgers.  That is it.  Eat a cow to save the planet.  Now before anyone says don’t be silly, let’s have a look at the facts.  The whole issue of global warming first gained prominence in the late 1980s and apparently summers are getting hotter every year.  It may just be a coincidence, but there is a correlation between eating cows and atmospheric carbon dioxide.  The consumption of beef in the United States, according to the US Department of Agriculture, had declined by almost 17% between 1985 and 2006.  Compare that to atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, by the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.  Carbon Dioxide measurements grew from 1.45ppm in 1985 to 1.72ppm in 2006, a rise of roughly 18%.  Wow.  That would be good enough for Al Gore and probably meet the scientific rigour of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so that should satisfy me. 

But realizing that Al Gore had used two sources to make his hockey stick graph and a subsequent fortune, I thought it prudent to do a little more research, especially as I would like to be sure that eating a cow was a good thing and not just me running away with the thought of a rare steak, served with all the trimmings and cooked to perfection on the open grill at the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo.  So, I thought I would check to see if cows were harmful.  Well, even my limited search has revealed that instead of picketing a coal plant, any self-respecting friend of the earth should be camping out in the farmer’s fields pointing out to anyone listening just how much potential a cow has to damage the atmosphere.  Don’t be fooled by those sweet eyes: Ethel really is just a big dangerous cloven hoofed beast that the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has blamed for crimes such as poisoning rivers, polluting drinking water, producing acid rain, desertification, destroying forests and of course, contributing to global warming.  See the 2006 report, ISBN 978-92-5-105571-7, that I quote here: “Livestock contribute 9% of CO2 emissions, 37% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide.”  More impact than road transport, especially when you consider methane is twenty times worse than carbon dioxide in respect of global warming.  (I almost forgot to mention that livestock produces 68% of ammonia emissions, linked to acid rain and that dewy-eyed monster is also a serial killer and causes traffic congestion.)

So let’s break this down a bit.  Cows are serial killers?  Yes, cows have killed 18 and injured 481 people in one eight year period in the UK alone, with 4 people killed in only eight weeks.  Take this traffic report from Udaipur City: “Jagdish Mandir , HathiPole, Delhi Gate,  Sector-13,14 ( housing main roads), Town hall, Thokar Choraha, Sector 3,4,5,6 (Hiran Magri) , FatehPura (crossroad), PratapNagar (highway)… stray cattle occupy the roads and it’s too troublesome to travel through these roads.”  But it is the emissions that are crucial:   a cow emits almost 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of smog-forming gases known as volatile organic compounds each day, 59lbs of manure, 110kgs of methane, 242lbs!  So each cow produces the equivalent of 5,070 lbs of CO2 a year. Over two tons!  According to the US EPA, the average car doing 21miles to the US gallon produces 11,000lbs a year.  Therefore, I can drive for six months just by eating a cow a year.

I just did a quick calculation:  the average cow yields about 450lb of lean meat.  My family buys on average 8-9lb of meat a week, about 468lb, say a whole cow.  So as we already eat a cow a year, all I have to do is fire up the Barbie, dig out the patio heaters and with only 84lbs of steaks on a carcass, my friends will soon help rid the world of a second beast in less than a summer.  And with carbon offset at about $25.00 per ton, you will owe me $59.  In the interim, I’m off to phone my friends in India to tell them that I have a solution to global warming and their traffic problems so would they like to buy some A1 steak sauce and a hibachi…………


About cryptothinker

One Response to Be green, eat a cow

  1. jokerscrowbar says:

    It may have been that extra steak you bought that stopped the world from ending.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: