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LETTER: Cows are not the problem

Animal rescue groups and shelters are being encouraged to consider the welfare of animals like this male Holstein calf when planning fundraisers, and avoid selling meat and dairy products.
Male Holstein calf - Lynn Curwin

I am writing in response to Gwynne Dyer’s piece on cultured meat and the ruminates contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions (Salvation in a stainless-steel vat, Dec. 19).

As I often do while reading The Guardian, I was left holding my head in my hands and muttering “good grief people are stunned.”

First, I am not sure why the world tolerates any destruction of the Amazon, but I am not shocked that we do.

Humanity has many blind spots; our cities are most often built on class 1 agricultural land, we consume most of our resources in a linear manufacturing process that ends up as waste and pollution and every year we have more gadgets plugged into the grid than the year before.

Modern life is all about emissions, yet the narrative is often about the poor cow and how much better it would be if we had less of them. I am not persuaded at all.

I don’t know much about cultured meat, but I do know that it will not be emission free and I am doubtful it would be as nutritious.

The ruminate is a recycling, engineering miracle in my opinion, converting indigestible lignin into soil nutrients and healthy food.

I feel people are forgetting the purpose and the value of the ruminate in the ecosystem.

In 1492 it is estimated that there were 60 million buffalo in North American. Today there might be about 10 million dairy cows on the continent as a rough reference.

The cows are not the biggest problem and their demise would result in a disproportionate ecological loss.

Gwynne’s final paragraph about what to do with the farm families was a most comedic end and totally insincere.

Randall Affleck,

Lower Bedeque

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