‘The Beautiful Horned, by Jean Dubuffet, 1954.
‘A White House climate initiative has boosted a quixotic search for the “cow of the future”, a next-generation creature whose greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by anti-methane pills, burp scanners and gas backpacks.
‘Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the primary man-made gas warming the planet, but methane is far more potent and the US’s biggest source of it is its 88m cattle, which produce more than landfill sites, natural gas leaks or hydraulic fracturing.
‘The Obama administration’s launch last month of a plan to curb methane emissions has given fresh relevance to climate-friendly technologies for cattle that range from dietary supplements and DNA gut tests to strap-on gas tanks.
‘Juan Tricarico, director of the Cow of the Future project at the Innovation Center for US Dairy, an Illinois research institute, said the initiative had boosted his quest to create the “star athlete” of the bovine world. . . .
Based on his research priorities, the dairy cow of the future will be the unstressed inhabitant of spacious accommodation, munching on anti-methane gourmet grains that are processed by an efficient, best-in-species digestive system.
“We want it to be more productive, we want it to be healthier, we want it to be a problem-free cow,” said Mr Tricarico . . . .’
Read the whole article by Barney Jopson in the Financial Times: Scientists seek climate-friendly cow of the future, 8 Apr 2014.