Heat Waves and Animal Welfare: Animal Ethics on a Warming Planet

Heat stress also affects livestock: how can we adapt our food systems to improve animal welfare?

Europe experienced the hottest month of July in its history.

The human impact on work, tourism and health was evident. But breeding animals also suffered from severe heat stress.

Data from the British publisher Carbon Brief reveals the devastating impact of extreme heat on farm animals with very high temperatures last summer.

In July 2022, the UK reached 40°C for the first time in its history. About 10,000 chicks died from heat stress that day on just one trip to the slaughterhouse, according to Carbon. brief.

Between June and August 2022 18,500 chickens they died during the journey compared to 325 during the same period last year.

The pigs also suffered from the heat, which led to a dozen deaths that even went as far as displaying “cannibalistic behaviour.”

Alarming figures point to the overcrowding and poorly ventilated conditions that animals in transport and on farms, and the urgent need to address them as temperatures rise.

But can solutions exacerbate the cause?

Cooling Solutions Consume ‘Insane’ Amounts of Energy

The UN estimates that the global food system is already one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about a third of all anthropogenic emissions.

According to Atul Jain, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies the interaction between weather and human activities such as agriculture, about one-fifth of emissions come from food of animal origin.

If we don’t cut emissions significantly, the planet will continue to warm.

One of the easiest ways to reduce heat and overcrowding is to put fewer animals on each truck, which means more animals. vehicles on the road and more emissions.

V farmstemperature control technology also consumes a lot of gasoline.

“Fans and ventilators are very expensive, not only to install, but also because of the amount of electricity they use,” says Michelle Schuck, a dairy veterinarian in Arizona.

Other solutions in use in the US include apps that predict animal welfare in hot weather, computer-controlled cooling mattresses, and air conditioner in the stables.

overheat This not only affects the welfare of the animals, but also the business. According to study 2022 published in the Lancet Planetary Health. This could lead to losses of more than 36 billion euros by the end of the century.

“We want to chill the cows, but we also have to admit that we want to be sustainable from an environmental point of view “, – says Jackie Burman, assistant professor of animal science at Purdue University in Indiana. The two ideas “sometimes are a little bit at odds,” he adds.

In addition, much of this technology is out of reach. poorest countrieswhich tend to contribute the least to climate change, but also suffer from its most severe impacts.

Livestock losses from heat stress will be much higher in most tropical regions than in temperate regions, due to higher climatic influences and the relatively higher cost of climate change adaptation measures.

How can we improve animal welfare and reduce emissions?

According to Gerald Nelson, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-author of the Lancet study, something as simple as shadow structures and additional water supply can go a long way in adapting to the heat. He also found that switching to more heat-tolerant breeds could help.

The use of solar energy or other forms of clean energy in Farmsmeanwhile, can reduce the cost and emissions of refrigeration equipment.

However, cutting back on meat and dairy is a more direct way to reduce emissions from what we eat.

Vegan diet, meaning no products derived from animalsproduces only 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 calories consumed, according to survey national health. Instead of this diet Ketogenic, high-fat, low-carb, and high in animal products, it generates nearly 3kg of carbon dioxide per 1,000 calories.

New advances in lab-grown meat could also help reduce our dependence on dairy products. farm. Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the product chicken on the farm for human consumption. It will soon be available in San Francisco and Washington DC restaurants.

Source link

About Allen Whyte

I'm Allen Whyte, a writer for suboonews.xyz with 5 years of experience. I love bringing you the latest news and stories from around the world. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the fascinating world we live in!

Check Also

Do you want to be happy? Here are the secrets to stimulating the hormone of well-being

Stimulating joy and happiness is possible. There is a group of hormones on the clinical ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *