Feral Kinetics and Cattle Research Within Planetary Boundaries

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The increased attention drawn to the negative environmental impact of the cattle industry has fostered a host of market- and research-driven initiatives among relevant actors. While the identification of some of the most problematic environmental impacts of cattle is seemingly more or less unanimous, solutions are complex and might even point in opposite directions. Whereas one set of solutions seeks to further optimize sustainability pr. unit produced, e.g., by exploring and altering the relations between elements kinetically moving one another inside the cow’s rumen, this opinion points to different paths. While acknowledging the importance of possible technological interventions to optimize what occurs inside the rumen, we suggest that broader visions of the potential negative outcomes of further optimization are also needed. Accordingly, we raise two concerns regarding a focus on solving emissions through feedstuff development. First, we are concerned about whether the development of feed additives overshadows discussions about downscaling and, second, whether a narrow focus on reducing enteric gasses brackets other relations between cattle and landscapes. Our hesitations are rooted in a Danish context, where the agricultural sector—mainly a large-scale technologically driven livestock production—contributes significantly to the total emission of CO2 equivalents.
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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