End the practice of giving livestock to poor families abroad – or at least make sure where it is going it will help

For decades there have been schemes, where people from wealthy countries give someone a gift of a gift for those elsewhere. In most cases, the gift is a goat or cow to a family living in one of the poorest countries on earth.

while giving a goat or other livestock can seem like a good idea, it can often make the situation worse in the long run.

In theory, this is a lovely idea. The family is better off and well fed. In practice it seems that it can often do more harm than good.

In many of the areas that these livestock are sent, there is little water. These livestock need a lot of water, so their introduction can quickly change the water balance in the area, and push it towards desert.

Often the animal cannot be found enough food or drink, and veterinarian care is completely missing.

Much more useful is to support seed hubs, water irrigation systems and soil regeneration. While these do not produce the sweet picture, they are likely to benefit hundreds of people rather than one family, and often for decades to come.

That is not to say goat gifts are useless, in places with plenty of water, they can produce milk and meat, and can also have 6 kids a year which can be sold. A goat gift in the wrong place is worse than useless.

Adding seaweed to cattle diet 70% reduction methane!

Humans are aging co2 and other warming gases to the atmosphere at an increasing rate through our activities. 

Much of these warming gases come from travel, though in the long-term this will be significantly reduced, by electrification.

Other activities appear harder to reduce emissions. One such area is farming. There are all sorts of issues in farming, but as far as emissions are concerned this issue, is methane, which comes from the animals (essentially cows breaking wind).

All sorts of solutions have been suggested, including fitting cows with a device to store the gases for use later (usually burnt for heating). 

However, a recent study has suggested a novel solution. They found by adding a small amount of seaweed (around 2% of volume) into the cattle feed, can reduce the gas creation in their stomach by as much as 70%. 

This would be a relatively cheap solution, that can cut farming emissions dramatically,  and potentially adds an industry for coastal communities as well. It is also likely far simpler and cheaper than farmers trying to collect the gas for future use.

Mc Donald’s doesn’t import beef from the Amazon, but much of the British beef is fed on soy- grown on deforested land in Brazil

Mc Donald’s has made a big issue out of the fact that they are no longer buying beef from amazonia. I fully approve of this move, but it appears that they are now importing large quantities of soy grown in the Amazon, and still requiring deforestation. 

Huge monoculture of soy, are as damaging (possibly more) than cattle ranching, as ranches often retain small pockets of forest and individual trees, so while most of the wildlife is lost, with soy plantation virtually all its lost. 

I am sure mc Donald’s understands that British people have an issue with deforestation, not with beef ranching. Better choices must be made. We must all make noise and complain about this underhand behaviour- and force them to improve their behaviour, if this doesn’t work, boycotting their restaurants might be the only way to stop ir.

See Animals Wild