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Time for a One-Eighty on Cows and Climate – Part 2

Friday, March 15, 2024 8:21 AM

Time for a One-Eighty on Cows and Climate – Part 2
APRIL 29, 2014
Photo by Hes Mundt on 

The Water Myth

Simon Fairlie, in his wonderfully readable and important book “Meat, the Benign Extravagance”, devotes an especially witty chapter to the water requirements of cows. Fairlie spent an entire year trying to find the basic scientific studies that would support allegations such as that cows use enough water to float a battleship, or that a cow uses twenty-five thousand gallons of water for every pound of meat. 

For some misconceptions about cattle there seems to have been an original germ of fact on which tottering accusations are perched. For these water claims there is nothing. As a reality check, Fairlie gives us the life story of his steer, Bramley. For a year and a half on his acre of grass Bramley was happily satisfied with his tub of ten gallons of water a day. Most of this water Bramley used to anoint the grass. The rest left his body as vapor or was incorporated into his flesh.

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