CyberDodo and Farm Animals (1-58)
Which ones? This is a fundamental issue, because the 21st century is facing a dangerous challenge - on the one hand, too many resources are being spent by rich countries to raise hundreds of millions of animals to feed their population and on the other hand, the ancestral breeds are constantly dying out.
Note that this excessive consumption of animal protein, as well as its dangerous contribution to global warming (as a reference, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated in 2006 that 18% of global emissions of greenhouse gases originated from the farming sector), results in the production of enormous quantities of grain which are not even available for human consumption (particularly poor countries of course).
Farming has become an industry, meat is ‘produced’, milk is ‘produced, eggs are ‘produced’, etc. Animals have become a commodity like any other, as they are now being ‘produced’ to reap the maximum benefits. People talk about industrialisation, rationalisation, optimisation of the process...terrible things to say about living creatures.
To support this purely commercial approach, farming industries have selected an increasingly reduced number of species to ensure the best output.
Even though in the beginning it was logical for peasants to prioritise the use of one species rather than another because it could adapt more easily to production constraints, that is, improvement of species by choosing strong males for reproduction, this is very dangerous for the future, as biodiversity has been impoverished to the current level of the ‘factories’ of today.
There is no lack of so-called farm animals. It is estimated, for example, that more than a billion cows populated our planet at the beginning of the 21st century, which raises the problem of the constant disappearance of species considered to be less profitable and therefore less important.
Is it important to preserve all species of farm animals?
As we have seen, over time, countries have sought the strongest, most resistant and most productive animals, etc. It is often a question of life or death for them and their family. This selection is made among indigenous species, which have patiently evolved and adapted to local conditions, notably, the sources of available food and their seasonality.
However, none of these activities could ever be considered as modest, there was no single crop or single farming method that could be used.
Some could say that progress demanded concentration on a very feeble number of species throughout the world and this reduction has enabled a spectacular increase in global productivity in order to deal with population growth.
This reasoning could seem logical at first, but in reality it is a terrible trap for the future, because no living creature is ever isolated – we are all part of a long chain which relies on many very complex beings, including the environment with which we are in interaction.
The ‘meat machines’ only impoverish the biodiversity of farmed species, with the result that that they also impoverish everything that comes in contact with them. But who can say with certainty what will be the needs of humanity tomorrow?
Do some species which today provide more than three quarters of the world production of meat, milk, eggs, etc know how to adapt to climate changes? In the event of an epidemic, how could we prevent the slaughter of hundreds of millions of animals with such a closely related genetic inheritance?
In summary, the conservation of traditional ‘farm animals’ is not crazy nostalgia, but represents an indispensable guarantee for the future. Specialists estimate that in the past few years, one domestic species has disappeared each month. This means that the things that made them unique have been lost forever!
According to these same specialists, there are still about 7,000 farm animal species in the world.
This problem affects rich countries which should develop their industrial farming model to include the protection of biodiversity, as well as poor countries, which, as they develop, are losing most of their zoological resources.
A temporary conclusion does not just include cattle, poultry, horses, ducks, pigs, etc. Therefore this case file is for the good of the future of humanity and its capacity to feed some 9 billion people who will populate our planet in 2050.
To see the cartoon on farm animals, click here
To see the game on farm animals, click here
To do the quiz, click here
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