When put into perspective, it all makes sense: The rapid depletion of our resources, the assault on our bodily health, the bombardment of our olfactory senses, the planet-destroying flatulence -- cows must be hell-bent on our ultimate destruction. Or at the very least, they want us out of the way to make room for the arrival of their alien overlords. Either way, cows are the root of all evil.
Let's review the facts.
Cows Use All Our Space And Eat All Our Food
Feeding our largely meat-eating way of life requires an enormous supply of resources. And though delicious, one would not be out of line to question if we're really getting enough value for what we're putting in. In order to make up a single quarter-pound hamburger, it takes 74.5 square feet of land for grazing and growing feed crops, and 52.8 gallons for drinking water and irrigating crops.
Globally, livestock production takes up about a quarter of all land on Earth, much of which is used for cows. To feed those animals, we use about a third of the world's arable land.
Many view raising farm animals and cows specifically as an extremely inefficient way to feed the world's population. Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University, told the New York Times that producing a single calorie of meat through livestock production takes two to five times as much grain as simply consuming the grain directly. That number surges to as high as 10 times when considering the popular grain-fed beef produced in the U.S. That's a huge imbalance, especially considering the many people who are still going hungry.
Cows Pull A Trojan Horse On Our Bodies
Though a good source of protein and B vitamins, frequent consumption of red meat has contributed significantly to the declining heart health of millions of people around the world. A study performed earlier this year at the Cleveland Clinic tested a little-known chemical called TMAO. Researchers previously believed that carnitine was responsible for the development of heart disease, but in fact bacteria in the intestines metabolize carnitine and release the TMAO chemical, which allows cholesterol into artery walls and keeps the body from excreting excess amounts of the artery-clogging substance.
But the most telling find was that the bacteria that makes TMAO is found primarily in people who eat red meat regularly. Vegans and vegetarians who were asked to eat steak for the first time in at least a year showed virtually no TMAO chemical in their blood streams.
Very sneaky, cows. Disguising themselves as tender delicious meaty morsels, and then once they're inside, BOOM, they go straight for your arteries with their cholesterol karate chops.
Cow Farts, Silent Or Not, Are Deadly
In the U.S., cattle account for 20 percent of all yearly methane emissions, or about 5.5 million metric tons. A study conducted by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization also found that livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of all human-caused global greenhouse gases, and of that total, of that, gaseous emissions by cow are responsible for nearly 40 percent.
Obviously, we're at a climate change crossroads in history, and the more we can do to turn the tide, so to speak, the better. Cow farts are contributing to the rapid and catastrophic heating of our planet that scientists say is on course to force a drastic redefinition of the world's shores.
The cows have dealt it, and one day humans will be left with no choice but to have, um, smelt it?
Cow Pies Are More Like Cow Lakes
On large factory farms, manure and urine are collected and directed into huge lagoons. These lagoons are used to hold nothing but this toxic sludge, sometimes in areas as large as seven acres containing as many as 45 million gallons of waste. Besides giving off toxic chemicals like methane, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, these pools are at risk of seeping into the underground water supply.
And while the manure is often reused as fertilizer on new crops, even that comes with its own host of problems. Overuse can cause excess to spill off, contaminating the surrounding environment, or to evaporate as toxic greenhouse gases, which then pollute the atmosphere and further overheat our planet.
They're Cheese Pushers, And We're Addicted
Cheese covers everything these days. We clearly love it. And while cheese is delicious and has some good health benefits, when you really overdo it -- which we are known to -- bad things can happen to your body. America's cheese consumption since 1970 has TRIPLED. The average American eats 23 pounds of cheese a year. As a nation, that's more than 7 billion pounds of cheese!
Cows Are Hardcore Drug Users Themselves
Cows are on drugs almost all the time. A lot of farm animals are. And like interacting with anyone on drugs, it can be unpredictable and more often problematic. According to a report released by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to animals that are then fed to humans. The thing about antibiotics is, when they are overfed to animals, the bacteria they are meant to fight can become resistant to the drugs. And there's mounting evidence to suggest that humans who consume those bacteria, often through improperly cooked meats, may not only become ill, but also may not respond to antibiotic treatment.
The CDC found that an estimated 23,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, while 2 million get sick. While there has been an active legislative push to ban antibiotic-fed meat in hopes of preventing this number from growing, both the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries are powerful lobbies that have no interest in letting that happen.
Cows May Be Working With Alien Invaders
If we're going to hedge our bets as a species, it's best to consider all potential ways our civilization could collapse -- yes, including the "Cows Teaming Up With Aliens" scenario. You laugh now, but when the aliens finally do come, and cows are given a position of authority over humans as a reward for all the delicious help they've provided, you'll question why we gave them such a high ranking place at our table in the first place. We're also guessing they wouldn't be kind rulers after all we've done to them.
Think about it. If you were an alien species interested in taking over the human race, would you plan a full frontal assault, taking a stick to the proverbial bee's nest and whipping us up into an unpredictable defensive frenzy? Or would you instead slowly weaken humanity by targeting one of its greatest food sources, the mild-mannered cow, in an effort to prime a weakened human race for takeover. If done right, when the aliens did invade, Earthlings might be too busy napping through a food coma to care.
That leads some to ask, "But why then are cows abducted and mutilated by aliens?" Well, they could be trying to get a more intimate knowledge of bovine biology in order to sharpen their cow-centered plan for world domination. Or they're just tasting for themselves. Because they're delicious.
One Cow Out There May Be The Devil
The Devil has horns. Cows also have horns. The evidence is piling up.
The Honeymooooon Is Over, Everyone
It's time we start examining the threats that cows pose to the human race; to our health, to our environment, to our very existence as a species. Let's stop playing dumb. As with most things, we look to the Simpsons' Troy McClure for guidance:
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