Do you know that cows burp? I didn’t know that. Turns out that cows can.
Burping is part of their digestive process when the bacteria and protozoa in the rumen break down what they have eaten. Said gases include carbon dioxide and methane; the two leading greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. I didn’t know that was a thing until I was in my global seminar group, researching ways to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture. So why is this such a big deal?
According to the EPA, ruminant livestock (e.g. cows), are responsible for one-third of the GHG created by agriculture. Turns out the most we can currently do to reduce this in cattle is by putting cannulas in, allowing for veterinarians, nutritionists, and farmers to make dietary adjustments as needed. It has been proven that it does reduce methane production, for the gas has the ability to escape through the cannula. I also didn’t know that this even EXISTED until I went on the field trip to Kentland Farm and saw some cattle on the top of the hill with one.
So far, these experiences (such as the cattle connection with climate change and cannulas) have just reinforced my want to be an animal science major and go on into veterinary medicine. It’s an aspiration I’ve always had and will never give up. The more I see now, the more excited I become for what’s ahead, because I know I can make a difference in and genuinely enjoy it.
This blog post was written by Kailee Lopez, a 2019 Virginia Governor School Student
Edited by Dami Alegbeleye, a 2019 Governor School leader
Kailee originates from the Virginia Beach area and intends on pursuing a career in Equine Medicine. She currently attends Churchland High School, plays three school sports, and takes multiple Advanced Placement classes yearly, on top of riding and owning her own horse. When she’s not busy, she enjoys scouring the internet for interesting things such as phenomenons or current research (and sometimes memes).