I usually like to post about hero goats who have been valiantly eating underbrush and growth to prevent wildfires. The science is clear that the increase in prevalence and intensity of wildfires in the western United States and in Australia are caused by the climate crisis and general warming of the planet. However, the climate crisis effects different regions in different ways. For example, over the summer the southeastern United States suffered a terrible drought. What does this have to do with goats? Our friend Otis from The Haven Zoo has been dealing with a zinc deficiency due to over-dried, nutrient lacking hay caused by the drought. For Otis, this means that he has lost some of his hair and has to see a veterinarian regularly to care for his skin. Sometimes it’s easy to think that the climate crisis only effects far away corners of the planet, but the same mechanisms that are causing the horrific wildfires are causing problems everywhere. I still believe that with the right collective energy, humanity and its animal friends can mitigate some of the worst effects. Small changes to your lifestyle can make a big impact, as well as supporting policy-makers committed to a greener future.
If you have read the news over the first week of the new decade, you may be feeling overwhelmed and potentially isolated. The headlines are dramatic and somewhat bleak; however, take hope. One of the reasons our species evolved to build cathedrals, send humans to the moon and eradicate deadly diseases is we came together to solve problems and create amazing things. Truly evolved humans don’t go it alone – if we act now we can make a better world for each other and the future.
Brace yourselves, northern hemisphere readers, the planet is about to ascend to the hottest temperatures so far this year next week, especially in Europe and North America. Stay hydrated and keep check of your loved ones.
Earlier this year, the twelfth of February to be precise, I reported that a friend of mine in San Francisco worked in an office that employed a herd of goats to do some landscaping around that building. Indeed, goats can digest all sorts of plants that are poisonous and quite a nuisance to humans. In fact, the digestive and grazing abilities of goats are now being employed to fight wild fires in California. With increasing wild fires brought on by the climate crisis, herds of goats are increasingly being called upon to clear out brush and areas at high risk of fires. Using goats in this way is totally green, as herbicides can be detrimental to the environment, and mowing equipment uses fossil fuels and creates air and noise pollution. Additionally, goat herds are low risk and more economical – in Laguna City, California where goats have been clearing brush for nearly twenty years a safety report estimates that a man-powered clearing crew costs $28,000 per acre while a herd of goats costs only $500. Goats may not be able to solve all of our problems, or the climate crisis, but every effort definitely helps!
From empathy to environmentalism – aren’t goats amazing?
We live in a beautiful world, full of diverse life and environments. Sadly, the world is changing as the global temperature climbs higher and higher every year. Today is Earth Day, and perhaps consider two things. First, think about ways that you can help out. Maybe instead of driving to a shop you cycle, walk or take public transportation. Start carrying some cloth bags to carry your groceries in and say no to disposable plastics. Or even consider reducing your consumption of meat and dairy products. Second, demand that your government representatives take the threat of climate change seriously, as it effects us all. The Earth is a wondrous place, and we are her stewards, it’s up to us to set things right.
This week has been unseasonably warm in the U.K. with record-setting temperatures. The weather has been quite lovely, especially compared to this time last year when the country was blanketed with a layer of snow and engulfed in grey clouds. Some people are excited, but it is hard not to feel uneasy under the spectre of last fall’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report warned that if we, humanity, do not make big changes to combat the worst effects of climate change, we would reach a point of no return in twelve years. So far, Goat of the Day has been a light-hearted blog with good vibes, and I don’t meant for the good vibes to be extinguished by anxiety about climate change. Rather, channel the positivity and sunshine to take action – cycle, walk or use public transportation whenever possible. Make it clear to policy makers in your town or city that we need more efficient infrastructure in order to reduce our carbon footprints. Buy less stuff of better quality, and opt for reusables over disposables. Even consider hiring a local herd of goats to tend your lawn rather than relying on mowers and pesticides. The world is a marvelous place, and we owe it to ourselves and each other to keep it that way.
You can enjoy the sunshine and be concerned for the future at the same time.