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?