A Tennessee farmer condemned the idea of forcing cows to wear masks and diapers to contain their methane emissions, saying the people who came up with the idea have “gone to loony town.”
French dairy giant Danone announced in mid-January it plans to put masks and diapers on cows to trap their flatulence and burps in an effort to reduce methane emissions by 30% come 2030.
Stephanie Nash called the whole thing udder madness Wednesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“Well, Tucker, you know, I’m not going to wear a mask. I’m not going to allow my cows to wear a mask,” she said,
Nash put a mask on one of her cows during the interview to test the theory but explained “she’s not having it” and is “struggling to breathe.”
Livestock, especially cows and cattle, produce methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that warms the atmosphere, as part of their normal digestive process, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
New data from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition found livestock emissions-manure and gastroenteric releases – account for roughly 30% of methane emissions.
Nash told host Tucker Carlson her farm is doing “big things to cut emissions.”
“We have ruminants on our farm that can digest byproducts. A good example is we feed our cows soybean meal that comes from soy oil production,” she explained.
“And you have to ask yourself, millions of tons per year – if we don’t have cows to digest that byproduct, it has to go somewhere. It has to go to a landfill. It has to go on, you know, into a waste management. And that’s going to be very harmful. That’s going to leave an imprint, you know, for our country and gases going into our environment.”
Carlson asked if putting a diaper on a cow would even be feasible and wondered if the whole thing was a joke.
“I think these people have gone to loony town. There’s no possible way that I’m going to put a diaper on my cow,” she stated.
The Chapel Hill farmer said her cows have to be able to walk around, lay down, eat and drink water and generally live a comfortable life.
“Our animals are under the best stewardship, and we want them to be as comfortable as possible. And telling me how to do my job is not the way to eliminate emissions. We have to be smart about this. We have to listen to the farmer [or] rancher and what is best for our animals.”