Researchers at Michigan State University think they have come up with a new way of disposing of some of the millions of tons of cow manure produced in the US each year: use it to build with. More specifically, they are advocating using sterilised cow manure to replace sawdust in making fibreboard. This is a most useful …
Interesting idea! But what, I wonder, will the vegan community think of this?
Oh, the poor things ...
There have been perfectly acceptable methods for disposal for thousands of years, in fact ever since man started putting livestock inside buildings - which is alluded to in the article.
It's very simple, effective, and reduces the requirement for expensive (both in money and energy consumption/CO2 production) fertilisers. You just take it out and spread it on the fields, as simple as that ! If a farm doesn't have enough land then it's doing things badly - there's no excuse for having such an intensity of indoor livestock that you don't have enough land to spread the manure on. Clearly the feed must be brought in in these cases so the obvious response is to send the s**t where the feed came from and spread on the grain producers land.
As for people onjecting to the smell, well that's not unique to the US. The number of times I've heard complaints in the village about the country smells - ALWAYS from the 'townies' who've moved to the country and then find that the country isn't to their liking, and of course expect the country to adapt to their expectations.
Building material of the past!
Cow poo was often an important ingredient in wattle and daub - construction materials used possibly as early as 6000BC in early irish settlements (according to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattle_and_daub).
On whether Vegans would use Cow Dung Board
A J Stiles said, "Interesting idea! But what, I wonder, will the vegan community think of this?"
That gave me a smile. Since nothing with a face or a mother had to die in the production of cow dung board, I don't see why they wouldn't use it. Would they rather have the dung spread in the field next to their house? It's an ingenious use of a smelly, natural byproduct of happy, healthy, living cows.
Curiously, Vegans don't seem to mind wearing and using Petroleum products such as Vinyl, plastic, and Polar fleece... which was made from... FOSSILS! -- many of which had faces AND mothers.
I'm so glad I'm not a vegan. And yes I would use the dung board furniture as long as it didn't smell bad!
Vegan cow dung use
No Vegans wouldn't use it.
But what will we do with all the sawdust that's no longer needed?
Having been to rural India I have seen the honourable cow-poo used extensively. It is a great material for building walls and homes, it burns well once dried and it is a source of fertiliser for the fields. I don't think a sungle dollup goes to waste in India.
But who'd want to work with the boards...
It's all very well being able to make strong enough planks out of it, but will anyone want to use it? I can make plasticine out of it but I doubt you'd encourage your kids to build stuff with it.
One of the joys of working with timber is the warm sweet smell of the wood as you cut it. If next time I cut a piece of wood I end up covered with bull-dust, I'm not going to be any to happy. Things will not be smelling of roses.
I think this is great! If I ever tell someone his/her furniture is real crap, nobody will tell me I'm rude!
A convenient excuse
Now when you rip a fart, you can blame the smell on the paneling instead of the dog!
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