Increasing temperatures and more frequent heatwaves due to climate change is impacting animals more than we know.
Studies have shown that human-caused global warming and climate change have caused heat stress among cows, which can reduce milk yield and lead to diseases and other serious issues. Part of this is because cows eat much less when they are hot. Some researchers even believe that heat can lead to a 50 percent drop in milk production and a 70 percent drop in extreme heat.
In a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, researchers found that cows that were warm had a decline in milk production and heat-stressed cows had much higher insulin levels than cows kept in a climate-controlled room. They even found that the cows in heat developed leaky gut in just three days, meaning bacteria and other materials move through the weak parts of the intestinal wall and into the body.
The study authors say that they found a way to mitigate cow heat responses and get more milk production. Unfortunately, the study was conducted to save the dairy industry money and get even more production out of these exploited animals. The study and other research have never been about how to get these poor suffering animals out of the warm heat, just how they can take more milk from the animals despite the heat.
Here are some ways that heat and global warming can affect dairy cows:
- Cows will consume less feed and drink more water to try to stay cool.
- Cows will have a reduced contraception rate as heat puts stress on cows.
- Extreme cold weather can result in cold stress and a rapid respiration rate, with young animals especially susceptible to respiratory issues in colder weather.
- Cows will often stand when other cows are laying down which is a sign of weather stress.
- Cows will often lose weight as they are stressed and have a lack of appetite.
- Cows will urinate more often to help them relieve stress or because an increase in water intake.
- Extreme weather can weaken the immune system of cows.
- Cows in extreme weather may yawn often. Yawning releases endorphins, so frequent yawning could signal a cow coping and trying to combat stress.
- Heart rate and excessive sweating may happen in cows that are suffering from heat stress.
Unfortunately, far too many people still believe the lies that dairy cows are happy cows with their babies by their sides who enjoy being milked by hand by compassionate farmers. Please do your part to help dispel the dairy myths and spread the message wherever you can. Only through increased awareness will this type of gross suffering begin to become a thing of the past.
Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects. Learn about some Common Health Concerns That May Disappear Once You Ditch Dairy and 10 Calcium Supplements For Healthy Living on a Dairy-Free. And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Original source: https://www.onegreenplanet.org
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