What-If 0017: "Green cows"

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mathmannix
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby mathmannix » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
mathmannix wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
ijuin wrote: Because of this, it may be more profitable to use cold-blooded creatures (reptiles, amphibians, or shallow-water fish) as a source of photosynthesizing meat, as their metabolic energy requirements are lower (plus they won't look strange since many of them are already green!). Consider how much less you have to feed a fish kept in an aquarium as compared to a mouse of equal body mass.


Then there's the fact that reptiles are rarely if ever cultivated for food.


Wow, maybe not in the UK, but definitely in the American South. Alligator meat is considered a delicacy in cajun cooking. (I've never eaten gator, but I have eaten rattlesnake. Very greasy.) What about you Aussies? I know you have Crocodiles, I saw Crocodile Dundee...


are 'gators actually farmed though or are they hunted from the wild?


Both in the U.S. at least:
Wikipedia: Alligator farm
Florida Alligator hunting info
Alligator recipes from the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery in Louisiana (where they also let your kids play with baby alligators!)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
mathmannix wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
ijuin wrote: Because of this, it may be more profitable to use cold-blooded creatures (reptiles, amphibians, or shallow-water fish) as a source of photosynthesizing meat, as their metabolic energy requirements are lower (plus they won't look strange since many of them are already green!). Consider how much less you have to feed a fish kept in an aquarium as compared to a mouse of equal body mass.


Then there's the fact that reptiles are rarely if ever cultivated for food.


Wow, maybe not in the UK, but definitely in the American South. Alligator meat is considered a delicacy in cajun cooking. (I've never eaten gator, but I have eaten rattlesnake. Very greasy.) What about you Aussies? I know you have Crocodiles, I saw Crocodile Dundee...


are 'gators actually farmed though or are they hunted from the wild?


Both in the U.S. at least:
Wikipedia: Alligator farm
Florida Alligator hunting info
Alligator recipes from the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery in Louisiana (where they also let your kids play with baby alligators!)


Thanks, in that case I take back my original statement and replace it with


Then there's the fact that reptiles are, in comparison with mammals, rarely cultivated for food.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby niky » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

Raising gators for food is terribly energy inefficient, as they eat a crapload of chicken to grow to size.

The price of gator meat is enough to shock you into instant vegetarianism.

Instead of sails, my cows would be inflatable. All that methane build up is stored in sacs under the skin. At night, they're wrinkly folds of flesh, compact and comserving body heat. By day they balloon up, presenting more surface area to the sun and scaring away skittish predators. And when they die, you get to harvest yards of silky green leather. Win win win.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:55 pm UTC

niky wrote:Raising gators for food is terribly energy inefficient, as they eat a crapload of chicken to grow to size.

The price of gator meat is enough to shock you into instant vegetarianism.

Instead of sails, my cows would be inflatable. All that methane build up is stored in sacs under the skin. At night, they're wrinkly folds of flesh, compact and comserving body heat. By day they balloon up, presenting more surface area to the sun and scaring away skittish predators. And when they die, you get to harvest yards of silky green leather. Win win win.


they only produce a lot of methane because of their diet and digestive system though, more photosynthesis, would mean less methane.

although as I was typing that, I suppose cows could be born as grass eaters, and then as they grow up, their methane sacs would grow, and photosynthesise more, and eventually they would only need to eat a little to keep equilibrium, but then the deflating at night is not compatible with that. although wouldn't having a big methane bubble actually act like a blanket to keep the cows warm at night anyway?

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby iain_benson » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:Reminds me of this weird critter: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/green-sea-slug/ - an animal that photosynthesises


There is also a photosynthesising bug which has recently been discovered: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/green-aphid-photosynthesis/

burnt_sheep_den wrote:Sidenote: Noticing Randall's use of Rhode Island as a handy unit of area again, I wondered how it translated to the more common European unit: a Belgium (http://www.sizeofbelgium.com/pmwiki.php.)
Turns out they are one order of magnitude apart: 3140 sq km for RI, and 30530 sq km for the Belgium.

So Europeans can handily substitute "1/10th a Belgium" whenever seeing "Rhode Island".


Alternatively, for the Brits on here, the Isle of Wight is 380 sq km, so "10 Isles of Wight" could replace "Rhode Island"
Or, at 3197 sq km Shropshire is about the same size as Rhode Island.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

iain_benson wrote:
Vroomfundel wrote:Reminds me of this weird critter: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/green-sea-slug/ - an animal that photosynthesises


There is also a photosynthesising bug which has recently been discovered: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/green-aphid-photosynthesis/

burnt_sheep_den wrote:Sidenote: Noticing Randall's use of Rhode Island as a handy unit of area again, I wondered how it translated to the more common European unit: a Belgium (http://www.sizeofbelgium.com/pmwiki.php.)
Turns out they are one order of magnitude apart: 3140 sq km for RI, and 30530 sq km for the Belgium.

So Europeans can handily substitute "1/10th a Belgium" whenever seeing "Rhode Island".


Alternatively, for the Brits on here, the Isle of Wight is 380 sq km, so "10 Isles of Wight" could replace "Rhode Island"
Or, at 3197 sq km Shropshire is about the same size as Rhode Island.


Luxembourg is the same order of magnitude though, at 2,586 km²

and for Brits, handy list here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_counties

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby neremanth » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Never mind raptors, what about vegetarians? I would think that a veggie burger could be made from a green cow.

Not sure if you're serious (if not, disregard this), but very much no. I mean, it'd work for anyone who's vegetarian for environmental reasons (provided we did manage to get the green cow to photosynthesise efficiently enough that it needed considerably less land than a standard cow), but for a vegetarian who doesn't like killing sentient creatures, there's no difference between a green cow and the normal kind.

Now, artificial meat, on the other hand...

______________________________________________

iain_benson wrote:
burnt_sheep_den wrote:Sidenote: Noticing Randall's use of Rhode Island as a handy unit of area again, I wondered how it translated to the more common European unit: a Belgium (http://www.sizeofbelgium.com/pmwiki.php.)
Turns out they are one order of magnitude apart: 3140 sq km for RI, and 30530 sq km for the Belgium.

So Europeans can handily substitute "1/10th a Belgium" whenever seeing "Rhode Island".


Alternatively, for the Brits on here, the Isle of Wight is 380 sq km, so "10 Isles of Wight" could replace "Rhode Island"
Or, at 3197 sq km Shropshire is about the same size as Rhode Island.

I'm familiar with the Wales as the standard unit for us UK-dwellers, and am disappointed to discover that a Wales is 6.62 Rhode Islands, so no easy factor-of-ten conversion for us there. :(

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby mathmannix » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

I might be giving Americans too much credit here, but I would assume that most Americans with at least a high school education could name most, if not all, of the 50 U.S. states. Or at least be able to label them on a map. (I don't think I'd be going out on a limb to venture that pretty much all Austrlians could name all 8 of their states/territories, and all Canadians their 13. Many of USians can get those too.) But, out of curiosity, how many of you in the UK can name all your 100+ counties? (or just the ones in England, for those of you in specifically England.) How common is it to even know exactly how many there are? Just curious...
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:54 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:I might be giving Americans too much credit here, but I would assume that most Americans with at least a high school education could name most, if not all, of the 50 U.S. states.

What, off the top of my head? I sometimes forget how many we even have, let alone what they're all named or where they are on a map. When was the last time I actually needed to find Nebraska?

We also have 99 counties here. I don't know why, we're not that big of a state. On a good day I can name, maybe, four. Five tops. But if it weren't for that little star marking the capital, I wouldn't even know if I were about to get hit by a tornado.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby bmonk » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

"I never saw a verdant cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one."

with apologies to Gelett Burgess.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:28 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Vroomfundel wrote:Reminds me of this weird critter: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/green-sea-slug/ - an animal that photosynthesises


The ones that steal Portuguese Man-o-War stingers are cooler, though.


Drooling green cows are fine. The thought of Purple cows that sting is too much.
Belongs behind a spioler:
I've never seen a purple cow. I hope to never see one. I would rather see a purple cow than be one.

No. The green sea slug is evolutonary branch tips touching. That is cool;If it is true.
Slow experament. No food for How long?!
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How many of those slugs do they have? Do they reproduce well in captivity?
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby bjowen » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:39 am UTC

Not quite. About 90% of the mass of a tree actually is carbon pulled directly out of the atmosphere. Water and nutrients are important, but for the most part, plants really are made out of air.


This. Though I'd have thought about 40% by mass (lignin and cellulose being 6C:10H:5O~ish)...?

I marvel at my garden every day for doing this thing that I find completely, beautifully, unbelievable - making more of itself out of air and sunshine. So, so awesome.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:06 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:I might be giving Americans too much credit here, but I would assume that most Americans with at least a high school education could name most, if not all, of the 50 U.S. states. Or at least be able to label them on a map. (I don't think I'd be going out on a limb to venture that pretty much all Austrlians could name all 8 of their states/territories, and all Canadians their 13. Many of USians can get those too.) But, out of curiosity, how many of you in the UK can name all your 100+ counties? (or just the ones in England, for those of you in specifically England.) How common is it to even know exactly how many there are? Just curious...


They've changed during my lifetime - not that I knew how many or the precise locations before...

For example, as fans of Jasper Fforde know, Cheshire is no longer a local administrative unit - instead there are the unitary authorities of Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton, and Warrington (the last being chosen as the new name in Fforde's books for the cat formerly known as Cheshire)

I can name all of Australia's 8 major divisions (and have visited 6 of them) but not the 55 ceremonial counties of England. English counties are much less politically significant than American states, so there's less reason to know them, any more than you'd need to know all the counties of your home state. I'd hope everyone in the UK can name the four countries of the union, which are more closely analogous to the 50 states...

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby mildgreenfairy » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

Forgive me if my maths is a little out here, but by my reckoning our bovine friend is salivating at a rate of 1ml/second all the time.

Can a cow salivate when it sleeps?

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:I'd hope everyone in the UK can name the four countries of the union, which are more closely analogous to the 50 states...

It's only four, it isn't that hard.

American here by the way: England, Scotland, Whales, and North Ireland. I admittedly only know that because I learned it last week. And most of us don't know how the government works over there besides the parliament being like a one house congress.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

Wales has no H in it.

I tried naming as many English counties as I could, I got under 20. when I looked up a list there were a lot that I thought "why didn't I think of that one! (I even forgot Surrey, which I had no right to forget, because it borders West Sussex)

to be honest, listing 50 things that you don't think about very often is a pretty hard task, but to look at a list of States for the US or Counties for the UK and at least recognise all the names is acceptable imho.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:I'd hope everyone in the UK can name the four countries of the union, which are more closely analogous to the 50 states...

It's only four, it isn't that hard.

American here by the way: England, Scotland, Whales, and North Ireland. I admittedly only know that because I learned it last week. And most of us don't know how the government works over there besides the parliament being like a one house congress.


"Wales" without an 'h', and "Northern Ireland" with an "ern", but close enough.

Parliament has two houses: the (elected) House of Commons, and the (appointed - for the time being) House of Lords. The Commons has the power to propose laws, which, if voted through, get passed to the Lords, who can send it back with suggested changes. If the Lords block an act completely, then the Commons has the power to force it through anyway. Once the Commons and the Lords have passed it, it goes to the Queen, who, in theory could refuse to sign it into law - in practice, that right lasts as long as she doesn't use it. Once an Act of Parliament is signed by the Queen, it is law, though many Acts specify a date from which they take effect. I believe that there is a principle that it's the Queen's understanding of an Act that is the actual law, but I forget who told me that, so it may not be entirely reliable.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby Yosarian2 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:34 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Yosarian2 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:They'd still need a digestive system (though maybe a lower-power one) since the cow has to be made out of something, and photosynthesis doesn't convert directly to matter, it just lets the organism build stuff out of the the water and nutrients it gets from "digesting" its environment (roots, or sometimes trapped insects like flytraps or pitcher plants).


Not quite. About 90% of the mass of a tree actually is carbon pulled directly out of the atmosphere. Water and nutrients are important, but for the most part, plants really are made out of air.

Not quite. They're about 95% carbon and hydrogen and oxygen, and most plants don't absorb much water as water vapor. This link says most plants are 45-50% carbon by oven-dried mass, which means a live one has even less. I hate pointing to yahoo answers, but maybe about 12%? (I'm an engineer, not a biologist, so pardon the first-hits-on-google-that-aren't-global-warming-screeds references.) A thing made of 90% carbon sounds more like charcoal. :wink:

And that doesn't invalidate the cow needing a digestive system of some sort, which was the point. Pretty much all living things are 90-95% CHO and 5% "other".


Ok. It looks like trees are actually about 50% carbon. And, yeah, that is more then most plants.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120849322

On a side note, I really don't get why people in this thread are currently trying to engineer a cow into an efficient plant. Wouldn't it be easier at this point just to engineer a plant so that it tasted like a cow instead of the other way around? Seems like that would require much less in the way of changes.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby mathmannix » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:24 pm UTC

Yosarian2 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
Yosarian2 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:They'd still need a digestive system (though maybe a lower-power one) since the cow has to be made out of something, and photosynthesis doesn't convert directly to matter, it just lets the organism build stuff out of the the water and nutrients it gets from "digesting" its environment (roots, or sometimes trapped insects like flytraps or pitcher plants).


Not quite. About 90% of the mass of a tree actually is carbon pulled directly out of the atmosphere. Water and nutrients are important, but for the most part, plants really are made out of air.

Not quite. They're about 95% carbon and hydrogen and oxygen, and most plants don't absorb much water as water vapor. This link says most plants are 45-50% carbon by oven-dried mass, which means a live one has even less. I hate pointing to yahoo answers, but maybe about 12%? (I'm an engineer, not a biologist, so pardon the first-hits-on-google-that-aren't-global-warming-screeds references.) A thing made of 90% carbon sounds more like charcoal. :wink:

And that doesn't invalidate the cow needing a digestive system of some sort, which was the point. Pretty much all living things are 90-95% CHO and 5% "other".


Ok. It looks like trees are actually about 50% carbon. And, yeah, that is more then most plants.


Well, let's see... this molecule is cellulose. That's a string of (C6 H10 O5), of which 72 / (72+10+80) = 4/9 carbon. This molecule is acylcic xylose, which is HO CH2 (CH(OH))3 C HO, which is like (C5 H10 O5), so it's 60 / (60 + 10 + 80) = 2/5 carbon. This molecule is lignin, which is C9 H10 O2 C10 H12 O3 C11 H14 O4, which is like C30 H36 O9, so it's 360 / (360+36+144) = 2/3 carbon. This molecule is water, so it's noncarbon.
So, yeah looks like about half.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

mildgreenfairy wrote:Forgive me if my maths is a little out here, but by my reckoning our bovine friend is salivating at a rate of 1ml/second all the time.

Can a cow salivate when it sleeps?


So funny. I love this kind of question! It's not stupid. It's smart. LEFT BRAIN!

The righr brain knows. Ask it. How do cows drool in their sleep? (Shrug. ) How do people?

The left brain is so smart. The right brain is like having a smart little brother.

It has been said, our sense of humor is a right brain function. Maybe.

Sweet poster. Looked up from the math, fit the numbers into the real world problem and saw a workload problem.

Don't worry. The cows don't. (Crap! Do cows worry?)
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby KarenRei » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

niky wrote:Instead of sails, my cows would be inflatable. All that methane build up is stored in sacs under the skin. At night, they're wrinkly folds of flesh, compact and comserving body heat. By day they balloon up, presenting more surface area to the sun and scaring away skittish predators. And when they die, you get to harvest yards of silky green leather. Win win win.


Here in Iceland, there's sometimes this commerial on TV for some sort of candy bar; the commercial is in Danish or Norwegian, not sure which. It involves two regular cows grazing and this giant inflated chocolate bubble cow bounces over and moos at them funny, then bounces off.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby KarenRei » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:09 pm UTC

Oh, and it should be noted that melanin can be used for photosynthesis from ionizing radiation. For example, three fungal species, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Wangiella dermatitidis, and Cryptococcus neoformans, have been shown to generate energy from gamma radiation using melanin. UV can also be used with melanin to dissociate water. So it's not really that far fetched.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby bmonk » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

addams wrote:Don't worry. The cows don't. (Crap! Do cows worry?)


Cows don't worry--unless they sense predators around.

Cows do crap. Plenty.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:
niky wrote:Instead of sails, my cows would be inflatable. All that methane build up is stored in sacs under the skin. At night, they're wrinkly folds of flesh, compact and comserving body heat. By day they balloon up, presenting more surface area to the sun and scaring away skittish predators. And when they die, you get to harvest yards of silky green leather. Win win win.


Here in Iceland, there's sometimes this commerial on TV for some sort of candy bar; the commercial is in Danish or Norwegian, not sure which. It involves two regular cows grazing and this giant inflated chocolate bubble cow bounces over and moos at them funny, then bounces off.

Audio/Visual media can be so sweet.
Thank you.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby Tobu » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:31 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:What if we were to set up solar panels and convert the sun light for the cows, then feed it through a "series of tubes" into their systems as usable calories?


So, you'd replace the grass with solar panels, and have the cows plug themselves at night?
Spoiler:
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It would allow for higher densities of cows (see chapter ending).

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby niky » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:01 pm UTC

Yosarian2 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
Yosarian2 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:They'd still need a digestive system (though maybe a lower-power one) since the cow has to be made out of something, and photosynthesis doesn't convert directly to matter, it just lets the organism build stuff out of the the water and nutrients it gets from "digesting" its environment (roots, or sometimes trapped insects like flytraps or pitcher plants).


Not quite. About 90% of the mass of a tree actually is carbon pulled directly out of the atmosphere. Water and nutrients are important, but for the most part, plants really are made out of air.

Not quite. They're about 95% carbon and hydrogen and oxygen, and most plants don't absorb much water as water vapor. This link says most plants are 45-50% carbon by oven-dried mass, which means a live one has even less. I hate pointing to yahoo answers, but maybe about 12%? (I'm an engineer, not a biologist, so pardon the first-hits-on-google-that-aren't-global-warming-screeds references.) A thing made of 90% carbon sounds more like charcoal. :wink:

And that doesn't invalidate the cow needing a digestive system of some sort, which was the point. Pretty much all living things are 90-95% CHO and 5% "other".


Ok. It looks like trees are actually about 50% carbon. And, yeah, that is more then most plants.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120849322

On a side note, I really don't get why people in this thread are currently trying to engineer a cow into an efficient plant. Wouldn't it be easier at this point just to engineer a plant so that it tasted like a cow instead of the other way around? Seems like that would require much less in the way of changes.


Plants don't walk themselves into the slaughterhouse.

Waiting for the day when cows shoot themselves for you, a la Douglas Adams.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby webgiant » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:your link is to 16

eh, this one feels phoned in, very little "what if we had more power?", I was thinking maybe, what if green cows had big fins that could fold away at night, how big would the fins have to be to keep cows well fed, and therefore how much extra farmland would be needed to make room for these giant-finned cows.


Well, Don Dunklee has developed an electric scooter which hardly ever needs a plugin recharge using this basic principle.

Image

According to the article:
"The bike's batteries hold 2400 watt-hours, so a Michigan summer's 9 hours of daily sun charges the battery about 1/2 full. Don estimates his ride uses only 25% of that."

On his own site (where people can get his solar electric scooter plans for free), he writes, "Don rides the scooter 5 miles to work each day, and can fold the panels out for charging the battery while parked at work."

So the folded out solar panels on his scooter generate 1200Wh of power in 9 peak solar hours a day, or about 133Wh per peak solar hour.

niky wrote:
Yosarian2 wrote:On a side note, I really don't get why people in this thread are currently trying to engineer a cow into an efficient plant. Wouldn't it be easier at this point just to engineer a plant so that it tasted like a cow instead of the other way around? Seems like that would require much less in the way of changes.


Plants don't walk themselves into the slaughterhouse.

Waiting for the day when cows shoot themselves for you, a la Douglas Adams.

Cows can't feed themselves more cheaply by a factor of 1000 like plants can. A cow-flavored plant would be much more cost-effective, saving so much you wouldn't even miss the fact that they don't walk into the slaughterhouse. It sounds more like someone here is "penny wise, pound foolish" trying to justify the insane expense of growing cows.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby niky » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals.

You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose.

Still, imagine food that farms itself. You could make a mint on that. Or you could end up with killer tomatoes. Tough call.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby ijuin » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:According to the article:
"The bike's batteries hold 2400 watt-hours, so a Michigan summer's 9 hours of daily sun charges the battery about 1/2 full. Don estimates his ride uses only 25% of that."

On his own site (where people can get his solar electric scooter plans for free), he writes, "Don rides the scooter 5 miles to work each day, and can fold the panels out for charging the battery while parked at work."

So the folded out solar panels on his scooter generate 1200Wh of power in 9 peak solar hours a day, or about 133Wh per peak solar hour.


I already ride an electric scooter like that one for my local no-passengers-no-cargo use (25 mph, 30 mile range on a full charge if I drive mostly at top speed), so if I could add a solar charging system like this for under $500 extra (and had detailed instructions on installing it), I would do it.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby bmonk » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:40 pm UTC

niky wrote:We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals.

You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose.


How about only growing the cows that can feed themselves on the grass that grows on land unsuitable for other farming? We'd have a lot less beef--but that beef would be less expensive in terms of the total food it represents.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:26 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
niky wrote:We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals.

You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose.


How about only growing the cows that can feed themselves on the grass that grows on land unsuitable for other farming? We'd have a lot less beef--but that beef would be less expensive in terms of the total food it represents.

Goats and sheep used for dairy are much more efficient for extracting food from non-arable land. They navigate rocky and otherwise unpleasant terrain well, eat damn near anything, and if you milk them instead of slaughtering them you get a continuing source of food.

There's a reason why many bronze-age people were goatherders and shepherds, and why killing one of their animals was a great sacrifice used to show submission to their god.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
bmonk wrote:
niky wrote:We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals.

You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose.


How about only growing the cows that can feed themselves on the grass that grows on land unsuitable for other farming? We'd have a lot less beef--but that beef would be less expensive in terms of the total food it represents.

Goats and sheep used for dairy are much more efficient for extracting food from non-arable land. They navigate rocky and otherwise unpleasant terrain well, eat damn near anything, and if you milk them instead of slaughtering them you get a continuing source of food.

There's a reason why many bronze-age people were goatherders and shepherds, and why killing one of their animals was a great sacrifice used to show submission to their god.


And pigs are a way to turn kitchen scraps into bacon!

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:I might be giving Americans too much credit here, but I would assume that most Americans with at least a high school education could name most, if not all, of the 50 U.S. states.


I think you give most Americans too much credit.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby ijuin » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:10 am UTC

The standards in public high schools these days (and even when I was in high school myself) are so low that something like 20% of the students can't even identify the USA--their own country--on a world map.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:35 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:The standards in public high schools these days (and even when I was in high school myself) are so low that something like 20% of the students can't even identify the USA--their own country--on a world map.

Strange and true; Very sad and wrong when veiwed from the sophicated eyes of global elete.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

We could go on and on about how heartbreakingly unereduated the American people are.

It is O.K. The masses have always been too busy to know much.

My observation is, The masses are mostly washed and busier thsn ever.

We are a busy species. Noisy, too.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby severach » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:27 am UTC

I want some steak. Where's "what if we tried more power?" BHG and his megawatt lasers?

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby niky » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:36 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
bmonk wrote:
niky wrote:We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals.

You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose.


How about only growing the cows that can feed themselves on the grass that grows on land unsuitable for other farming? We'd have a lot less beef--but that beef would be less expensive in terms of the total food it represents.

Goats and sheep used for dairy are much more efficient for extracting food from non-arable land. They navigate rocky and otherwise unpleasant terrain well, eat damn near anything, and if you milk them instead of slaughtering them you get a continuing source of food.

There's a reason why many bronze-age people were goatherders and shepherds, and why killing one of their animals was a great sacrifice used to show submission to their god.


And pigs are a way to turn kitchen scraps into bacon!


Pigs are indeed a great way to recycle biomass. We used to collect food scraps from all over to feed the pigs at the farm.

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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby addams » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:06 am UTC

Drooling green cows will never happen. Drooling green cows are a very funny idea.

All the drooling regular colored cows are funny. They chew, they drool, they moo. Cows are big dangerous and fuuny.
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Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:Oh, and it should be noted that melanin can be used for photosynthesis from ionizing radiation. For example, three fungal species, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Wangiella dermatitidis, and Cryptococcus neoformans, have been shown to generate energy from gamma radiation using melanin. UV can also be used with melanin to dissociate water. So it's not really that far fetched.


So what if the cows use several pigments instead of just chlorophyl a and b it could make the process more efficient, but the cows wouldn't be green anymore... Then again, unlike what the title says, the question was actually "if cows could photosyntezise". So chlorophyl could be used for the red and blue parts of the spectrum together with melanin for a gamma part of the spectrum and fucoxanthin to get some from the green part of the spectrum. Maybe some more pigments are required to use the spectrum optimally, but this variety should improve the efficiency a lot. Perhaps if they have morphological traits from this hornet the efficiency could be further improved. However, I don't know by how much the efficiency would improve, but maybe the fins can be smaller...

And yes, meaty plants would probably be more realistic.


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