In good news, researchers found that cows can be potty trained. These findings are not only helpful for the environment but the cows. Potty-trained cows make it easy to collect and treat waste, keep the air pollution-free, keep the barns clean, and allow more animal-friendly and open farms.
Understanding the Challenges
Collecting and treating waste from cows was proving to be a challenge on a farm where they are allowed to defecate and roam freely while they graze. This created contamination problems for local soil and waterways. On the other hand, if they were controlled by keeping them in the barn, their feces and urine would mix to create ammonia. Ammonia is an indirect greenhouse gas. And while ammonia isn’t directly responsible for causing climate change, microbes turn it into nitrous oxide (the third most important greenhouse gas) when it mixes with the soil. Agriculture is the largest contributor in producing ammonia, and livestock farming make up half of it.
Another problem that plagued the researchers was the long-held belief that cows can’t be potty trained. Jan Langbein, an animal psychologist and author of the article published in the journal Current Biology said that it was assumed that cows are incapable of controlling their defecation. However, new research done by him and his team showed that much like dogs and cats, cows can be potty trained too.
How Did They Manage to Potty Train the Cows
Researchers made use of both rewards and punishments to potty-train the cows in a process they dubbed MooLoo training. They started with rewarding the calves when they made use of the latrine to defecate or urinate. To further the cause, researchers also wanted cows to associate defecating outside as unpleasant. They used punishment whenever they urinated or defecated outside. After trying their hands on different types of mild punishment that can cause an unpleasant feeling, researchers found splashing water on them to be the most useful. These findings allow researchers to train actual cows and calves on the farm – making for a cleaner and healthier environment.
This is the story of Dave Jones and his Italian girlfriend. The adventurers probably didn’t know that they would end up as two of the luckiest hitchhikers ever. The couple was hiking the John Muir Trail in California when they suddenly ran out of food.
Hunger Games Turned Into a Cop Ride
It wasn’t until Dave and his girlfriend ran out of food in the California mountains when they decided to hike down and re-supply. They were near Independence and needed a ride to the larger town of Bishop, which is over 40 miles away.
Hitchhikers are allowed to hitch according to the state of California, as long as they’re not standing in a roadway. The couple wasn’t familiar with the local laws on hitchhiking, but this seemed like their only option to get supplies, so they gave it a try.
The Luckiest Hitchhikers Ever
When a police cruiser pulled over, Dave and his girlfriend thought they were in real trouble. However, when Addam Otten of the highway patrol in Bishop stepped out of his vehicle, they quickly realized their luck. Turns out, the officer offered them a ride but that wasn’t the only kind thing he did for the hitchhikers.
Not only did officer Addam Otten agree to give them a 40-mile ride, but he also offered the hungry couple to stop at his dad’s BBQ place for lunch. Turns out this is exactly what they needed as they’d eaten nothing but dried vegan hiking food and chia-breakfast for a week. Practically, they were starving up until when they were greeted with a pulled pork sandwich and a mound of potato salad.
After the BBQ feast, the kind police officer drove the hitchhikers safely to Bishop as he promised.
“He was a true gent and explained that his job was to Protect and Serve: “When I’m not protecting, I’m serving.”