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Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership

In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…

December 23, 2012: Whispering Dogs’ Secrets, Saving Cheetahs with Donkeys, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we whisper dogs’ secrets to their owners, trade guns for climbing gear in Rio, paint endangered animals onto a barn, teach donkeys to protect cows from cheetahs in Namibia, save the world from a Mayan apocalypse, tunnel deep under Gaza to deliver groceries, sacrifice our fingertips to bee stings in Turkey, and take in hot air from shale rock across the United States.

Factory Farming Is Not the Best We Have to Offer

Our food system is in desperate need of reform; people, animals and the Earth are suffering, says Gene Baur, an advocate for raising awareness about the negative consequences of industrialized factory farming . “Thankfully, we are beginning to pay attention. Many citizens are demanding more transparency around how food, and especially animal products, are produced. We are no longer comfortable accepting how agribusiness keeps animals who are raised for food hidden from us,” he says in this guest post.

Oregano Moves Cows Toward Climate Neutral

A dash of oregano does more than make pizza taste delicious: it also can reduce the amount of methane in cow burps, new research shows. Scientists have been trying to decrease methane from livestock for years; methane is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas, and cows in the…

Fish Oils Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Flatulent Cows

NGS photo by George F. Mobley By including two percent fish oil in the diet of cattle, the amount of methane released by the animals can be reduced, experiments in Ireland have demonstrated. “The fish oil affects the methane-producing bacteria in the rumen part of the cow’s gut, leading to reduced emissions,” says Lorraine Lillis,…

Cows With Names Yield More Milk, British Study Finds

NGS photo by Volkmar K. Wentzel A cow with a name produces more milk than one without, scientists at Newcastle University in the UK say. “By giving a cow a name and treating her as an individual, farmers can increase their annual milk yield by almost 500 pints,” said the university’s Catherine Douglas and Peter…