Could camels replace cows soon?
As water becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, the solution for farmers in the south of France may be to replace their cows with camels.
With more and more episodes of heat waves and a scorching 2019, agriculture is transforming to the point that cows could gradually disappear in favor of camels?
We are not there yet, but if the French weather (especially in the south) starts to resemble that of North Africa, dromedaries and camels will land in force. In seven years, their population has doubled from 500 in 2012 to 1,000 today. It must be said that they have a lot of strengths in their moguls.
Camels consume much less water, they are satisfied with 20 liters per day against 100 (or five times more) for the cow. To feed themselves, the camelid devours hay which is easier to produce than corn and here even less water consuming. As blue gold becomes scarce and expensive, pastoralists are making an unusual transition from replacing their herd of cows with camels. The phenomenon is global, especially in Western countries affected by global warming.
How are we going to do with the milk?
By getting used to camel milk. Good luck ! It’s rough, but it’s true that it has virtues. It is much less fatty and more digestible than cow’s milk and tolerated by people or infants allergic to lactose.
Water, milk and what else?
The cow will lose more points against the hardworking camels (don’t see this as a bad pun). In the Languedoc, they play the top to clear the scrubland and thus avoid the outbreak of fire. In vineyards or fields, they are more comfortable plowing the land and stronger than draft horses or oxen. Finally, in the Landes, they are used to clean the large beaches on the ocean. They know the sand, they who cross the Sahara up and down. They have the particularity of not sinking so they are a precious allies in helping to collect all the waste and bits of plastic that soil the coastline.
Jean-Pierre Montanay questioned the camels, they are very happy to become. Contrary to popular belief, they acclimatize well, it is neither too hot nor too cold! And then in France, there is not yet a certified slaughterhouse, so they are sure to live a long time and not end up in hamburger like in the Gulf countries. Well maybe not for a very long time if there are no more cows tomorrow.
By Jean-Pierre Montanay
Source: Europe 1