Milk consumption in China
Quiet disappointed by The Guardian. Here's a (rather) interesting article on the history of milk consumption in China. But the whole article is trying to paint how catastrophic this development might be: the Chinese are trying to triple their intake in milk! That means more cows! That's bad because cows fart us into a hot house!
The argumentation is solid - more cows are indeed problematic. But blaming it on milk consumption in China? Let's take a look at a few numbers omitted from the article, or stuffed into the very last paragraph.
- On average, a European consumes six times as much milk as a Chinese. So, even if China achieves its goal and triples average milk consumption, they will drink only half as much as a European.
- Europe has double the number of dairy cows than China has.
- China is planning to increase their milk output by 300% but only increase resources for that by 30% according to the article. I have no idea how that works, but sounds like a great deal to me.
- And why are we even talking about dairy cows? The number of beef cows in the US or in Europe each outnumber the dairy cows by a fair amount (unsurprisingly - a cow produces quite a lot of milk over a longer time, whereas its meat production is limited to a single event)
- There are about 13 million dairy cows in China. The US have more than 94 million cattle, Brazil has more than 211 million, world wide it's more than 1.4 billion - but hey, it's the Chinese milk cows that are the problem.
Maybe the problem can be located more firmly in the consumption habits of people in the US and in Europe than the "unquenchable thirst of China".
The article is still interesting for a number of other reasons.
How much information is in a language?