For immediate release – April 1, 2023
ALAMAGORDO, NM – Look! Up in the sky – it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a cow??? That’s right: In a top-secret partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), scientists have genetically engineered the world’s first regenerative cattle at a top-secret facility on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The resulting bovines, which hover above the ground, have achieved – for the first time ever – the status of regenerative livestock production. This new model will allow uplands trampled into dust for centuries, riparian habitats churned into polluted bogs, and native plant communities decimated by overgrazing to begin the long path to ecological recovery.
“We had been trying to develop regenerative cattle grazing for years, but kept failing due to the destruction of native bunchgrasses, the spread of flammable cheatgrass, and the climate impacts of reduced soil carbon and ruminant methane emissions,” said Oregon rancher Tracy Davies, whose ranch provided the livestock for the experiment. “Getting the cattle off the land – and into the sky – turned out to be the key to regenerating the land and making cattle production carbon-neutral at the same time.”
The regenerative bovines were achieved by crossing cattle with hummingbirds, allowing them to hover above the ground, and introgressing them with the genes of a red seaweed to give the cattle chloroplasts that produce all the animal’s energy from sunlight through photosynthesis.
“Giving mammals the ability to photosynthesize mean that there is no longer a need to supply rations, or, forage,” said General Batguano, who had been sequestered in the White Sands compound since 1964, supervising the experiments. “That means the cattle no longer need to ruminate, don’t belch methane, and don’t produce manure. They no longer need to have any impacts on the land, and they’re totally solar-powered, without any impacts to the climate.”
“With the advent of flying beef, the American livestock industry will have total air superiority,” General Batguano added.
Western environmentalists seemed pleased, if a bit baffled, by the new developments. “Getting cattle off the land and into the sky will be good news for trout streams, sage grouse habitats, and native herbivores like elk and bighorn sheep, which will no longer have to compete with livestock for forage on public lands,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “But I’m not sure if our animal-rights colleagues will agree that these flying cows constitute ‘vegan beef.’ Just because they produce their own food through photosynthesis doesn’t necessarily make them plants.”
The plans for corralling the flying cows and for divvying up airspace among the livestock corporations and airlines remain to be determined, and some western Members of Congress are already thinking of how to create subsidies for this new model of ranching.
APRIL FOOLS! There is no such animal as a regenerative cow!