mini cattlePhoto: Katie Newman (florador) via Flickr

Cows (deservedly) get a lot of grief for beef’s hefty contribution to global warming, which means we should steer clear of adding more of them to the world, right? Basically, yes.

However, if you apply the theory of the Incredible Shrinking Man to the bovine world, more-but-mini cattle may give some relief to climate-conscious humans who still salivate for steak on occasion.

Miniature cattle — around three feet tall — measure up much better than the average-sized burger machine, requiring less of both land and feed. Ten mini cows — the greenhouse-gas-burping equivalent of one regular cow — can be pastured on the same five acres that previously would support only two full-sized cows. Mini-cattle pioneer Richard Gradwohl of Seattle, Wash., bit into the minute-cow craze when he had to downsize his ranch to keep up with rising property taxes and realized he could get three times the beef with these miniscule ruminants instead.

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Yet another bonus of mini cows is that their mini meat is naturally more tender — a tiny taste sensation!

And did we mention everything is more appealing when it’s mini? (Hello, teacup pigs!)

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