A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life

One thought on “A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life”

  1. Here’s the answer to the puzzle: It’s the *natural* lifespan of animals that scales as M^(1/4), not the actual lifespan of farm animals, which is far shorter. The lifespan of beef cattle is about 2 years; the natural lifespan is about 20 years. “Fattening” Pigs: about 6-7 months versus 20 years. “Broiler” chickens: 40 days versus 8-15 years. A chicken is about 300x less massive than a cow, but its lifespan on a farm isn’t 300^(1/4) = 4.2x shorter, but rather about 20x shorter. (Lifespan numbers: http://www.four-paws.us/campaigns/farm-animals-/farm-animal-life-expectancy/)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s