Re: On grazing and land conservation again: Assessment of Allan Savory anyone?


David Walters
 

Sorry about the grammar/spelling errors. Ugh!!! One last thing, Wuethner is right to attack "ranchers". That type of ranching and certainly is the most common though regenerative ranching and farmers us catching up is known as "free range ranching" and sounds romantic. It is not. The farmer drop off cattle at a several thousand acre field and pick them back up again in a few month to a year, then move them to a feed lot. The cattle, with no predators, simply lie around and eat they want. They destroy the soil by over grazing in one spot and eat only what they want. This is actually the opposite of how they evolve, which as Savory does explain well, were moved around *constantly* by predators (including humans). They never rested in one spot for long and lived in a state of semi-stress (the happy cow is a disgusting marketing gimmick that never really exists in nature). By doing this bison/buffalo/cows were forced to eat what ever they could or some other cow would eat it before them. They constantly moved their herd depositing manure along the way. This is one reason the soils in North America were so carbon rich, upwards of 4 to 8% in soil organic carbon. Top soil was sometimes meters thick. European farmers for decades essentially mined this soil for the carbon which they harvested in the form of sugar, corn, wheat and so on. Regenerative farming re-establishes this as an analog to nature by daily (or twice daily) moving cows around from paddock to paddock. It is much cheaper to farm this way but requires more work and most husbanding of the animals. There is a huge debate over carbon sequestration. Defenders of this form of ranching tend to exaggerate the quantity of carbon sequestrated by the soil. But it does get sequestrated. It is a better way of raising our food. It requires *more* folks back on the land (which is a good thing, IMO) by a small percentage and it produced great tasting beef, cattle, chicken and pigs without any of the fossil fuel inputs previously required. That is a good thing anyway you slice it. Lastly, it much nicer to the animals who otherwise would rarely have taller fresher grass or worse, be fed grains, something they never evolved to eat (except pigs of course that can eat anything and like it). There are the same number of grass eaters on the planet as there were 2000 years ago. So the "cow" was the same, but we changed. We have to stop blaming the cow and change the way we produce commodities and make energy. Leave the cows alone and return them to the grass they evolved on.

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