Skip to main content

View Diary: New study forecasts mass extinction in 100 years due to Climate Change (226 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Eating cows or animals raised in the industrial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grahamcstrouse

    model surely. Animals raised with holistic land management- shifting paddocks, mob grazing, integrated whole farm design- mimic the impact of undomesticated grazing animals and increases the land's resiliency by utilizing the symbiotic relationship that evolved between grazers and their food.

    Eating animals which are raised in factory farms and fed everything from indigestable corn and gummy bears to drug cocktails is an enormous problem.

    However, this blanket assertion that animals, particularly cows, are always a problem needs to stop because it isn't true.

    It also reflects an unfamiliarity with agroecological methods which are being recognized across demographics as the key towards resolving a trifecta of interrelated problems- poverty, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Animals, not just domesticated ones, play enormous roles in nutrient cycling, harvesting, pest and disease reduction, as well as the multitude of replenishable products for everything from leather to soaps that we humans have developed over millenia.

    If we want to influence others to consider alternatives to eating industrially produced meat, perhaps it would be wise to mention the regenerative ways in which we can utilize animals in our landscape management regimes.

    •  Here is a good link to start with. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grahamcstrouse

      One of many places talking about holistic land management. Link.

    •  Ruminants contribute to global warming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beach babe in fl

      even if they are grass-fed. The cow is a climate bomb (sheep and goats too).

      •  Of course they do. Nothing is going (0+ / 0-)

        to stop a cow from producing methane. I also largely agree with the linked article's statement that meat production will decline. Meat isn't necessary on a daily basis, especially not three or four times a day.

        That, however, doesn't mean that cows, sheep, and goats do not play an important part in agroecological (and so called wild) systems.

        Did this study consider the amount of land which can be restored to functional grassland through the management of ruminants. Functional grasslands will have many times more carbon sequestered into the soil than less fertile grasslands and areas under threat of desertification. Functional grasslands protect topsoil and help to restore a working hydrological cycle. Was there any consideration for these benefits? Did you bother to follow my link and see the lands which are being restored (ie, carbon is being banked into the soil) all over the world? These areas are not minuscule. Desertification can be reversed through proper management of land. Part of that includes using animals- including ruminants- to create a more natural trophic hierarchy and nutrient cycle in agroecological systems. If the study did not look at the amount of carbon sequestered by proper management of ruminants and the potential restoration of vast areas of the planet through agroecology (of which organic production of ruminants plays a major role), then it isn't telling the whole story.

        I also wonder what you would have said before the Great Plains ecosystem was destroyed. There were between 30 and 200 million plains bison before we Americans exterminated them. There are almost 98 million cattle in the States today. As far as other common domesticated ruminants in the US, sheep are estimated at 5.5 million and 3 million goats. I am confident that if we were able to count the total number of ruminants living within our present borders before European settlement and the ecological disaster we created in North America, we would reach the present number of domesticated ruminants and probably surpass it.

        Total numbers of domesticated ruminants worldwide are estimated at 3.5 billion, about 95% of the world's total. I just have to wonder if this percentage reflects the consequences of habitat destruction, hunting to extinction, and the industrialization of agriculture post WWII. Because if we were to believe the estimated numbers for just a "pristine" environment in the Great Plains, for one species, it becomes readily clear that we have been living with large numbers of ruminants for a very, very long time.

        Were these large numbers of wild ruminants a problem? If ruminants are climate bombs (or is it just cows?), was it a wise thing for our forebears to exterminate the large herds? But I guess they made the mistake of bringing in cows to replace the native ruminants. What if they hadn't? What if we just wiped out all the ruminants and left the ecosystems alone? Well, if you take a look at what happens when we fence off these areas versus managing them with ruminants, the results are clear.

        The problem isn't ruminants. Climate change is being driven largely by deforestation and desertification (not just current, but deforestation which has walked hand in hand with human civilization since Sumer) and the burning of fossilized sunlight. The simple "ruminants=bad for climate" argument fails to account for the ecological services these animals provide, the products we derive from them, and their place within holistically managed properties.

        Is it your opinion that ruminants are always a negative factor in climate change? And if so, how do you see regenerative agriculture advancing without them?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site