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predators. Does that include us?

 
Xisca Nicolas
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In nature, every animal is either a predator or a prey for predators, who are we?

I think that a predator is an animal that eat other animals.
Including eating us.

A lion is an obvious predator for us. And a fox for our hens...

I also think that man is a predator himself.
And we fight against other predators, to protect ourselves and the preys we want to eat.

Also, I can see that some people want to get away from this cycle eat and/or be eaten.
How do you/we situate ourselves in the holistic cycle of life?
 
wayne stephen
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You may become vegan and escape the "eat" part of the equation. You cannot escape the "or be eaten" . If lions , tigers , and bears don't get you then something microscopic will. Pseudomonas , klebsiella , staphylococcus , malaria . The latest buzz from science may show that our ancestors began eating meat earlier than previously thought . Our earliest bi-pedal cousins either switched rapidly from eating fruit and greens in the forest to eating grass on the savannah , or they began eating grazing animals far earlier in our history . Myself , I will enjoy pork chops heartedly and willingly embrace being a predator / omnivore.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Yes I agree that there are many ways not to escape "being eaten"...
But then you do not escape the "eat" part, because veggies are as much alive as bacterias.

Actually, I was reducing "predator" to "killing with teeth and claws for eating flesh".
We do not speak of predators for killing and eating a carrot's root.
And for microscopic things, well, that is covered by the word disease...

our ancestors began eating meat earlier than previously thought


I will joke by telling you that I do not agree with this statement!!
Our ancestors never stopped eating meat...
Even chimpanzees do hunt some monkeys, apart from eating ants, termites and bugged fruits.
 
Fred Morgan
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There are a few exceptions. I don't know what, for example, eats many whales, except us killing them for oil. How about elephants? Not a lot of predators targeting elephants, rhinos, etc, except the weak either by age, or young.

We aren't a pure predator, we are an omnivore, which can be argued makes up some of the most vicious animals there are - definitely some of the most successful.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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2 big animals...

We are not the only predator of the whale. I remember a very hard documentary film about the attack and death of a youth that the mother could not protect long enough to escape. The orc was just playing with the dead whale baby, throwing it into the air.

About elephants, I don't know, but it is a general rule that young and old (=weakest) are the easiest prey.
That would be interesting to compare the number of youth a female elephant has in her life compared to an antelope or whatever.
And same for the whale.
Sure, mice are very much more eaten, and very prolific!

A coyote is a typical predator. And mesquite pods can be up to 80% of their diet.
Being a predator thus does not mean eating only meat.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Man is now top predator. I suppose absolute top predators would be cannibals. In our mythologies there is a special reverence for animals capable of eating us. Some such as vampires and warewolves are humans with super predatory abilities. My favorite is the TV character Dexter.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Yes, I looked for the sentence "man is a wolf for man" that you made me remember, and it is in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_homini_lupus

Homo homini lupus est is a Latin phrase meaning "man is a wolf to [his fellow] man." First attested in Plautus' Asinaria (195 BC, "lupus est homo homini"), the phrase is sometimes translated as "man is man's wolf", which can be interpreted to mean that man preys upon man. It is widely referenced when discussing the horrors of which humans are capable. As an opposition, Seneca wrote that "man is something sacred for man.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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In my opinion there really isn't a clear distinction between predator and prey because all life seems to find itself on both sides at some point in their life. Sure whales are big, but they are certainly prey for sharks, killer wales (orcas) and people too. This is especially the case when they are young, old or sick. That brings me to another point. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and pests are all actively seeking out people (and other large critters) as a food source. In some cases people find themselves becoming a host to brood offspring of these "predators". The Bot Fly will lay eggs under your skin, where they hatch, eat you for a bit and then burst from your skin to pupate. If after that, you don't feel like you've been preyed upon, I don't know what might persuade you.
Mosquitoes transmit parasites, viruses and bacteria to people quite readily. This is a case of one predator giving a ride to another predator so that they can both prey upon you. Well, the mosquito preys "On" you while Malaria preys "In" you.

Being a prey item is what has instilled in us the feelings that we get when we hear a bump in the night. "Is that something coming to eat me?"
It drives a parent to hold the kids closer when they are unsure of the security situation. It's that feeling you get in your stomach that makes you want to find shelter before dark.
People are food for a lot of things from bacteria to great white sharks. And yes, even other people sometimes eat each other. Sometimes it's a cultural/ritual thing, sometimes its a crazy cannibal killer type thing and sometimes it's even a medical issue.
If you really want to go out on a limb, could we also make an argument that we are prey to our thoughts? Aren't some people consumed by their thoughts, fears and ideologies? Aren't some people consumed by worry, terror or obsessions. If the statement " the things you own, eventually own you" is true, then can people be consumed by greed? Can you be eaten alive by inanimate objects? Is a person who is fully "consumed" mentally, any less "eaten" than a person who was gobbled up by a tiger? Perhaps that's reading too much into the question. Anyway... what's eating you?

Isn't this one of the fundamental ideas that make things work here on earth? Everything eats Everything else. *


* except plastic. Not much eats that shit. But there are people working on that.


 
Xisca Nicolas
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One can enter into details, yes there are things that eat everything that is organic. There are even wool eaters as you know.... A predator kills.
An herbivore is not a predator and a carnivore is.
Some shark can go with just your leg... Ho, and lizards can get their tail eaten and stay alive.
Come on, let's not quibble about the meaning of what is a predator, the prey is dead in 99% cases.
Some animals are only on one side of the eat flesh / be eaten, and some are on both sides, like rats.
Chimpanzees are also on both sides, as they hunt some monkeys and live in areas with predators.

Don't you think there is something to think about if we spread on earth like herbivores and do not accept to be killed?
Ok, herbivores have a mob grazing way to protect themselves, and we used our skills to protect ourselves even better.
That made us successful.

I mean that we could be on both side, prey and be preyed, but we are sure more on the predator side, even if we are vegan! Because a vegan is not more preyed than any other human. We often try to define a specie by "what it eats"... and what's about "by what's it is eaten"?

There has been some discussions about agriculture doing harm, even before chemical agriculture. So, what's about viewing in a holistic way that the mankind history can be the story of an omnivore specie that spread by increasing its herbivore diet while increasing its predator behavior?
 
wayne stephen
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Hunter gatherers would kill a wolf and eat it also . Killing a large predator a sign of bravery . We have slaughtered wolves to protect our ranches and farms but do not eat them or spiritually gather their strength . Now it is considered a big deal for a hunter to shoot a wolf from a plane a take the skin as a trophy . Mounted for bragging rights . No one will eat a cougar either . There used to be a hunting rule that was taught to young people that if you killed something you ate it . This is not a sign of our increasing civilization but a symptom of our increasing seperation from nature . Lewis and Clark ate wolf and coyote on their journey of discovery , along with horses . I guarantee they did not eat dog when they returned to Virginia. So , maybe we need the ethics of thrift and nonwastefulness even when we have to kill a predator for self defense . I am just as guilty when protecting my chickens . Anyone have any idea how to not waste a perfectly good possum ?
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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wayne stephen wrote:Hunter gatherers would kill a wolf and eat it also . Killing a large predator a sign of bravery . We have slaughtered wolves to protect our ranches and farms but do not eat them or spiritually gather their strength . Now it is considered a big deal for a hunter to shoot a wolf from a plane a take the skin as a trophy . Mounted for bragging rights . No one will eat a cougar either . There used to be a hunting rule that was taught to young people that if you killed something you ate it . This is not a sign of our increasing civilization but a symptom of our increasing seperation from nature . Lewis and Clark ate wolf and coyote on their journey of discovery , along with horses . I guarantee they did not eat dog when they returned to Virginia. So , maybe we need the ethics of thrift and nonwastefulness even when we have to kill a predator for self defense . I am just as guilty when protecting my chickens . Anyone have any idea how to not waste a perfectly good possum ?


There are a few different threads that have info about "Maggot Buckets" as a feeding station for poultry. Basically, you just drill a bunch of 3/8 inch holes in the bottom of a bucket, Throw in a good layer of straw, then your opossum goes in, followed by a little more straw. Hang the bucket so that nothing can get to it. Five feet up in a tree is good enough unless you have bears.
Flies lay eggs in the bucket. maggots eat the opossum and when they are ready to pupate they dig through the straw and either go through the holes at the bottom of the bucket or they go over the top edge. Either way they end up on the ground. That's not a good place to be when there are hungry chickens around.

I did this last year and am just getting ready to set it up again. As long as you keep the bucket stocked with critters, your chickens will hang out under that bucket happily collecting the maggots. The opossum should take less than a week to become just fur and bones. OH! I wonder if you could use those bones for making bone-sauce (Sepp style)? Then you'd really get the most out of your Opossum.

I'll also note that the smell is not what I thought it would be. Turns out that enough maggot activity will clear a corpse almost faster than it can get really unpleasant smelling. "almost"




 
Xisca Nicolas
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Wayne, do you mean this is the sign of being a super-predator? We can kill any animal. We do it for eating, for self-defense, and for property/chicken/cattle... defense.
Xisca Nicolas wrote:There has been some discussions about agriculture doing harm, even before chemical agriculture. So, what's about viewing in a holistic way that the mankind history can be the story of an omnivore specie that spread by increasing its herbivore diet while increasing its predator behavior?

wayne stephen wrote:This is not a sign of our increasing civilization but a symptom of our increasing separation from nature.

What would be a world with almost no predators and increasing herbivores then?
Have you heard about "administrative hunting"?
This I translate from the French...

wayne stephen wrote:There used to be a hunting rule that was taught to young people that if you killed something you ate it.
I am just as guilty when protecting my chickens. Anyone have any idea how to not waste a perfectly good possum ?

A possum is not edible?
Give it to a dog?
By the way Wayne, I do not understand what you are guilty about. Is it of not eating and wasting, or just the killing, or all?

I have killed on the road with a car: 2 rabbits and 1 squirrel. I have eaten them.
I would not eat a dog or a cat. Not only because they are pets but also as carnivores, I have a feeling that it is better to eat herbivores but it might be just a wrong idea. Well, they are also full of vaccines, antibiotics and worse, insecticides in their fat tissues.
Dogs are eaten in China. Rabbits as pets are not eaten in the UK. French eat frogs and snails. Insects are eaten in many parts of the world.
So I think that our vision of what is a "prey" is mostly cultural don't you think so?
 
Greta Fields
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Cougars, coyotes and bobcats, snakes, are nice hunters, but most men, and house cats, are predators killing for sport. The Indians had a good attitude, that if you kill something, you must eat it. I just read a book by David Chaltis about living with Navajo Indians, and he tells a story about a father who sent his son back to a lake to turn one fish loose because the son caught more than the father told him to. The son had to walk for hours to turn one fish loose, and he probably never forgot that lesson.
Like you said -- this just shows our separation from nature, our hatred of predators. I respect them, from experience: How would YOU like to hunt 13 hours per day to feed your cub? A mountain lion who lived in my basement went out to hunt at 9 p.m. by the CLOCK and came in at 10 a.m. by the CLOCK.
Now, scientific studies show that predators are really important in re-establishing balance in nature. If they do not control deer, deer ruin habitats for other animals.
I know a man who likes having rattlesnakes around because they control rabbits. Bears eat his apples on the ground, he said, but don't hurt his orchard trees!
I don't raise animals or fish or hunt. But I really admire wild animals. Some Indians say elk don't poop in water. That makes them smarter than whiteman.
 
wayne stephen
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Xisca , I was feeling guilty about killing possum and then not using it . Just the waste not the killing . They have a foul odour that I can not get past . I would have to be starving to eat them. I like the maggot bucket idea - no more guilt! If you do not believe that humans are top predators think about how many of each other we have killed. Abbie Hoffman said that we could end all wars by making eating what you kill compulsory !
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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wayne stephen wrote: If you do not believe that humans are top predators think about how many of each other we have killed. Abbie Hoffman said that we could end all wars by making eating what you kill compulsory !


Considering the horrors of the past, imagine if some warlord actually did that. How would that have changed human history? Yikes! I'd imagine that the cases of Human Kuru or something similar would sky rocket and we'd quickly either be wiped out or pacified.

In wars and in famines there are cases of human cannibalism. Most often it's an intimidation tactic or a power/spiritual type thing. In some cases war is very much like cannibalism. One party kills the other party and then "eats" (consumes) their resources, land, factories and labor force. In fact the only thing a warlord doesn't consume is the flesh from the bones of the dead of either side. Your territory and personal property are the sweet meats and your body is "opossum ass". The battle field... a maggot bucket.


Woah! that got dark fast. Sorry to start the day like that.



 
Renate Howard
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After seeing our pet dog get way older than a dog should before she finally died, deaf, blind, and incontinent (and senile, I'm pretty sure!) I got a new respect for the role of predators in nature. Everything dies. Predators keep things from dying slowly and suffering by killing them when they first begin to weaken. If predators don't kill defective baby animals often the mother or father will, to keep them from drawing resources away from the rest, I guess. There's even a video of a stallion killing a newborn foal, presumably because it was defective in some way.

Humans are the only ones that kill and eat animals in their prime and pass over the sickly ones, IMHO. But many of the domesticated species we eat wouldn't be so abundant if not for our protection and feeding, so I guess evolutionarily that's a "choice" their species made when they became tamed. And it's a fact of animal husbandry that nature provides in overflowing abundance, so that there is a surplus before too long and a risk of overcrowding, so the natural solution is to eat some of the excess. That or risk fouling the environment and starvation when the many consume all the food in their area.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Wahoo how much I love those answers! That's all very honest statements about a sensitive topic, because we have the sad privilege among all animals to have a big consciousness of death and killing. I think we are predators and that it is more difficult for humans to be predators than for any other animal. I have not yet heard about any carnivore/omnivore animal refusing to eat any meat.

I just see we also talk about domesticated animals like dogs and cats.
Everything dies. Predators keep things from dying slowly and suffering by killing them when they first begin to weaken.
Yes I also think that we deprive our pets from natural 'luck'...
I also agree that domesticated animals have become more abundant!
Vegetarianism would actually kill them!

But, domesticated animals have largely become weaker, like those cows that cannot give birth without a vet!
Instead of caring for those who die, we should care only for those who live, for the future of the species, and for the way we make them live.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Greta Fields wrote:Cougars, coyotes and bobcats, snakes, are nice hunters, but most men, and house cats, are predators killing for sport.

Greta, I would not make such differences between the nice hunter and the bad predator. Let me explain a few things I have learned, apart from the fact that all predators love the sport (or else they would have a hard life!).

Cats kill for sport and then eat if they are hungry. So the problem can be over-fed cats...?
The instinct of cats is not made the wrong way! They hunt when they are NOT hungry!
As everything is useful in nature, I suppose that they would not succeed as much if they were to be hungry for hunting. They would not be patient enough, or they would be too weak...

Do you take your time to cook when you are hungry? It is much better to start earlier, or else it is a real torture to be cooking with a growling stomach! Nature has made cats smart: they are aroused by movement and love chasing what moves. What is smart in this is to LOVE life!

That is why I do not despise killing for sport. Nature has made our basic needs pleasurable and I thank the creator and evolution for this!

Might be that the problem is that we have become more or less ashame of our nature, ashame of what goes with preying... How long does it take for a child to be conscious where meat comes from? How terrible is it to shut our eyes and prefer that some men earn a living by slaughtering all day long? I am sure everything is made so that this job is a terrible one. Then I understand that some associations want to stop this. The straight direct way is to stop eating meat, and the long way is to understand how we arrived at this situation and how to find a balance between our nature and our consciousness of life and death, and the suffering we get when we project ourselves into the 'victim'.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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The star fish is a predator... This next quote is from Alan Savory HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE

An American biologist, Robert Paine, was studying seashores. He wondered what would happen if he removed one species of aquatic life—a starfish— from
that environment. This species of starfish was a predator in that community, preying on some 15 or so smaller fish and organisms.
After one year, only half ( 8 ) of the original prey species remained.
With no predator to control the populations, some of the remaining species grew quickly in number, using up available space and food.
Other species were crowded out and either forced to move or died out.

During that same year, in another part of the seashore where the starfishes were still present, all 15 species continued to thrive. The relationship between the
predator (starfish) and prey species was maintained.


A predator maintain balance and even help life!
About man being a wolf for man, is there some 'good' hidden, or is it that we have gone off path, off nature's path?
Craig, I think the horror of war is not in the past for everyone... and it can come back in any peaceful place on earth.
Usually, a predator does not kill its own specie, so what with us?
I dunno if anyone has read Konrad Lorentz book called "aggression" or something like this.
He talks very much about the systems that stops aggressiveness between animals of the same specie. Carnivores usually have the strongest inhibitions.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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just saw this.


thought it had relevance.

 
wayne stephen
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Yeah , like they are going to send something that cool out to test the minefield !

Scenario :

Sargeant : Colonel , Sir , the 4.2 billion dollar prototype of the minefield testing robot has arrived . We need to find a route through that minefield and rescue our men at sector four , sir. They are pinned down by enemy fire.
Colonel : Can that thing drive , Sargeant ?
Sargeant : Sir ? Well , the specs say it can , Sir.
Colonel : Good ! Driver , you and the Sargeant go test that minefield. I'm taking this thing back to Tokyo . The boys at the golf course are going to love it. Carry on , men !
 
Greta Fields
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Xisca,
Your can explain why the cat kills for sport, but how do we explain why the cats kills so MUCH: Several big studies have shown that one cat will kill an average of 75 mammals and birds in a two week period, and just dump them. They are way out of balance, extreme in hunting behavior.
Same with domesticated dogs. I have two of those cute little lap dogs that somebody dumped at my gate, and I took them in. They seem to have defective genes. Their eyes run, their hair mats, their ears get infected, they go deaf, get spinal ailments. can't hunt, they get allergies. They throw up constantly.
I think coyotes are cruel, ripping apart dogs. However, some wild animals kill humanely -- cougars crush the windpipe, eagles break the spinal nerve, etc.
However, I disagree with the hunter's main premise, that we MUST eat meat. I read that Cherokee women sometimes formed vegetarian groups. I feel better when I live on corn, nuts, beans and rice etc. I do not crave meat, and pork makes me nauseated. I am mostly vegetarian. I never ever crave steak anymore. The only meat I ever want is the worst type, hotdogs! I could go back to eating meat, but why bother, I think.
Ii think violence is learned from hunting and farm life. Instead of Lorenz, I read Karl Menninger on violence, and he says hunting is violent.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Normally, each generation selects the animals that have the survival caracteristics, and it does not work well for domesticated animals. I have learned enough about dogs and cats to answer that yes some genes are "defective", but also the way of living that enables genes to show themselves.
1) Because of some linked genes some physical selection bring some issues without us knowing it.
2) All behaviour selection is done on hunting behavior patterns, by hypo or hyper-trophy of some parts of the hunting steps. Those steps start from smelling and searching to killing and eating. A pointer dog will stay longer with 1 paw up! A border collie will approach for ever... and some dogs can kill a hen and don't know what to do... they will not eat it unless there is a cut in the skin.
A domesticated animal is not a good example except to prove the interaction between genes and environment, and that everything is 100% Nature and 100% culture!

About killing too much, well, I guess this is the smae that what happens between my rats and my avocadoes!!!
Why rats gnaw at so many fruits and don't finish them?
Why birds start a new persimmon before they finish one?
Ants are glad to finish some of my cats half-eaten lizards!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Greta Fields wrote:I think violence is learned from hunting and farm life. Instead of Lorenz, I read Karl Menninger on violence, and he says hunting is violent.


It is common to use the words "violent" and "aggressive" (and even conflict) interchangeably, but they can be differentiated.
Hunting is aggressive and not violent IMO!
All hunters have some aggressiveness, to do their job for eating.
Some social codes enable them to be aggressive only out of their specie, and also out of their group.
Wolves do not eat wolves, and they rarely kill another wolf. I had the opportunity to ask a specialist, and he told me that the only cases were some dead wolves on territories' limits. A wolf can kill a wolf that is not known to him, in case of fear.

That is why I cannot agree on what is "specism" that mean we should include other species in ours.
We should direct our aggressiveness on other species, and limit more between us.
Aggressiveness for eating meat has nothing to do with aggressiveness towards other humans.
Of course, the social codes and what are called calming signals must be learned and managed from childhood.
There is also a problem of closeness to us. It is not difficult to clap your hands on the mosquito that bothers you, most of us do not watch each step not to kill a bug.
A bird is easier to kill than a mammal. And our reflex can even be dangerous when we want to avoid a pet on the road with our car.
I just agree that people working in a slaughter house in bad conditions where they have to not only kill but hurt and do it all day long are people having a problem so that they can be able to do it. But doing it all day long everyday is far from a norm for living as a predator!

We would not hurt who is close to us, and we would all choose to save a relative instead of a stranger (if we could not save both). We also act differently towards friends and strangers! (I mean this for everyday life with no relation to violence)

Violence is different from aggressiveness.
Aggressiveness is not violent because violence has an intention far away from survival.
But violence uses aggressiveness as a tool. Some verbal violences do not even use any aggressiveness!!!
One is normally aggressive towards another species, or when there is a need to defend from an aggression.

Violence is when you have not learned well the borders (as when people thought that some other races were not human persons - then you can be lovely to everybody and not towards colored people because you learned it wrong!)
Thus violence has chiefly to do with de-humanizing.
Or one can become violent when this border changes when one de-humanize a person, even if this is during the 5 seconds you use for shouting an insult.

A lot of tricks invented for wars had to do with de-humanizing, because most people were firing in the air as they madly wanted to avoid killing. Long distance rifles and bombs were made to over-come this issue.
 
wayne stephen
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Top predators like lions are regulated by the availability of prey. When they are successful in their hunting they have more babies and the predator population inceases. If they eat too many prey animals some of them will starve.Lions keep the prey population healthy by eating the weak and keep them from overpopulating . When a disease like Rinderpest wipes out prey populations many lions will starve. Top prey animals like zebra prey upon the grasses. They keep the grass alive by keeping trees from turning savannah into forests . They manure the grass and soil fetility increases. When humans clear land and till the soil we are not acting like zebras who keep the grasses healthy . Are we not acting like predators who are preying on the soil fertility created over millenia ? Consistently, when we till for vegan crops we use up soil fertility and do not replenish it. By eating grain and soy we use the soil as meat. If we are successful we will grow in numbers and clear more forests and grasslands for crops. If drought , locusts . and plant diseases wipe out our food source we will leave behind alot of uncovered soil to blow away or wash into the sea. Helen Atthowe and Fukuoka have demonstrated ways to grow grain and vegetables without animal inputs but they both use clover as fertility and mulch . For every plot of land growing food for us we need more land to grow clover for seed stock. If we are going to become top herbivore/predators we need to reconcile soil depleting practices on a global scale . Joel Salatin has successfully shown that we can mimic the predator-prey relationship in our animal husbandry and duplicate the soil building effect that zebras and buffalo have on the land. John Seymour says that there has never been successful farming without animal inputs . If there are animals on your farm you might as well enjoy a good steak .
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Let's not forget the role of the Scavenger in all of this. There are a lot of animals that eat meat that do not do their own killing. They are the clean-up crew of the planet. One might argue that most grocery store shoppers (folks who grow none of their own food) are scavengers, feeding on the leftovers of others. Most stuff in a store is by-products anyway... right? Are they animals without knowledge of how to hunt or grow? Does that make them scavengers? Aren't we all hunter/grower/gatherer/scavengers? Perhaps just in different proportions?

Hunter: Proportion of your meat diet which is raised or hunted, killed for ones own consumption.
Grower: Proportion of plant/fungi that one intentionally cultivates for ones own consumption.
Gatherer: Proportion of Plant/fungi that one obtains by direct harvest of wild/non-cultivated origin for ones own consumption
Scavenger: Proportion of meat that is obtained -by any method other than hunting/killing- for ones own consumption, previously killed by another animal.

The proportions are different for everyone. Where do you fall?
And the ultimate question is... what is Ideal?


Edit: damn emoticons


 
Xisca Nicolas
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wayne stephen wrote:Top predators like lions are regulated by the availability of prey. When they are successful in their hunting they have more babies and the predator population increases. If they eat too many prey animals some of them will starve.


It reminds me of the curves of fox and rabbit populations in Canada. The 2 curves were following each other, and the rhythm was I think of 4 years (but not sure of this detail).

The problem for us is that we are animals who live long!
And this is unacceptable for us...

wayne stephen wrote:They keep the grass alive by keeping trees from turning savannah into forests. They manure the grass and soil fertility increases.
... Joel Salatin has successfully shown that we can mimic the predator-prey relationship in our animal husbandry and duplicate the soil building effect that zebras and buffalo have on the land. John Seymour says that there has never been successful farming without animal inputs.


This is also what says Allan Savory!
Predators are there for keeping herbivores in packs, so that they stamp on the grass etc.

I agree Craig that we are many things, according to where we live, to seasons, weather etc. The proportions vary.
Coyotes sometimes get 80% of their diet from mesquite!

There is no ideal in the sense that we may not always decide and that we must adapt.
MY ideal is mainly as predators + plants that are no grains. Who want to eat more plants or no meat can do it.
We cannot over-populate if we are predators.
And if we are conscious about the act of killing we can lower intra-specie aggressiveness.
If we go on as barbares towards animals, then of course it opens the path of acting the same with humans.
 
Matu Collins
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Pigs would totally eat us, given the chance and an appetite. Wild or domesticated.

We are eaten by parasites too, in a way.

 
Xisca Nicolas
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About eating our flesh or our cattles's, I read a recent article about 5 species of wild canines that are in great danger of deseapearing, because they are hunted to prevent them from being our competitors....

We suppressed our competitors to preserve ourselves and to preserve our food.

Now for me, the problema is to include this reality about being predators in our way to go to a perma(nent) culture...
 
wayne stephen
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A conscious effort is required to provide habitat for wild creatures - fauna and flora. Maintaining woodlands by selective and not clear cutting is one good permaculture technique. Allowing forest edges to reach out into your pasture land provides habitat for wild prey animals and takes the pressure off crops and livestock. Even a world of vegan permaculture would still have to cope with "predation" of our crops by herbivores and omnivores . Deer .
Elephants ! We are the only predator that can recognize his place and effect on the web of life. Our population growth is the number one stress on wild flora and fauna. Forty years ago the cry from ecologists { enviromentalists } was "Zero Population Growth" . I have not heard that call in decades in the public discourse.
 
David Hartley
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I'm not sure of the intended purpose of this thread But a fun read, none the less


I'll jump in by stating that I have made it a part-time hobby to study man's diet, for the past few years...

Previous to the industrial revolution, importation was reserved for the select few wealthy families. As such; man's diet was highly localized by what grew there, what was cultivated and what was shepherd... In my research, I have not found one civilization (as a whole) that was vegetarian. Near the equator regions, there were/are psuedo-pescatarian people that usually only ate "landscaped flesh" at times of celebration... As civilizations moved further and further away from the tropical regions, it became necessary to obtain the necessary fats, cholesterols and vitamins via land animals; as they can not be obtained via the local plant life... It really as simple as that: need for health.

This is why I laugh at any one diet. And why I have great concern for someone choosing to be localvore-vegetarian that does not live in a tropical region.

And this doesn't even go into the long history, and importance, of fermented foods!
 
You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
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