Enrique Garcia wrote:There’s no such thing as a beef-eating environmentalist.
Enrique Garcia wrote:"Savory also believes the grazers of importance were always large mammals.. Not true. Over millions of acres of North America deserts, bison, elk, javelina, and pronghorn never roamed and never grazed the deserts or the patches of grassland within them. These deserts were and are grazed, but by small mammals like rabbits, mice, reptiles such as desert tortoise, and insects. Grasses that evolved being eaten by tortoises and rabbits are not likely to respond well to being eaten in intense, even if short termed, bouts of grazing by the artificially created cow" a human created animal .. how does that mimic nature ?
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
I think the key is to assess the carrying capacity of the land in it's current state and adjust herds accordingly. Even in the lower Sonoran desert, we see grazing by javalina and bighorn sheep - in fact, I gave up keeping a compost bin at my parent's last house because the javalina were CONSTANLY in it.
However, like you, I have questions. Some of them do relate to the carrying capacity of the land and the players in the native ecosystem. I don't know that bison or elk ever roamed the Sonoran desert, for example. However, imprinting(by hoof or machine)/zai pits/infiltration basins/swales/keylining - in other words, any type of water harvesting, will improve hydration, and thus the carrying capacity of the landscape. Granted, rehydration will take longer in arid lands than humid ones and there will probably need to be more studying of methods to find out what works best in drylands, especially very hot drylands.
I think Savory and others are on to something though - these things evolve. Sometimes one has to wait years or decades to see what truly does work and what doesn't in a given situation.
Adrien Lapointe wrote:
I was in the western part of the Mojave desert a few years ago and was reading about the history of the area and apparently there were a large number of antelopes when the first settlers got to the area. I don't think many are left now. Would it have been the same in other parts of the southwest?
Enrique Garcia wrote:No one really responded to the points i made or answered the questions I raised but ok ...
Enrique Garcia wrote:.. the amount of grain grown to feed animals that could go to the starving people in the world who die at the rate 30,000 per day
Enrique Garcia wrote:... the impact commercial agriculture is having on the planet is 2nd to none ... water pollution & methane production ... millions upon millions of acres that don't even feed people where chemicals are sprayed & water is wasted
Enrique Garcia wrote:.. the math just doesn't add up .. . as that article said by eating the animal at 15 months you are cutting it's helping the land by 90% ... only 10% of its life cycle of 20 years is lived ... so if you agree the animal is helping ... then leave it on the land for its full life .. if we weren't eating them there'd be far fewer of them .. that'd solve the over grazing part of the equation ...
Enrique Garcia wrote:plus we have maggots n vultures & other critters who break down carcasses
Enrique Garcia wrote:... & we don't even have the digestive systems of a carnivore ...
Enrique Garcia wrote:.. that's why you see old men with skinny legs & pot bellies ...
Enrique Garcia wrote:Jennifer, But how much water would the animals require ? They create a way for what little rain fall to stay there but do we bring in feed n water for them to begin with ? It seems the inputs & outputs don't make sense to me ... could we just bring our own steer manure, water & make imprints to get the same effect ? I get hoew small animals like chickens ala Geoff Lawton's Chicken tractors make sense in small amounts but herds of large animals ? When it is widely accepted that is what caused desertification ??
Jay Angler wrote:Hi All,
I think if we read between the lines, Allan Savory, Joel Salatin et al, are not imitating what herbivores *want* to do, but what in a healthy eco-system, predators *force* herbivores to do. Where I live there is a deer over-population "problem". Every time a cougar tries to move in to deal with the deer problem in nature's way, animal control officers kill it. If we aren't going to let cougars keep the deer moving and browsing and moving and browsing the way nature does (substitute wolves keep the buffalo moving or lions keep the African equivalent moving), then humans need to fill this role. Humans won't fill this role if they don't see personal benefit (ie food!). It isn't the "presence" of domestic animals that causes desertification, nor, the precise stocking rate, it is the need to have the domestic animals moving as if there is a normal predator/prey balance at work. A big part of "Permaculture" is imitating what nature does and herbivores are a big part of most habitats - particularly if you look far enough back into history. We have the science to evaluate whether these permaculture ideas are working - soil depth, rainfall patterns and totals, water table depth, and microbial activity - but there are too many good people out there doing similar but not identical "imitations of nature" for me to believe there is one, right, perfect, only way to get the job done of healing this planet. I just hope the ones that are willing to learn from their mistakes (Alan Savory regrets reducing elephant stocking rates thinking it would help and it made the situation worse), observe what seems to be working, and share that knowledge, keep doing so.
Enrique Garcia wrote:
"then humans need to fill this role. Humans won't fill this role if they don't see personal benefit (ie food!)"
Aren't there plenty of examples of nature not needing man at all ? Isn't that model far more prevalent ?
Much of what caused desertification is increasing the amount of animals in an unnatural way precisely bcuz we wanted to eat their meat ... not bcuz we thought they were cute & wanted to have them around ... they weren't just picked off as they wandered grasslands naturally .. they were corralled & fenced in .. based on greed not need .. you aren't in the flow with nature if you cage something ... the freedom for animals to wander more & feel safe is going to be based them living in a less predatory world not more predatory
"but there are too many good people out there doing similar but not identical "imitations of nature" for me to believe there is one, right, perfect, only way to get the job done of healing this planet."
What about this .. that every act we take is an act of Love ? Is caging an animal or eating one an act of Love ... most of what Permaculture is .. is based on acts of Love ... save for the treatment of animals ... for instance if you kill critters in your garden they simply mate n multiply like crazy ... but if you learn to create something that is in balance with nature ... then populations don't go out of whack ... not killing critters is an act of love