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Letter To A Vegetarian Nation: Why Sustainable Agriculture Changes Everything  RSS feed

 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Hello again.

I have written a very detailed article about Vegetarianism and how it relates to sustainable agriculture. Share it with everyone you know, the fate of our ecosystems depends on a paradigm shift when it comes to meat eating.

http://sheldonfrith.com/2015/12/01/letter-to-a-vegetarian-nation-or-we-should-eat-meat/

This is the outline of the article (I provide lots of proof, don't worry):

Basic values:
Improving the environment is good.
Reducing animal suffering as much as possible is good.
Developing a sustainable civilization is good.
Sustainable agriculture is coming fast.
It is not possible to produce food sustainably without large numbers of livestock.
It is not possible to produce any food in Brittle Environments without even more livestock
Therefore a sustainable civilization must include large numbers of livestock on all agricultural land and all Brittle land.
These livestock will die.
We should probably kill most of them.
We should probably eat their meat afterwords.
The ethics of lost potential.
Conclusion
Resources
 
Tyler Ludens
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I truly appreciate how you have presented your argument. Thank you for this article.

 
John Master
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I like Joel Salatins description of mobbing moving and mowing, does wonders for soil quality. I'm talking about ruminants not combines
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Sheldon,

There is a book on the topic, The Vegetarian Myth. I reviewed it in the book review section, here's the link

http://www.permies.com/t/51876/books/Vegetarian-Myth-Food-Justice-Sustainability

Sheldon, you are PROLIFIC! Thanks for your enthusiasm and hard work on topics so dear to my heart!
Thekla
 
Stephanie Ladd
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It says page not found?
 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Sorry,

Here is the new link: http://sheldonfrith.com/2015/12/03/letter-to-a-vegetarian-nation-or-we-should-eat-meat/
 
Chelle Lew
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This is beautiful! I encounterd a vegetarian the other day and tried to explain to that unless their veggies are home grown chances are they were fertilized with manure, bone meal, blood meal etc. She flippantly replied that they were grown in just dirt because if those things were used the store would have to label them as ingredients on the vegetables?!? I had to chuckle and suggested she volunteer for the local community garden and she sounded interested in joining us next spring.
 
Andrew Brock
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Very good read. I eat a vegan diet and I agree with everything in this article. The main thing required for this model to work is overall meat consumption to be reduced. Mcdonalds and burger king cannot exist in their current state in this type of model, which would be a good thing, but these are the forces we are up against. But soon there won't be any other option. 22mil animals per year that lived good lives is much more reasonable then the billions killed every year that live in their own shit and are managed by sociopaths
 
Tyler Ludens
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Andrew Brock wrote:The main thing required for this model to work is overall meat consumption to be reduced.


I'm not convinced that's true. Because appropriate grazing restores land, the carrying capacity will be increased, not decreased, therefore more animals can be raised, and more meat eaten, perhaps reducing the amount of land currently plowed to raise grains.

http://www.permies.com/t/52468/cattle/collection-rebuttals-cowspiracy-anti-cattle

http://primaleye.uk/ethical-meat-eaters-response-to-cowspiracy/
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I agree, Tyler.

The problem of too many cattle is directly related to how they are managed, and not the capacity of the land to sustain them. Ranging animals in large pasture without management as they degrade the environment, and then bringing them together for a fattening under super over management and poor management which also further degrades the landscape, while feeding them grains which are grown in terribly unsustainable ways... that is the norm. The alternative of planned habitat restoration with cattle is sustainable under much higher numbers.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Thanks for this well thought out article, Sheldon. You did an amazing job of explaining this in a concise and compassionate way. I have a pretty clear understanding of all that you wrote (I have Savory's, Holistic Management in my library and have read it several times), so I did not go to very many of the additional articles or resources at this time.

Perhaps because I did not read your additional resources, I am missing some of the rest of your research and writings, but without going through all of that, a few things come to mind.

One additional thing that you may want to consider, if you choose to expand this article at some point in the future, is the fact that brittle landscapes (or the area of the Earth that has it's rainfall distributed unevenly over the year), are increasing on this planet. Areas that were not brittle are becoming brittle through our land use practices (logging {particular for the purpose of unsustainable cattle farming}, swamp draining, plowing under sloughs and ponds, poor irrigation, water diversions, dams, aquifer pumping, and other uses that break the hydrology of the landscape and water cycling in the atmosphere from the plant/animal/soil/landscape matrix. Much of this is coupling with other aspects of Climate Change and affect the long term future of our planet unless we act to change it. While it is impossible to calculate the numbers on this, there are numerous examples of landscapes that were not brittle that have become so, and would benefit greatly by the use of holistic grazing practices. As we continue to practice all sorts of unsustainable practices, we increase the need to rehabilitate large amounts of land, and the best way to do so is with animals, particularly ungulates.

Also, It might be a point of interest to include the facts around the idea that in brittle landscapes, and in many non brittle landcapes that have crop systems on them, the only way besides tilling to incorporate large amounts of dead carbonaceous material (like corn stalks, or grain straw) back into the soil, is through trampling. This is the prime time for nitrogen fertilizers to join with the carbon, and so the dunging and urination (nitrogen source) that the trampling animals also provide, go a long way to breaking this carbon down into a readily usable form by the soil food web. If this dead plant material is left standing, it can only break down chemically or through physical elemental erosion (wind or snow weight for example). The sooner that dead plant material gets involved with the upper soil, the better the microbes can break it down to carbon sequestered humus. It may be useful to point out the benefits of using animals to trample soil rather than tilling the soil to introduce the carbon stalks to the soil. Tilling often puts dead plant material into the soil without the proper ratios of nitrogen, oxygen, or moisture and ends up not being incorporated in the most healthy way for the soil food web. This results is the drawing of nitrogen from the soil system, the anaerobic breakdown of carbon waste buried inappropriately, the disrupting of soil and landscape hydrology, and the rapid metabolic burning of the carbon that is in aerobic conditions in a quick (but sadly short term) burst of microbial growth in the areas that are hyper oxygenated.

Anyway, thanks for getting this info out there. It's so great.
 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Thank you all for your amazing comments. We are totally on the same page.

I AM in fact expanding this article right now into an eBook. It is going to be pretty good, not to toot my own horn (I'm exited about it).

I will definitely include a mention about how Brittle Environments are expanding, especially since I have already found some great data supporting that claim.

Stay tuned for the book. Also, I think I will release one of the chapters (or part of one of the chapters) on my blog today.... It is about Veganic Farming.

Thanks again
 
Andrew Tuttle
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I think way too much effort is being put in by so many of you to prove the vegans wrong. I really don't think it will ever be possible for you to prove that supporting standard factory farmed animals is better for the planet, or your body. So why not let the vegans eat plants and leave the very small amount of sustainably raised meat to the meat eaters. I understand your mission is to get more people on bored the meat train. I suggest focusing more of your fire on meat eaters that are currently support operations doing the exact opposite of what you suggest. Boycott factory farmed meat and fight them alongside the vegans while spreading your message to the ones supporting them. We have the same cause. Save our planet. Save our species. There is more than one way to do that.
 
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