Skip to main content

Allan Savory gave his electrifying presentation on Holistic Management this past week TED's first big conference of 2013. Given the "one presentation per day" release schedule of TED, Mr. Savory's talk must have been considered "jaw dropping, inspiring, and persuasive" enough by attendees to warrant such an early publication.

As you may know, I have been on a Holistic Management stint recently and I decided I should keep writing about it until this talk. I will probably write about it in the future, but after this diary it will be some time before I dedicate entire diaries to the subject.

Join me over the fold for Allan Savory's talk.

Last Time Here...

My last diary in this series tackled four of the most popular agroecological ideologies in an effort to clarify the distinctions between them as well as highlight their similarities. Earlier this year I posted two diaries specifically about Holistic Management. The first of these two featured a quick definition of agroecology as a science and went into greater detail with a lecture delivered by Allan Savory. It was a very long diary and I followed it with a "Compendious Edition" about a month later.

First, Some Context

Although I have previously written, at length, about Holistic Management, I feel that it is appropriate to offer some context for the attention-grabbing quote from the headline:

There is no other alternative left to mankind
At 12:00 into the talk, Mr. Savory begins to deliver his "only one option left" sandwich to the audience. But before you balk and begin to sound like Kyle's mom in South Park (safe for work, but turn down the volume), let me provide the context.

Allan Savory is NOT proclaiming that Holistic Management is the only solution for climate change. NOR is he saying that Holistic Management (from now on, HM) is appropriate everywhere all the time.

What he is saying is that HM is the only option we have at this time to reverse desertification of the world's grasslands. This is the case simply because grasslands need herbivores to survive. By removing herbivores (which are in many, if not most, cases going to be ruminants) from grasslands we slowly kill them. And when they die, they become deserts. Mr. Savory focuses on livestock in HM because the "former herds" of wild animals are not large enough to restore the world's grasslands at this time.

There seems to be this mistaken belief that we must have either HM or natural herds acting out their evolutionary behavior. This is not true. We can at once manage our domesticated animals holistically and allow native animals to return to grasslands at the same time.

If you are still wondering what HM is, please either a) watch the following video, b) refer to my previous two diaries on the subject, or c) conduct some research for yourself.

"How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change"

I have embedded the YouTube version of this talk simply because TED's embed code does not work. If you would like to watch it on TED, here is the link.

I am not going to give a run down of his presentation because I think I have treated the subject with enough depth (although not nearly as deep as possible) in my previous work. What I wish to do with the remainder of this diary is to preempt a couple of the most popular criticisms of HM.

One of the greatest concerns of the public is this fact: cattle emit copious amounts of methane. This is true. I have addressed this in the comments section of both my diaries on HM and wish to republish what I said then:

In regards to methane, here is a study regarding pre-Columbian methane from wild species in the geographical area of the USA:
Overall, methane emissions from bison, elk, and deer in the pre-settlement period in the contiguous United States were about 70% (medium bison population size) of the current emissions from farmed ruminants in the U.S.;

Whether or not the grasslands are inhabited by domesticated species or wild ones, plenty of methane is going to be emitted. Since grasslands require herbivores for health in humid regions and survival in dry/brittle ones, I don't think the issue of them emitted methane is anything to be worried about.
If the choice is between dead grasslands which will turn into deserts to avoid methane emissions and rejuvenated ecosystems inhabited by ruminants- be they wild or domestic- I know which I would choose in a heart beat.

The fact of the matter is, grasslands need herbivores. And they have been inhabited by herbivores for thousands upon thousands of years- vast herds emitted methane close to if not equal to the level we see now from domesticated herds. As far as I know, the climate didn't warm uncontrollably then either. Probably because these healthy ecosystems were storing so much atmospheric carbon that it offset the greenhouse emissions from the herbivores.

[emphasis altered]

I should also mention that Bill McKibben (a [local!] climate hero IMO) has studied HM and (although he mistakenly confounds it with rotational grazing) had this to say:1
Done right, some studies suggest, this method of raising cattle could put much of the atmosphere’s oversupply of greenhouse gases back in the soil inside half a century. That means shifting from feedlot farming to rotational grazing is one of the few changes we could make that’s on the same scale as the problem of global warming. [emphasis added[
Mr. Savory mentions in this latest talk that there have been studies (which have their own pitfalls to be sure) that suggest if we implement HM on half of the world's grasslands that we would be able to reduce atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels.

Not only do we have a well respected climate scientist, for all intents and purposes, giving the green light to HM, but we have studies strongly indicating that a dramatic- no- paradigm shifting reduction in atmospheric carbon is possible with these techniques.2  

The second most popular criticism is the fear that HM advocates for the status quo when it comes to meat consumption. HM is not about making sure that humans can consume meat 3 or more times per day. HM is about mimicking nature to restore grasslands because we have dislocated and destroyed the native herds which used to perform these tasks. While some may perceive HM as an answer to their prayers regarding meat consumption, let me make it clear that HM practitioners are very much in the fore in the fight against industrial farming and listening to nature.

After all, HM is intensely focused on observation. The 400% increase in livestock at the site in this talk was not chosen purely out of thin air. It requires careful observation and experience to make decisions about stocking rates. The 400% increase in stocking rate is much different than a 400% increase in the number of animals in the ecosystem to begin with. We are talking about dramatically increasing the number of animals in one place at a certain time (and for certain lengths of time) rather than a general "we need more livestock."

I personally believe that we need to reduce our consumption of animals and animal products if we are to have any hope of combating climate change. We need to eliminate factory farming of animals and return them, where appropriate, to the landscape for their ecological services they provide. We very well may have to reduce the overall population of livestock. I should also note that with the elimination of factory farming, we will absolutely need to continue and expand the work of breeding livestock for a more natural way of life. Simply turning the cattle already on the feedlots back onto the prairies they grew up is not the best option. So yes, there is plenty of work ahead of us.

1. It is my personal belief that he is mistakes rotational grazing for HM in his article because rotational grazing, without proper planning, has been repeatedly shown to not provide the same benefits as HM. This is because HM is much more than rotational grazing, a point I make in my last diary.
2. Check out Adam Sacks' article on HM- he has many references. Also see the resource list compiled by Seth Itzkan under "Additional Resources" at the end of this diary. Both of these were included in my second diary on HM.


I hope you enjoyed this talk. As usual, I want to remind folks that I have nothing against ethical reasons for choosing to limit or abandon one's own consumption of meat. At the same time, I think it is incredibly important that we set our own personal moral code aside and examine the reality: grasslands require their herbivorous symbiots to survive and thrive. We have completely disturbed the natural behavior and now must employ biomimicry- at least for now- to reverse the damage done.

Like it or not, industrial man has wrecked havoc upon the biosphere. HM is not the only option, globally, for combating climate change. But it is the best option we have to restore the grasslands of the world. It is not appropriate everywhere, but the principles can be applied even in humid regions (see the Salatin's Polyface farm). We cannot magically increase the population of wild ruminants to their pre-decimation levels over night. Even if we could, the process of removing man from the land we have taken would take even longer than breeding them! While I am all in favor of returning much of these grasslands to their former, pre-livestock condition, I think it will take time.

Implementing HM globally is just one of many steps along the way to patching up this biosphere with the parts we have yet to eliminate.

Additional Resources

Holistic Management: The Savory Institute.
The Africa Centre For Holistic Management.
Holistic Management International.

Seth Itzkan has put together a very good reference list for Holistic Management, here.

Excellent, must see documentary: John Liu's Green Gold- extended version of "Hope in a Changing Climate" that was presented at the recent Rio summit. I'll have to do a diary on this documentary. It is astounding.

There are some excellent video presentations from 2011's International Permaculture Convergence held in Jordan, which followed a permaculture design course taught at the world-renowned "Greening the Desert Part II" site in the Dead Sea Valley. Here is a link to the documentary about the site, and here is a photo update from 2011 (around the time of the Convergence). John Liu's Green Gold also features the site and is probably newer than the 2011 pictures. If you scroll to the bottom of this webpage, you will find links to video presentations given at the convergence. Most were delivered in Bedouin tents near Wadi Rum.

You can also find a few more great documentaries in the first diary of this series- one about rainforest restoration to provide habitat for orangutans and a standard of living for the local people using agroecological methods as well as a documentary about Sepp Holzer, a very famous Austrian noted for his ability to cultivate citrus in the Alps.

My favorite books:

Edible Forest Gardens, Vol I and II. David Jacke with Eric Toensmeier. Chelsea Green, 2006.
Sepp Holzer's Permaculture. Sepp Holzer, translated by Anna Sapsford-Francis. Chelsea Green, 2010.
Gaia's Garden. Toby Hemenway. Chelsea Green, 2009 (2nd edition).
Let the Water Do the Work. Bill Zeedyk and Van Clother. The Quivira Coalition, 2009.
The One Straw Revolution. Masanobu Fukuoka. Link will point you to a decent review.
Akinori Kimura's Miracle Apples. By Takuji Ishikawa, translated by Yoko Ono. This is an absolutely fantastic story. My favorite part is towards the end, chapter 22, when Kimura is told of his family's first success. Give it a read!

For a much fuller list of books on the subject, see Toby Hemenway's Permaculture Reading List. The article I linked to up top is also a great read.

There are plenty of materials online as well.

The Permaculture Research Institute is excellent (Updated: formerly PRI Australia). With almost daily updates from the world of permaculture (an ethical design system that utilizes agroecology), this site is on my "must check list" daily. Good news to be found here.

The Land Institute. Their goal is to develop highly productive perennial staple crops which will produce a living system as stable as natural prairies. This is the kind of pioneering research we should be funding. H/T to sfinx for bringing them up.

Originally posted to Practical Survivalism and Sustainable Living on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:23 AM PST.

Also republished by SciTech and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  As always, thank you for reading. And the reminder (61+ / 0-)

    - I live in Helsinki. I am 7 time zones ahead of EST. Therefore I will attempt to respond to comments for a while, but then I will be heading to bed well before most of you get the chance to read this.

    Please do not let my absence keep you from posting comments.

  •  Terrific embed talk by Savory, tx, Finch (16+ / 0-)

    Keep on keeping on; folks will catch on... :-)

    We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

    by SeaTurtle on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:09:52 AM PST

  •  Looking forward to hearing this... (17+ / 0-)

    ...discussion.  You're about the fifth person to tell me, "Stop everything and watch Allan Savory's TED talk."

    So I will, after I get home tonight and I'm done attending to my various domestic exigencies.

    Many thanks, FinchJ.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:00:56 AM PST

  •  Great example of how mistaken we can be (18+ / 0-)

    when we fail to appreciate the complexity of the natural world. Killing 40,000 elephants due to this mistaken understanding is a lesson learned at very great and tragic cost. The fact that we seem to need such tragic and enormous consequences before we get a clue ought to give everyone proclaiming the latest technological fix a dose of humility. Unfortunately this seems to be a faint hope given the nature of the trail our species has blazed upon this complex and finite planet.  

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:10:08 AM PST

  •  I wish I was impressed by this as all you are. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, maybeeso in michigan

    One of the worst manmade ecological disasters in history was the introduction of the European rabbit to Australia.  Everybody knows that, and I'm certain everybody at that TED conference knew the details of it better than I did.

    After the rabbit fiasco, they brought in the experts, the best scientists that late nineteenth century had to offer, and they offered various proposals to fix the problem.  If somebody had asked, "But could that be a bad idea, too," they all muttered and said, well, this problem is so enormous, we have to do something!  Besides, what could go wrong?  We're so much more knowledgable about these things than 18th century scientists.

    At one point, Louis Pasteur, a great man, a brilliant man, a man who saved millions, maybe billions of lives with his pasteurization process, offered one proposal that almost, but not quite, was used.  He wanted to release a type of cholera that only killed rabbits.  What could go wrong with that?  Louis Pasteur supported the idea, so who the fuck are all we to say no?  And, besides, don't you even care about all those rabbits?

    They never did it, thank God.

    I don't see anything quite as dangerous as Pasteur's idea here, but I see a similar kind of arrogance and confidence in the science.  I may be different than some of you in that the skeptical sensors in my brain become hyperactive when somebody suggests changing the earth's biosphere this way with the hyperbolic words, "There is no other alternative left."  

    •  Hi, Dumbo! Nice to see you -- it's been a while. (13+ / 0-)

      I respect your concern for people deciding to do things to change conditions on the land, but I dohn't think it's parallel to the introduction of rabbits in Australia, really.

      For one thing, it's not bringing in any new animals, just managing them differently, and specifically by "mimicing nature" -- ie getting the livestock to behave more like the herd animals that were originally on the land.  In Africa, for instance, cattle have been part of the environment for many, many centuries -- LOTS of centuries, though I believe they originated in Eurasia, and were not originally found in Africa.  There were however many large herd animals in Africa (wildebeasts and zebras and such).  THe HM people aren't trying to bring in anything more from outside, but basically to say, "People, please manage your cattle so that they behave more like wildebeasts, because that's better for the land."  ANd sure enough, when they get the cattle to act more like wild herds (move in large numbers at the end of the rainy period, trampling the grasses down to form "mulch" and then moving on...) -- sure enough, the land begins to get healthier instead of becoming more desertified.  That's a huge gain, for people, for the wild animals, for the land, for the damaged planet.  And it's accomplished by paying close attention to nature and trying to get more in balance, not by blindly throwing something entirely new into the mix and getting more OUT of balance.

      In the US, I've been reading for years about the gradual deterioration of our plains.  Everybody said it was because of overgrazing by ranchers, and that certainly made sense to me.  Overgrazing does mess of land.  But then this scientist, Savory, came to the US from Africa, and was struck by the fact that in national parks, where grazing of cattle had been eliminated, the deterioration was still going on.  The land was becoming desert.  So clearly the problems with grazing cattle were not the whole story.  

      He also really noticed that this was also, like Africa, a region where vast herds of animals had been part of the original ecology.  Buffalo roamed the west by the millions, and the land thrived.

      So he did a brilliant thing. He stepped back and asked what was different about how the wild herds affected the land, and how could we get back to that pattern?  How can we mimic nature?  And again, as the photos show -- it works.

      Bringing rabbits to Australia was part of a worldview that says we can freely tinker with nature for our convenience, because we're the smart ones.  HM is part of a worldview that says we have to use our science and brains to understand nature and work WITH it instead of tinkering at whim.  WHole different thing.

      Okay, I'm being long-winded, but it's because I think HM, and related approaches like permaculture, are very, very hopeful and important in dealing with global warming, and with poverty and hunger.  And they're done on a local level, with local plants, animals, and people.  So if mistakes are made, they won't spread all over Africa, or the US.  They can be recognized and corrected.

      I've been thinking for years that we were going to see the destruction of much of the ecology of the west.  What that means for beloved family farms and ranches, what it means for western Indians, what it means for the animals and birds of that region -- that would be so grim.  Now it looks to me like there's a way out of that, if we as a country are willing to act, and continue to pay attention and "mimic nature."

      So I think it's great.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:18:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There isn't anything wrong with healthy skepticism (3+ / 0-)

      I tried to qualify his choice of words in the diary.

      The list the of benefits that can be derived from proper implementation of HM are quite long:

      1) Restoration of hydrological cycle
      2) Storage of carbon in the soil
      3) Increase in biodiversity
      4) Increase in system resiliency through reparation of carbon and hydrological cycles
      5) Micro and Macro climate moderation through the increase in biomass covering the soil and respiration/transpiration of plants
      6) Humans benefit from all of the above as well as make a profit- allowing them to retain their way of life and culture
      7) As the system heals, we can then also begin to shift the ecological system- where appropriate- to savannah, open forest, and forests.
      8) The cost of implementation is marginal and could easily be funded by private and public sectors for rapid uptake.

      We have seen that total rest does not work. Partial rest works best if it is combined in a system approach such as HM. Fire does not work as a management tool. I would love to see other methods of restoring grasslands that accomplish some or all of the above. But I haven't. I also should note, again, that HM is not mutually exclusive with other agroecological techniques. In fact, the true power of HM is seen when combined with other methods to mimic a shifting mosaic type landscape on the farm.

      Therefore, the "only" conclusion is that we need to mimic the behavior which allows grasslands to exist. I do not see it as hyperbolic to declare that following the example set forward by nature is the only way to return our grasslands to health. Remember that we have had close to a century of confidence in the notion that livestock are the cause of desertification. That arrogance has seen vast areas languish and slide into desertification.

      I see confidence in an approach that is deeply rooted in observation and respect for the land.

    •  Herbivores need predators for balance (4+ / 0-)

      Wild predators or human ones or both.  We often seem very prejudiced against wild predators - and I object to them eating my sheep or chickens, too - but something/someone has to control the population.  

      Unpleasant as it sounds, and I will admit that I put off butchering roosters until they've clearly done too much damage to the hens and to me, it doesn't seem right that the culled population should be wasted.  

      Maybe we should follow indigenous people, kill them only as necessary and humanely, and thank the creatures we eat?

  •  Thanks you made my day (9+ / 0-)

    I was looking for a little inspiration today.  I posted the video to my facebook page.  I am a farmer and have lots of farmer friends.  I wanted to share this bit of hope.  I hear what the previous commentor dumbo said but I believe this has merit.  We need some solutions and people need to be inspired to carry on the good fight.  Thanks again for writing this diary and connecting me again to Allen Savoy.  keep on writing and I will keep on reading.

  •  One of the land conservancies nearby in the (6+ / 0-)

    Sierra Nevada foothills stresses the importance of raising cattle on their land to manage the grasses. They've begun to sell grass-fed beef, too.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:52:41 PM PST

  •  Well, I guess we're doomed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland

    This is the only solution.  But it obviously will require rather large subsidies--which will not be forthcoming.

    The point is to maintain large herds, not to harvest them.  The herds will have to be managed: moved=manpower.  So you have money going out but not coming in.  

    After some years the land will produce a lot of grass that you can't sell.

    Since there is no money in doing good, the whole idea will (in the US) produce only laughter.

    The use of large herds will be controversial since that will result in (live on TV) deaths of aged, sick or young animals.  Some will cry about hardship, some about waste but they will sob. Maybe documentaries about gophers, coyotes and wolves will balance the picture.

    Do what Jesus would do if he were rich.

    by jestbill on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:36:46 PM PST

    •  Perhaps it would be a good thing to (3+ / 0-)

      visit some of the links. I stress the ecological services and restoration possible with these techniques, but by no means does this imply that "food" isn't available. Nor does it mean this isn't profitable!

      Please follow some of the links. If you go to my second diary, I posted an embed of "Occam's Grazer" which interviews a small handful of ranchers who made the shift and it saved their farm.

      And they aren't the only ones.

    •  People do make money doing this (4+ / 0-)

      You can maintain a balanced herd and harvest as well.  You don't maintain a healthy herd without harvesting in some way.

      As for selling the grass, grass hay this year went up from three to five dollars a bale.  If you could find it.

    •  What is the cost of desertification? (3+ / 0-)

      Perhaps we need to stress how much it COST in water and arable land and water resources to do nothing. Hard baked land does not hold water. Look at the Hawaiian island of Kahoolawe. Early on it was deforested and then the army relentlessly shelled and bombed it. Now we are trying to rehabilitate the island, but parts of it are so hard baked that they will NEVER grow anything every again.

      Just because there is not an immediate profit does not mean there is no value. A penny saved is a penny earned. By growing grass, you help the water table and you protect the farm land adjacent to the grass lands. No growing dust bowl.

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:36:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, yeah... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland, FinchJ

        My point was exactly that there is a difference between "profit" and "value."

        It is good to hear that there is some money to be made by small actors using these techniques.  So maybe our doom will be delayed a bit.

        Howsomever, the planet is burning.  What can be done needs to be done yesterday but will only be done if it turns an immediate profit.

        The future space alien archeologists will discover that we knew what to do, just couldn't bring ourselves to do it.

        •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I was pretty sure you were voicing your frustration that it wont get done because there is no profit in it. I was trying to say that maybe we should change our message. Maybe a good analogy is weather proofing your home. There isn't a new revenue source from that cost, but it does save you money

          If we convince people that 'insulating' our farmland and water supply SAVES us money, maybe they will listen.

          I worry too, like you do, that we have already waited too long, and the solutions that might seem like a luxury now will become an imperative for our survival very soon. How much will you pay for water if you are dying of thirst?

          It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

          by se portland on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:26:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wellll... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the medium is the message, but the only medium available is money.

            I can save a few bucks by changing light bulbs etc. etc.
            Somewhere in South Dakota there is an oil well producing gas that will never be used: they burn it on site.  Nothing I do will even begin to cancel that.

            We are faced with the thinking error identified by Mr. Savory: we choose a simple goal like preserving our water supply without thinking through the whole problem.  Our water (where I live) comes from the west so lets fix a narrow strip of land to our west.  Anything more is too expensive and none of our business anyway.

            Incidentally, if we put really big herds of cattle on US western lands we'll have so much beef available that it may as well be free: no money in that.  If we restore the land, there will be small value in hay.

            I do hope the tide can turn so that we don't turn fry the world, but individual effort is and will be nearly undetectable.  This is government's job.
            Mr. Savory trained a bunch of people in the Carter administration.  What came of that? We still have grass fires but no effort to avoid them except to quote Smokey bear.

            I talk too much.

  •  Doing it now (5+ / 0-)

    Please check out the North Coast Mushroom Farmers Cooperative website, and were on FaceBook too. I've posted here on the subject before, and we are moving forward vigorously.

    We are making it real, now. Your input is welcome.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:49:40 PM PST

  •  Thank you so much for this diary!!!! (5+ / 0-)

    I had never heard of Holistic Management before (sorry I missed your earlier diaries on the topic) and am so very excited to see that somehow there is hope for our Mother Earth!  The idea that these people are making more money too is very important.  I personally could not care less, but I know that for this idea to spread rapidly there has to be the shorter term profit motive to get everyone on board.  This is a total breath of hope for me that we will actually have an Earth left for my great grandchildren.  

    and as a person who eats meat in limited fashion, mainly because I have severe food allergies to legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, fruits, and grains, I am happy to see that there is an ecologically sound way to produce it.

    Do you happen to know if there are any sources or ways to tell if your meat products are farmed in this manner?

    The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

    by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:27:27 PM PST

  •  Wow! That is eye-opening. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SanFernandoValleyMom, FinchJ

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:18:25 AM PST

  •  Greatest experiment (5+ / 0-)

    Way back in the late 70's I went to a lecture at the University of Texas. I can't remember what the main subject was or even who the speaker was, but I do remember he said one thing that has stuck with me.

    This is not an exact quote, but it was something along these lines. Farming is the greatest experiment that mankind has ever undertaken, and in the long run, it is not clear that it is sustainable. You can't favor some species at the exclusion of all others and expect that everything will work out - in the long run the whole experiment might fail catastrophically.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:52:42 AM PST

    •  I agree. This is why I believe agroecology (3+ / 0-)

      is our best way forward. Agroecologists are working hard to evaluate species that have been "left behind" in the long run of domestication. By considering the system as a whole and looking at as many parts as possible, we are hoping to be able to bring about greater resiliency.

      I'm also quite interested in remineralizing the earth as another method of bringing about fertility. Of course, harnessing humanure is of utmost importance as well. Then there is doing all we can to allow oceans to heal themselves (and help if we can) so that marine life return to abundance. The spawning habits of many marine fish species greatly contribute to terrestrial fertility (salmon runs in particular).

      There is a hell of a lot of work to do! And the lecturer was very correct- it isn't clear whether or not we will succeed in making this sustainable.

  •  First we have to cut the corporate influence--feed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ, cantelow

    lots for instance.   Not nearly as much profit in cattle raised on the land and sold without artificial fattening.

    Maybe we're looking at the whole idea of meat wrong--and just because or the way we've been managing them.

    Thank you so much for this.   It is one of the most important things I've seen lately.

    I was raised on a dairy in east Texas.   The idea that herd management can heal land is wonderful/

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:22:32 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site