Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bull Triumph

For the second time, Bill interviewed film maker Peter Byck. Once again, he tried to explain how a revolutionary finding pertaining to livestock can help reverse global warming. This interview left as many unanswered questions as the first, but Peter did mention a name, Allan Savory, and yesterday I watched Savory’s Ted Talk when it popped up on my CONtrail news feed.

The presentation was stunning in its elegance and simplicity. Allan Savory calls it holistic management. By inducing cattle to mimic the grazing patterns of wild animal herds, grass land which had been scorched by desertification can be fertilized with the animals’ dung, urine and saliva as trampling hooves compact the dressing. All along we were led to believe methane from cow farts is a major cause of global warming, while the land cannot sustain animals competing with humans for scarce resources. Now here’s a complete U turn, pointing to the fact that animal culling is not necessary and they will heal the land if allowed to roam as nature intended. In return, revitalized lands absorb, or ‘sequester’ carbon from the air… a large swath method to combat global warming!

I am in awe at the simple elegance of these findings; wouldn’t the livestock also be much happier roaming rather than stuck in barns with antibiotic tubes? In the physics of emotion, large masses of cows and chicken converting from miserable to happy can also have an impact on earth’s survival.

After watching Allan’s presentations and reading several outraged ‘debunkers’, it’s becoming obvious that in our Divided States, the land of contrariness, such a challenging concept will have to go through countless intellectual and political hoops... and even so, isn’t it ultimately up to the cattle lobby, who may not find radical change beneficial to this year’s bottom line? As Allan Savory proclaims, the idea will only gain momentum under the sway of public opinion. It behooves us to slice through skepticism and accept that ranchers worldwide, including the American Deseret mega ranch,  are successfully implementing holistic management.

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