How do we go about curbing one of the most egregious sources of greenhouse gases (namely methane) to foul our atmosphere? A lot of farmers will disagree with me, but the first thing we must do is eat less meat. As a society, we must make the decision to greatly reduce our consumption of animals for the sake of the continued survival of our species.
The second thing we must do is change from an industrial assembly-line approach to a more humane, natural approach that mimics nature and shows respect for the animal, for the land, for the worker, and, ultimately, for the eater. To that end, the Joel Salatin model of iconoclastic farming is clearly the model for a sustainable future, hands down.
Salatin gave a presentation at a college recently about the problems with the modern industrial food supply, and the remedy for our broken system.
From Local Nourishment:
Joel Salatin came to a local college for a speaking engagement this week. It was a wonderful evening. He brought a slide show, answered questions and had so much to say that I can’t begin to remember it all, despite taking notes! Kate, animal lover and nutrition student, came with me.
The comment Mr. Salatin made that totally hushed the audience (with the exception of a few awestruck, “Wow”s) was:
“Every bit of the alleged science linking methane and cows to global warming is based on annual cropping, feedlots and herbivore abuse. It all crumbles if the production model becomes like our mob-stocking-herbivorous-solar-conversion-lignified-carbon-sequestration fertilization. America has traded 73 million bison requiring no petroleum, machinery or fertilizer for 45 million beef cattle, and we think we’re efficient. At Polyface, we practice biomimicry and have returned to those lush, high organic matter production models of the native herbivores. If every cow producer in the country would use this model, in less than 10 years we would sequester all the carbon that’s been emitted since the beginning of the industrial age.”
It really is a “Wow” statement. I’ve been quoting it in comments to all the “Red meat is destroying the planet!” news articles I can find. Stop and think about that for a moment: Raising beef cattle with biomimicry can stop global warming in its tracks almost singlehandedly. Wow, indeed.
- Eliot Coleman: Irresponsible Farming Is the Problem, Not the Meat
- WATCH: Joel Salatin on Building Resilience into Agriculture
- The Future of Food: CEO Says Some Organic Companies Use Feedlots…Who Can We Trust?
Photo: Joel Salatin by geoffandsherry, on Flickr