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Tavascarow

Biodiversity conservation The key, reducing meat consumption

Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption.
Quote:
The consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of the most powerful negative forces affecting the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and biological diversity.
Rob R

Hairyloon

If everybody farmed like you Rob, could current meat demand be satisfied?
Rob R

If everybody farmed like you Rob, could current meat demand be satisfied?


Probably not, given the proportion of pork and chicken that makes up that 'meat', but we could sure as anything produce an awful lot more without impacting upon the production of other foods, and help biodiversity in the process.

Unfortunately the article suggests the direct opposite - replacing cattle with pigs & poultry as solution 2).
Hairyloon

You expect me to read the article when you've distracted me with pretty pictures of greenery?!
Rob R

Is my paraphrasing not sufficient? Laughing

I think solution 3 is suggesting that we eat more meat from people like me, but as it is third in line and uses rather ambiguous language, I doubt most people will get to solution 3. In my view the solutions should be reversed and we should start by switching consumption to people producing like I do and then, if we can't keep up with demand, start to consider cutting down, not vice versa which just harms the viability of our solution, along with the biodiversity, and means that it isn't available when you need/want it.
Hairyloon

Is my paraphrasing not sufficient? Laughing

Is good enough for me.
I had inferred a criticism that may not have been there, that I had failed to be disagreeing with the article.
Ty Gwyn

(2) replacing ecologically-inefficient ruminants (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep) and bushmeat with monogastrics (e.g. poultry, pigs), integrated aquaculture, and other more-efficient protein sources;

That kind of sum`s up these people,nuff said.
Rob R

I don't really know why Tav has posted this here - we're not exactly oversubscribed by the chinese & african bushmeatmeat consumers. It's got about as much relevance to Downsizer as the biodiversity levels on the moon. Mistress Rose

Tav, you aren't trying to wind Rob up are you? Naughty. Very Happy

I think that the third point is saying that we should increase grazing like yours Rob, but it would be a lot better in plain English.

Our Parish Council has re-introduced grazing onto several places within the Parish to help the biodiversity. The have had to use cows and horses as the sheep really needed are too vulnerable to out of control dogs. I suggested Soays, but they think it would upset the dog walkers too much.
Tavascarow

Just another scientific paper that says we need to eat less meat.

(2) replacing ecologically-inefficient ruminants (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep) and bushmeat with monogastrics (e.g. poultry, pigs), integrated aquaculture, and other more-efficient protein sources;

That kind of sum`s up these people,nuff said. Why.
What evidence do you have to dispute that?
'These people' are concerned scientists trying to save endangered species & habitat.
Where's your evidence they are wrong?

& no I'm not having a wind up.

There's enough science that proves the damage livestock farming as a whole (or in general terms) is doing to the planet.
It's not sustainable using current production methods.
I personally don't think we should be replacing ruminants with pigs & poultry.
I think we should limit production of all livestock only to systems proved to be sustainable & non destructive.
I'm not attacking individuals & their methods here, just highlighting another scientific paper that says we should eat less meat.
This time not from the climate change perspective, but habitat loss & species destruction.
Rob R

Nope, you've very much focussed on the reducing solution which is only one of three - you should be writing headlines for the national press with a bias like that. I suggest that you read the link, all the way to the end, that you posted in the capitalism thread. Tavascarow

Nope, you've very much focussed on the reducing solution which is only one of three - you should be writing headlines for the national press with a bias like that. I suggest that you read the link, all the way to the end, that you posted in the capitalism thread. I'm not promoting.
I'm highlighting a peer reviewed scientific paper.
If you don't want to believe it that's your prerogative.
I fail to see why you wouldn't agree as it's your kind of system that will survive & prosper.
If highlighting science is bias then I'm as biased as hell.
Rob R


I fail to see why you wouldn't agree as it's your kind of system that will survive & prosper.

As I have pointed out above, and numerous times in the past, so you are only pretending to be ignorant here, the message as conveyed in the paper does nothing to ensure that happens.

The entire message is based around the theory that sustainable food production cannot compete with industrial food. If you genuinely believe this to be the case then there is no need to reduce consumption, as the limitations of production will limit consumption. If you're wrong then nature can only benefit even further.
Tavascarow


I fail to see why you wouldn't agree as it's your kind of system that will survive & prosper.

As I have pointed out above, and numerous times in the past, so you are only pretending to be ignorant here, the message as conveyed in the paper does nothing to ensure that happens.

The entire message is based around the theory that sustainable food production cannot compete with industrial food. If you genuinely believe this to be the case then there is no need to reduce consumption, as the limitations of production will limit consumption. If you're wrong then nature can only benefit even further.
That sounded more like political doublespeak than anything I've heard from Westminster in a long while.
& (if you don't mind me saying) is 'your' interpretation.
I don't see that at all.
This
Quote:
and (3) reintegrating livestock production away from single-product, intensive, fossil-fuel based systems into diverse, coupled systems designed more closely around the structure and functions of ecosystems that conserve energy and nutrients.

is IMHO exactly what you are striving for so why condemn it?
Hairyloon

I think he is not happy that it is the third choice. Ty Gwyn

Just another scientific paper that says we need to eat less meat.

(2) replacing ecologically-inefficient ruminants (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep) and bushmeat with monogastrics (e.g. poultry, pigs), integrated aquaculture, and other more-efficient protein sources;

That kind of sum`s up these people,nuff said. Why.
What evidence do you have to dispute that?
'These people' are concerned scientists trying to save endangered species & habitat.
Where's your evidence they are wrong?

& no I'm not having a wind up.




The only evidence i have is common sense,
To replace ruminants with poultry and pigs that rely on the bag to be fed is only putting more land under the plough,add that to all the veg they want us to eat,and there goes a fair area of ecosystem.

But the reality of that paper is based somewhere totally different to the grass growing area i live here in West Wales,
To place that paper into context here,you may as well grow your hair and start playing a guitar,lol.

Off topic slightly,but did you cycle up to Carmarthenshire earlier in the year afterwards,if you did i missed it here?
Rob R

I think he is not happy that it is the third choice.

I'd be ecstatic if it were achieving the results claimed.

The problem with that order is that if people only read 1) then 3) will not be achieved, but if they only read 3), 1) would still be achieved.
Rob R


I fail to see why you wouldn't agree as it's your kind of system that will survive & prosper.

As I have pointed out above, and numerous times in the past, so you are only pretending to be ignorant here, the message as conveyed in the paper does nothing to ensure that happens.

The entire message is based around the theory that sustainable food production cannot compete with industrial food. If you genuinely believe this to be the case then there is no need to reduce consumption, as the limitations of production will limit consumption. If you're wrong then nature can only benefit even further.
That sounded more like political doublespeak than anything I've heard from Westminster in a long while.
& (if you don't mind me saying) is 'your' interpretation.
I don't see that at all.
This
Quote:
and (3) reintegrating livestock production away from single-product, intensive, fossil-fuel based systems into diverse, coupled systems designed more closely around the structure and functions of ecosystems that conserve energy and nutrients.

is IMHO exactly what you are striving for so why condemn it?

It's not political, it's common sense, as Ty says, and I'd be hard pressed to put it in simpler terms as to why.

However, if you still insist that the order doesn't matter, as long as it's all in there, just have a read of this poem.
Rob R

The ings, where my cattle graze, are protected by law and managed by Natural England. We are not allowed to either cut or graze until July 1st to allow ground nesting birds to fledge. That's all well and good in theory - more undisturbed habitat = better for the birds.

The problem is that this leaves a period of ~3 months in which to graze animals before it starts flooding. So unless you have significant numbers of cattle or sheep locally to graze the land during those summer months you end up with a build up of vegetation that is less biodiverse in itself, and is also less open for the ground nesting birds. The result is a decline in both flora and fauna.

While there is something in law to make sure we don't graze during the breeding season, there is nothing to ensure that we do graze so the result is that it doesn't get grazed and/or cut at all. The more rubbish that grows in it, the less inclined we are to use it and so the worse it gets. Even if you do keep livestock, you still need the land mass to accomodate them for the remaining 9 months of the year, so you may as well just keep all your stock on your other land and save yourself the hassle of getting them down to the ings.

The above situation is not good for food security, not good for wildlife, and not good for pressure on the land. I'm not suggesting we get rid of the laws that protect the habitat, but we do need to stop the assault on the food that it produces, and encourage more people to consume it, else why should anyone bother?
Mistress Rose

Similarly downland vegetation depends on being grazed by sheep or rabbits. Get rid of them and you end up with yew wood.

Farming sustainably means growing the best food for the best place, which I think we have already discussed. The ings by the sounds of it need to be pasture, and to be grazed. I agree with you Rob, that it is fine Natural England making these rules about grazing time, but it would be interesting to try the experiment of grazing the land from as early as possible. I rather suspect that more chicks would be raised over a few years as the ground would be better for them, even if the odd one was killed by a cow.

If animals are fed with grain or other specially grown produce, then they are not effective at producing food for us. I would have thought that most pigs and poultry are fed that way in the UK. Even the 'free range' pigs in this area have supplementary feeding, and most poultry is also fed. Sheep spend most of their lives grazing the downs, and cattle spend at least 6 months of the year grazing grass, with as far as I am aware, no supplementary feed for beef cattle.
Tavascarow

& both clearly sitting in option (3).
There are enough ruminants within a couple of miles of your ings Rob.
Lack of animals in not the problem.
Movement restriction is.
Bureaucracy makes it a headache that few with land want to bother with, so they keep their stock at home.
From the exerts this paper is written more from an Afro/Asian/South American perspective where sensitive habitat is being destroyed wholesale by ruminants, not preserved by them as in your instances.
& knowing the way our retail sector works supermarkets will be happy to buy that refrigerated meat, because it will be a lot cheaper than anything we can produce at home.
So IMHO eating less, but better quality/better provenance is one answer to this problem & also addresses the affects livestock have on climate change.
Rob R

& both clearly sitting in option (3).
There are enough ruminants within a couple of miles of your ings Rob.
Lack of animals in not the problem.

I don't pretend to know the situation in your local area, please don't pretend that you know mine.

Movement restrictions has nothing to do with it. There are no movement restrictions on sole occupancy units within ten miles, as the crow flies, of the main holding.

There are two livestock farms now within 2 miles of those ings, one is an older chap who used to graze it and now has just a few cattle himself while renting out the arable farm and letting the grassland for some sheep. The other grazes some of the ings adjacent to his farm but doesn't have enough stock for it all. Each village once had a number of farms keeping livestock, now you're lucky to find one or two. There will be more as the crow flies, but they all have their own ings that would be neglected if everyone pooled efforts to graze ours.

You seem determined to discredit anything that anyone with any first hand experience has - why?

What is your problem with the notion that we should switch over to sustainable production and let that be the limitation on what we eat?
crofter

eat more fish...

Quote:
The study estimated that the carbon footprint of the fishery is approximately 0.4 t CO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) released per tonne of fish captured.

This is significantly lower than those reported for other land-based meat production systems in the UK such as beef (10.6-19.2 t CO2e), sheep (11.0-13.6 t CO2e), pork (3.5-4.4 t CO2e) and chicken (4.6-6.7 t CO2e).


http://www.nafc.uhi.ac.uk/media/news/mackerel-carbon-footprint
Tavascarow

Guardian article 25/9/2015. Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history.
Quote:
The fate of animals in such industrial installations has become one of the most pressing ethical issues of our time, certainly in terms of the numbers involved. These days, most big animals live on industrial farms. We imagine that our planet is populated by lions, elephants, whales and penguins. That may be true of the National Geographic channel, Disney movies and children’s fairytales, but it is no longer true of the real world. The world contains 40,000 lions but, by way of contrast, there are around 1 billion domesticated pigs; 500,000 elephants and 1.5 billion domesticated cows; 50 million penguins and 20 billion chickens.

In 2009, there were 1.6 billion wild birds in Europe, counting all species together. That same year, the European meat and egg industry raised 1.9 billion chickens. Altogether, the domesticated animals of the world weigh about 700m tonnes, compared with 300m tonnes for humans, and fewer than 100m tonnes for large wild animals.
Rob R

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. dpack

clifton and rawcliffe ings has had about 70 head of assorted cattle grazing about 70 acres since the well performed july cut

it looks better than it has for years at this date (the biocide of last years harrow with a mower will take a while to recover from)as in previous years the grazing was a token few weeks or days.

my way would be part mow and then graze but this style at roughly a moo an acre post mow the flora has started to recover and if that regime is continued hopefully the fauna will increase to match the flora.

the mow was heavy with buttercup,dock and thistle etc after last years messy treatment but the moos seem to be doing a great job
crofter

Quote:
I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/food/11887317/Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-warns-Jeremy-Corbyns-new-vegan-farming-minister-Kerry-McCarthy.html
Falstaff

The lady's opinions are interesting - I wonder if she was any good as a Solicitor ? Laughing Mistress Rose

I don't know when she gave that interview, but if it was recent, I can't see had lasting long in that post. Another vegan of our acquaintance came up with similar views some years ago just after he had been converted, but I don't know if he is even vegetarian now. Ty Gwyn

This seems like a theme the labour party often go through,

No wonder they don`t get the rural vote.
Tavascarow

The poll is interesting.
77% say we should eat less meat.
As she says her views are her own & she doesn't expect the country to turn vegan.
Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.
Rob R

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.

No, the proof is in the Ings, your figures just demonstrate it in numerical terms.

Again, let me ask you, what is your issue with reversing the order of the solutions and consuming/producing only food from sustainable systems and letting that govern how much and what we eat? And please don't just try to change the subject again.
Rob R

Quote:
I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/food/11887317/Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-warns-Jeremy-Corbyns-new-vegan-farming-minister-Kerry-McCarthy.html

She couldn’t have come across as more old-school “loony left” if she’d tried
Tavascarow

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.

No, the proof is in the Ings, your figures just demonstrate it in numerical terms.

Again, let me ask you, what is your issue with reversing the order of the solutions and consuming/producing only food from sustainable systems and letting that govern how much and what we eat? And please don't just try to change the subject again. Quoting a ratio of head of cattle to numbers of population has nothing whatsoever to do with the numbers of cattle per acre/hectare.
There's no relationship, complete fantasy, codswallop.
Laughing
Rob R

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.

No, the proof is in the Ings, your figures just demonstrate it in numerical terms.

Again, let me ask you, what is your issue with reversing the order of the solutions and consuming/producing only food from sustainable systems and letting that govern how much and what we eat? And please don't just try to change the subject again. Quoting a ratio of head of cattle to numbers of population has nothing whatsoever to do with the numbers of cattle per acre/hectare.
There's no relationship, complete fantasy, codswallop.
Laughing

So answer the question then, dont justpost a link that contains a relationship that you later describe as codswallop when I discuss it.
Mistress Rose

If we are talking of land suitable for the purpose, they were ploughing the field opposite the woods yesterday. It produces quite good crops, but we kept hearing clanging noises. I went out that way and there were some huge flints lying all over the field. I think that would be better as pasture, and some of our local fields are even worse. Tavascarow

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.

No, the proof is in the Ings, your figures just demonstrate it in numerical terms.

Again, let me ask you, what is your issue with reversing the order of the solutions and consuming/producing only food from sustainable systems and letting that govern how much and what we eat? And please don't just try to change the subject again. Quoting a ratio of head of cattle to numbers of population has nothing whatsoever to do with the numbers of cattle per acre/hectare.
There's no relationship, complete fantasy, codswallop.
Laughing

So answer the question then, dont justpost a link that contains a relationship that you later describe as codswallop when I discuss it. The quote from the article that I highlighted is relevant (IMHO) to the original post in that there are more domestic livestock now than ever before, & a lot less wildlife.
You on the other hand seem to be saying because the world average is 0.22 cattle per person but only 0.15 here in the UK we are somehow deficit in cattle.
It's way to vague an argument to hold any water.
Rob R

Thanks, that illustrates my point perfectly! 1.5bn cattle divided by a world population of 6.8bn is 0.22 cows per person, meanwhle in the UK we have 9.7 million cattle giving a rate of 0.15 per person, and dropping. It doesn't illustrate anything of the sort.
There are so many types of system & environmental considerations there is no way you can extrapolate in that way.
I'm sure there are more cattle per head of population in the USA than the UK. But as the majority are in corn fed feed lots it does nothing to prove your theory we need more cattle not less.

No, the proof is in the Ings, your figures just demonstrate it in numerical terms.

Again, let me ask you, what is your issue with reversing the order of the solutions and consuming/producing only food from sustainable systems and letting that govern how much and what we eat? And please don't just try to change the subject again. Quoting a ratio of head of cattle to numbers of population has nothing whatsoever to do with the numbers of cattle per acre/hectare.
There's no relationship, complete fantasy, codswallop.
Laughing

So answer the question then, dont justpost a link that contains a relationship that you later describe as codswallop when I discuss it. The quote from the article that I highlighted is relevant (IMHO) to the original post in that there are more domestic livestock now than ever before, & a lot less wildlife.
You on the other hand seem to be saying because the world average is 0.22 cattle per person but only 0.15 here in the UK we are somehow deficit in cattle.
It's way to vague an argument to hold any water. Rob R

Come on, it's not that difficult - stop avoiding it. Tavascarow

What am I avoiding? Rob R

The quote from the article that I highlighted is relevant (IMHO) to the original post in that there are more domestic livestock now than ever before, & a lot less wildlife.
You on the other hand seem to be saying because the world average is 0.22 cattle per person but only 0.15 here in the UK we are somehow deficit in cattle.
It's way to vague an argument to hold any water.

OK, lets just recap my point of view;

1) I believe that we should not import beef
2) I think we should eat more beef from cattle produced here in the UK
3) I don't think we should feed cattle on grain nor increase our reliance on grain fed animals.
4) I do think that the under grazed pastures could be better utilised both in terms of food production and biodiversity.
5) I think that much more marginal land & wetlands, much of it currently drained and used for vegetable/arable production, should be converted back to pasture, especially alongside major watercourses.

What you, perhaps purposefully, failed to mention is that your link compared the biomass of humans to domestic livestock, as well as wildlife. I didn't have biomass of British wildlife to hand, but I did have the populations of both cattle and humans.

Biomass is a good indicator of relative consumption, as it's difficult to consume something that isn't there, so it is relevant to the debate on eating less meat and it indicates that we, as a nation, do not represent the average figures quoted in your worldwide papers.

As I have previously said, numerous times, we can't eat negative meat to compensate for China, so consumption must be taken in context of the country where it is happening and where the supplies are coming from. Someone turning vegan in this country will not impact upon the production of meat in China one little bit, unless they were previously buying their meat from China. If that were the case, switching to sustainably produced British meat would be a better alternative than switching to imported, intensively grown vegetables/products, as there is scope to produce more of the former on British soils without increasing pressure on the land resource at home or abroad.

There is no mechanism in your (original) paper's solutions to ensure that people cutting down on meat consumption (solution 1) switch to my type of farming - it's is equally possible, and more likely, that they would simply go over to more intensive non-animal products. If, however, you reverse the solutions, and put supporting sustainable production systems at the top of the list, you are far more likely to achieve solution 1, eating less, by default.

You haven't even attempted to answer why you are so resistant to this alternative way of looking at it. When I asked you again to answer this query you posted the second link, which I took to be some kind of attempt to justify it.
Rob R

What am I avoiding?

I've read every word of your sources, and you don't seem to have even read every word of my posts. Perhaps my question was too ambiguous the first few times, I hope my above post has made it clear
Tavascarow

So what is the question I'm avoiding?
Your above post is very worthy & wordy, but I don't see a question mark there anywhere.
I repeat what am I avoiding?
Rob R

What is your problem with the notion that we should switch over to sustainable production and let that be the limitation on what we eat? Tavascarow

None whatsoever.
I've advocated that all along.
It would limit production & thus we would eat less meat.
You are the one who constantly says we should eat more.

This blog post by Mark Avery a well known conservationist & former RSPB employee is interesting.
The comments are worth reading as well.
A very balanced perspective IMHO.
Rob R

None whatsoever.
I've advocated that all along.
It would limit production & thus we would eat less meat.
You are the one who constantly says we should eat more.


That isn't how it's come across, you have consistently stated that we should eat less, not just switch to sustainable equivalent and eat what we produce.

And we should eat more, a lot more, because we can produce it sustainably in the UK and it would benefit biodiversity to do so.

Thanks for another link, I'll read it later when I can give it the time - I won't assume it's relevant this time though.
Rob R

Regarding the article; I agree with Mark Avery on the subject of vegans - it's admirable that they can choose to restrict their diet to one not consumfing the products of animals and I have no desire to make anyone eat anything they don't want to. What I don't like about, probably the most vocal of them, is the justification for not eating it on various points that simply don't stand up to scrutiny. A prime example being an objection to keeping animals in captivity by someone who has a dog.

What I both do & don't agree with him on is the bit about farmers dictating what we eat & producing food whether it be vegetables or meat. On the one hand he's right, we have no vested interest in what people eat, as long as it's grown by farmers. However, on the other hand, it's far from that simple. If we were to go down the vegan route the big winners would be those on the best, easily worked land and the big losers would be those on mixed and marginal land - the vast majority of us. Those of us who use livestock to both manage the land and fund the promotion of biodiversity in our farmed landscape would also be doomed.

What we need are more vegan farmers than politicians. It's easy to dismiss vegans as loons when they're telling you how to do your job with no practical experience of what it is like, and buying products owned by multinational companies that also supply livestock farming. Vegans outnumber farmers so they could, if they had a mind to, easily outcompete us for all the marginal land that becomes available in the UK each year. With the Ings here, along with cultivatable arable land, going unused, it's a clear indication that vegan farming isn't a viable proposition, certainly no more than livestock farming anyway.
Falstaff

In another pleace we have a farmer's wife telling us that in order to produce a crop of vegetables for teh "Vegans" they have to exterminate deer, rabbits etc etc ranging down to many millionms of tiny lives.

How "Vegan" is that ?

Or is it ok to terminate lives as long as you don't eat them ? Crying or Very sad
Mistress Rose

If everyone in the country went vegan, all farm animals would become endangered species and have to be kept on special farms at great cost to someone. I notice from that article that there are something like 1/3 the number of farmers involved in livestock as the total of vegans in the country.

What everyone believes about what they eat is entirely up to them, and I wouldn't offend a vegan by eating a rare steak in front of them, but nor would I go without milk from a cow and use soy or almond milk imported at great environmental cost and to the possible detriment of bees in the country it comes from.
Ty Gwyn

Joined up thinking is what is lacking,

Can these people visualize what a countryside without ruminants would look like?
Tavascarow



And we should eat more, a lot more, because we can produce it sustainably in the UK and it would benefit biodiversity to do so.

In your instance yes I can see your ings will change if they aren't grazed but in many instances landscapes would become more biodiverse if they where rewilded.
This country was once a wooded land & very rich in wildlife.
There's a lot of upland grazing that could be more productive & more biodiverse if it was returned to upland oak woodland.
Instead it's maintained for aesthetic & sporting rights.
Grazing animals aren't the be all & end all.
Pilsbury

So why not work towards grazing the bits thst need grazing, reforesting and farming pigs or deer in there and then useingvthe arable land for crops..
radical I know but It might work lol.
Rob R



And we should eat more, a lot more, because we can produce it sustainably in the UK and it would benefit biodiversity to do so.

In your instance yes I can see your ings will change if they aren't grazed but in many instances landscapes would become more biodiverse if they where rewilded.
This country was once a wooded land & very rich in wildlife.
There's a lot of upland grazing that could be more productive & more biodiverse if it was returned to upland oak woodland.
Instead it's maintained for aesthetic & sporting rights.
Grazing animals aren't the be all & end all.

I know, and I agree, but I don't think it should be the preserve of the uplands to be rewilded. Grazing has been moved to the uplands after much of our fertile lowlands have been drained and cultivated for arable crops, or built upon, leading to a much greater loss of biodiversity in these areas than in the uplands. Your article focussed on the loss of wild animal biomass, and much of that loss has been from our soils caused by drainage and cultivation. You can micmic the effect of large wild animals with appropriate management of large domestic animals, which benefits the soil microfauna. You can do that by reintroducing the large wild animal species that our forebears had to deal with, but you will come up against the same problems that they did as we all compete for territory, even on a meat-free diet.
Tavascarow

I'm not advocating mass rewilding but a patchwork & corridor approach to all our lands.
But it's a lot easier economically to convert low value highland than prime arable.
Not sure how you would convince the cereal baron he's better off with a few hundred acres of mixed woodland. Especially as it's his grandchildren who will benefit not him.
Rob R

I'm not advocating mass rewilding but a patchwork & corridor approach to all our lands.
But it's a lot easier economically to convert low value highland than prime arable.
Not sure how you would convince the cereal baron he's better off with a few hundred acres of mixed woodland. Especially as it's his grandchildren who will benefit not him.

We shouldn't be aiming to go for the cheapest option if we want the best results. As it happens I graze land for an arable farmer of 1600 acres, it's not that difficult, but maybe if you set yourself up as their enemy from the start.
Ty Gwyn

I'm not advocating mass rewilding but a patchwork & corridor approach to all our lands.
But it's a lot easier economically to convert low value highland than prime arable.
Not sure how you would convince the cereal baron he's better off with a few hundred acres of mixed woodland. Especially as it's his grandchildren who will benefit not him.


Maybe you missed it when i inquired if you did cycle to Carmarthen,

As Wales is basically what you describe above,and if you did cycle here,no way you could miss seeing it.

The times when the great woodlands were across the country,were the times when the population was way ,way below what we have now,and to wild the country we have now is only advocating more imports.
Rob R

Quote:
I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/food/11887317/Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-warns-Jeremy-Corbyns-new-vegan-farming-minister-Kerry-McCarthy.html

She couldn’t have come across as more old-school “loony left” if she’d tried

Defra shadow Kerry McCarthy: I support British farming
Tavascarow

I'm not advocating mass rewilding but a patchwork & corridor approach to all our lands.
But it's a lot easier economically to convert low value highland than prime arable.
Not sure how you would convince the cereal baron he's better off with a few hundred acres of mixed woodland. Especially as it's his grandchildren who will benefit not him.


Maybe you missed it when i inquired if you did cycle to Carmarthen,

As Wales is basically what you describe above,and if you did cycle here,no way you could miss seeing it.


The times when the great woodlands were across the country,were the times when the population was way ,way below what we have now,and to wild the country we have now is only advocating more imports. No I didn't, the skill share didn't happen (AFAIA).
Cornwall isn't very different though.
I'm not advocating rewilding the whole of Britain.
& your comment about imports has nothing to do with a lack of production with regards to food, & everything to do with economics.
Tesco sell South American beef because it's cheaper than British, not because we don't produce enough of it here in the UK.
Since WW2 farmers have been subsidised to bring every scrap of land into production to the point where in the 1970's we where producing much more than we could consume & at the detriment of the wider environment.
It's time (IMHO) to take a step back.
Agriculture has to move away from the scientific one size fits all method & towards a more holistic way of being productive but letting nature back in at the same time.
The recent crop results for UK OSR are IMHO an example.
Banning a very dangerous (to the environment) pesticide has on a limited timescale seemed to have increased yields by approximately 10%.
That's substantial. I know some farmers had to resow because of flea beetle damage but the benefit of not using the pesticide has allowed more wild pollinators to survive & consequently yields have increased.
My neighbour has sprayed a broadleaf herbicide to kill docks & has wiped out all the red & white clover from his sward (& not the docks).
Valuable wildlife plants & free nitrogen for the farmer. Now to get the same amount of silage he will have to pay for more bagged nitrogen & there's hardly a butterfly or bumblebee anywhere on his land.
No one is saying farmers have to stop producing food & let all their land revert to scrub but I predict in fifty years time a few acres of mixed woodland might be as economically valuable as best pasture or arable.
Rob R

You seem to now be saying that holistic production can increase yields, so there is no need to eat less and the little guys can stand a chance of surviving. Tavascarow

You seem to now be saying that holistic production can increase yields, so there is no need to eat less and the little guys can stand a chance of surviving. From the point of biodiversity production levels aren't relevant, other than if it makes economic sense for the farmer he/she is more likely to go down that route.
You & I both know it's not easy to increase stock levels per hectare whatever production methods you follow or how intensive.
I suppose maximum stocking rate is achieved by zero grazing & intensive fertilised forage harvest. But I know little of that type of farming to only speculate.
Whether a more holistic approach will increase yield is debatable. I only quoted one example which isn't very scientific.
I think there's enough evidence to indicate the Intensive & genetically modified forms of agriculture aren't as productive as the industry would like us to believe, & certainly not as profitable for the farmer.

IMHO It would be nice to see a return of the old ADAS style of advisor but with a sustainable direction & accompanied by representation from the local wildlife trust.
The idea of permaculture design principles applied to general agriculture strikes me as a good idea but if you said that to most farmers they would think you where talking a load of hippy shit.
But really designing your business around your land & individual skills & abilities makes good sense to me.

But there is still a need to limit global meat production because of that sectors contribution to climate change which is another thing all together.
Rob R

The idea of permaculture design principles applied to general agriculture strikes me as a good idea but if you said that to most farmers they would think you where talking a load of hippy shit.
But really designing your business around your land & individual skills & abilities makes good sense to me.

20 years ago I think you would have been spot on but, and I don't know whether this is just the people I interact with or my geographical area, but it's a lot more accepted. A prime example being my Dexters - sure, most farmers aren't going to give up their Limmis, because the market isn't demanding that, but they are appreciating the value of a smaller, more economical cow, that is also better suited to grazing wetter ground.

But there is still a need to limit global meat production because of that sectors contribution to climate change which is another thing all together.

Quite right, a totally different subject, but this paper is about biodiversity so that isn't relevant to this debate and would only be a distraction if I were to point out that getting rid of meat consumption would result in a net increase in GHGs. As I keep saying though, we can't limit global meat production by eating negative amounts, so we can only eat & produce the appropriate amount for each country/landscape.
Mistress Rose

There are two completely different models for Britain before man started doing much more than hunting; the wall to wall trees, and the open savannah model with clumps of trees kept in check by the browsing of large herbivores.

As you say Tavascarow, we need to look carefully at each environment, as one size does not fit all. On the downs, where yew has been allowed to grow, mainly interspersed with whitebeam, and on slopes, there is virtually nothing but chalk scree under the trees. If the trees are kept in check by grazing, all sorts of amazing plants come up. While allowing trees to grow on uplands, and most wouldn't grow that well, may be a good idea, it is only good as long as it doesn't destroy the existing fauna and flora. Planting trees is the worst possible idea as the trees will almost certainly not thrive.
Ty Gwyn

Quote Tav,
I'm not advocating rewilding the whole of Britain.
& your comment about imports has nothing to do with a lack of production with regards to food, & everything to do with economics.
Tesco sell South American beef because it's cheaper than British, not because we don't produce enough of it here in the UK.

My comment about increased imports was regarding your wilding comment,not the present situation.

If numbers of ruminants in the UK are reduced,your wish and certain parties,then that volume of meat will be filled by more imports as the population increases.
Tavascarow

THE UK AND ITS FORESTS – The real story of a nation and it’s land.
Quote:
The Caledonian forest, one of the largest and oldest forests in the UK, is dying.
By Greta Santagata

Its expanse is broken up, damaged by tree felling, fire and intensive grazing by sheep and deer. The introduction of non-native species of conifers and ploughing has reduced what was once one of the largest primeval forests in the UK into little more than 1% of its original range, and much of it is in a degraded state.
Quote:
The same is true for most forests in the UK, which now cover just 12% of the territory, making it Europe’s second least-wooded country after Ireland.

For an island that was completely covered in thick closed canopy forest only 6000 years ago (a blink of an eye, in geological terms), the transformation has been radical. Since humans started to settle and domesticate animals, this forested wildlife haven slowly turned into scrub, then from scrub to heath and from heath to the green, flat, boundless deserts of grassy pastures that we know today.
Quote:
Today on the overgrazed uplands of Wales there is so little nutrient in the soil than anything can barely grow and very little life is to be seen, other than sheep. Birds have mostly gone, wild flowers, shrubs and trees are no longer growing, and insects are barely present, due to the lack of plant species and the heavy use of insecticides.

From an ecological point of view, the green, rolling hills of Britain, dotted with sheep and cattle, are as ecologically rich as a dusty desert: a dull anthropogenic reality, stripped almost entirely of the diversity of life that resulted from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.
Quote:
After the two world wars, subsidies further encouraged landowners to devote their uplands exclusively to pasture, and in Wales alone sheep numbers went from 3.9 million to 9.7 million: that is three sheep for every Welshman or woman. Since 1945 sheep have modified and cleared the land: allowed to roam inside woodlands and forests, they are preventing new trees from growing back, have decimated wild flowers and orchids and have turned a diverse upland environment into an ecological desert.


My bold underline.

I would personally rather eat less meat & see a return of some of that lost habitat to its former glory.
I would rather eat less meat & be able to photograph rare species of birds, insects & flowers than read about them in a dusty old book.
That's my choice.
Rob R

Quote:
From an ecological point of view, the green, rolling hills of Britain, dotted with sheep and cattle, are as ecologically rich as a dusty desert: a dull anthropogenic reality, stripped almost entirely of the diversity of life that resulted from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.
Quote:
After the two world wars, subsidies further encouraged landowners to devote their uplands exclusively to pasture, and in Wales alone sheep numbers went from 3.9 million to 9.7 million: that is three sheep for every Welshman or woman. Since 1945 sheep have modified and cleared the land: allowed to roam inside woodlands and forests, they are preventing new trees from growing back, have decimated wild flowers and orchids and have turned a diverse upland environment into an ecological desert.


My bold underline.

I would personally rather eat less meat & see a return of some of that lost habitat to its former glory.
I would rather eat less meat & be able to photograph rare species of birds, insects & flowers than read about them in a dusty old book.
That's my choice.

I'm finding it difficult to follow their sources, as they have referenced the 9.7m figure but not the 3.9m, nor exactly when it was. I have found figures from 1900 for the whole of England & Wales (19.28 million sheep) and compared that with the figures for the whole of the UK in 2013 (22.6 million). That seems to me a more modest increase than is being suggested which could more than be taken up by the numbers of sheep in Scotland.

Personally I would rather eat more meat and encourage those birds, insects & flowers to become less rare. But that's just my choice.
Behemoth

In areas of the dales cows have been retruned to upland grazing and sheep removed. This is allowing the regeneration of scrubby woodland in the more inaccessble places of steep hill sides and limestone pavements, perviously picked clean by sheep. I think it's the national trust taking this on. Also a significant area is going to be fences and planted with trees and scrub. Mainly on Malham moor. Tavascarow

Quote:
From an ecological point of view, the green, rolling hills of Britain, dotted with sheep and cattle, are as ecologically rich as a dusty desert: a dull anthropogenic reality, stripped almost entirely of the diversity of life that resulted from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.
Quote:
After the two world wars, subsidies further encouraged landowners to devote their uplands exclusively to pasture, and in Wales alone sheep numbers went from 3.9 million to 9.7 million: that is three sheep for every Welshman or woman. Since 1945 sheep have modified and cleared the land: allowed to roam inside woodlands and forests, they are preventing new trees from growing back, have decimated wild flowers and orchids and have turned a diverse upland environment into an ecological desert.


My bold underline.

I would personally rather eat less meat & see a return of some of that lost habitat to its former glory.
I would rather eat less meat & be able to photograph rare species of birds, insects & flowers than read about them in a dusty old book.
That's my choice.

I'm finding it difficult to follow their sources, as they have referenced the 9.7m figure but not the 3.9m, nor exactly when it was. I have found figures from 1900 for the whole of England & Wales (19.28 million sheep) and compared that with the figures for the whole of the UK in 2013 (22.6 million). That seems to me a more modest increase than is being suggested which could more than be taken up by the numbers of sheep in Scotland.

Personally I would rather eat more meat and encourage those birds, insects & flowers to become less rare. But that's just my choice. I should have said I'd prefer they produced less in this instance.
I'm guessing those figures are the peak numbers when subsidy was still paid per head of livestock instead of per hectare.
I know one of the main reasons for the change was to limit over production, so maybe it worked.
The problem with environmental destruction is it tends to happen so slowly people don't notice until its to late.
A major development threat like a new town, airport runway or motorway & everyone is up in arms but slow erosion through bad land management doesn't appear on the radar.
Environmental considerations need to be much higher priority in all walks of life not just farming & not only environments like your ings.

It always strikes me as odd that a builder has a battle to develop a barn if there is a bat roost, but the neighbouring farmer can poison them wholesale with pesticides.
Rob R

So let's stop minimising meat. Pesticides are as widespread in non-livestock farming so let's concentrate on doing a good job & avoiding them by whatever means it takes and stop the wasted potential. Ty Gwyn

Quote:
Today on the overgrazed uplands of Wales there is so little nutrient in the soil than anything can barely grow and very little life is to be seen, other than sheep. Birds have mostly gone, wild flowers, shrubs and trees are no longer growing, and insects are barely present, due to the lack of plant species and the heavy use of insecticides.


Who writes this garbage,

The heavy use of insecticides on upland farms,clearly someone who has not spent much time in this environment.

I spent half my life on a Hill farm above the Swansea Valley,left in 1986,insecticides was one thing i never saw used,wild orchids were abundant in the several boggy area`s on the mountain,snipe,woodcock,skylarks,stonechat`s,lapwings,curlews,yellow hammers and numerous other birds were abundant,and most farmers turned their cattle out to the mountain to graze in the day,returning in the evening,due to lack of cattle grids,sheep were on the mountain for most of the year,returning in-bye on their Rhosfa`s/sheep walk`s/Heft`s.

Today,hardly any turn cattle on the mountain,even sheep are sparse,the well grazed mountain is nothing but scrub,sad to see.

Regarding nutrients in hill land,if these people had tried to reclaim poor hill land,they would have found that hill land is hungry land,and without the stock to return manure,it stay`s hungry.
dpack

the high pennines of west yorks are quite similar and have just the same changes you describe.
ps i dont know who writes such stuff but they really dont understand what creates the biodiversity they seem to admire.
Tavascarow



I spent half my life on a Hill farm above the Swansea Valley,left in 1986,insecticides was one thing i never saw used Warble fly? Sheep scab?
Both used to be organophosphate chemicals (now banned) & very damaging & persistent in the environment.
Compulsory dipping of sheep was still in place in the 1980s so you most certainly did see them being used.
Farmers just used to pour the dip away into pits to seep into the watercourses after use AFAIA.
Mistress Rose

The late Oliver Rackham doubts the existence of the so called Caledonian forest and notices that naturally the pine trees move around and are not very thick. There is a lot of rubbish talked about forestry as well as farming. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries authors decried the destruction of the forests in Britain, particularly in Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex. These forests are alive and well in the 21st century when these are the most thickly wooded counties in England, and also support more coppice workers than virtually any other counties.

Ty Gwyn, I agree with you about the grazing. These uplands would probably have been naturally grazed by animals even before man started domesticating them. The flora has adapted to this, and plantation on them would probably not be very successful, mainly because of wind blow.
Ty Gwyn



I spent half my life on a Hill farm above the Swansea Valley,left in 1986,insecticides was one thing i never saw used Warble fly? Sheep scab?
Both used to be organophosphate chemicals (now banned) & very damaging & persistent in the environment.
Compulsory dipping of sheep was still in place in the 1980s so you most certainly did see them being used.
Farmers just used to pour the dip away into pits to seep into the watercourses after use AFAIA.


You are correct,i got me pesticides and insecticides mixed up.

Yes of course these products were used,it was compulsory to warble wash,that`s why they got eradicated,well i`ve not seen a warble in a cow`s back for nearly 40yrs,
And i`d rather see them in a book than in a cow.
Did your Father show you how to get them out with an empty pop bottle?
Same with compulsory dipping,with the cost and work involved,nobody is going to heavy use of dip unless it was necessary.
Yes,used dip was poured out into pit`s to soak into the ground,even when Dieldrin was in dip before Organphosphate was introduced ,that was a bad move by authorities,when farmers were getting the same symptoms as Gulf Syndrome.

But don`t blame the farmer`s,blame the Government and Chemical companies for getting it licensed in the first place.
Tavascarow

I'm not blaming anybody.
I'm saying it's time for a change,., & being treated like the enemy because that's what I think.
I want to see the farming industry prosper & hope that in the future there will be more & younger farmers not fewer & older.
I'm hoping farms will become smaller & more diverse not larger & more intensified.
I'm not the enemy.
IMHO DEFRA, the NFU, & the big agribusinesses they really represent are the enemy not people like me.

Rob said something earlier in this thread about not attacking but I really do think farming in particular has had an almost protected status.
The 'stewards of the land' thing is used with impunity by farmers & critisism is treated like a direct attack on the industry even when it's not.
In hindsight a lot of mistakes have been made in the past that we can rectify now if we want.
Rob R

I don't doubt that you have the best intentions and think that what you are suggesting would help farming become more prosperous & diverse but it's not at all clear how you are proposing this would happen. You say that it is the government/nfu/companies influencing us but I'm about the most yoghurt weaving you can get while still being commercial and .

I, like most farmers ever, would much prefer to earn an income with less work and less capital outlay. Farming has only expanded the way it has because fixed costs have risen but returns haven't. In the same way that us eating less homegrown meat in the UK will not impact upon the production in China, only hurting our own farmers, simply eating more veg tends to favour agribusiness over small farms.

Even vegans will suggest that they want a prosperous and more diverse agricultural industry at the same time as supporting a food system that is less diverse by the elimination of grasslands and animals.
Mistress Rose

Think I would agree with that Rob. Tavascarow

I don't doubt that you have the best intentions and think that what you are suggesting would help farming become more prosperous & diverse but it's not at all clear how you are proposing this would happen. You say that it is the government/nfu/companies influencing us but I'm about the most yoghurt weaving you can get while still being commercial and .

I, like most farmers ever, would much prefer to earn an income with less work and less capital outlay. Farming has only expanded the way it has because fixed costs have risen but returns haven't. In the same way that us eating less homegrown meat in the UK will not impact upon the production in China, only hurting our own farmers, simply eating more veg tends to favour agribusiness over small farms.

Even vegans will suggest that they want a prosperous and more diverse agricultural industry at the same time as supporting a food system that is less diverse by the elimination of grasslands and animals. We had this discussion weeks ago & the consensus was that we need a means to differentiate between food produced with good environmental credentials & that which doesn't. Buying & eating more British meat will help the industry but it does absolutely nothing for the environment.
Biodiversity on livestock holdings isn't a lot different to arable. & as so much of the arable sector is grown for livestock feed eating more meat is increasing the amount of arable anyway.
Farmers like yourself are few, & tend to be working the rarer more endangered habitats.
Once common farmland species are becoming endangered because they can't survive in the few pockets like yours alone.
The only answer I have to that at the moment is buy organic.
DEFRA & the NFU have to stop pretending they care & put biodiversity increase as a priority, & stop sucking up to the big agrobusinesses (Bayer, Syngenta, Monsanto et al) that are to blame for much of the destruction.
Retailers have to promote to the public & be prepared to pay for produce produced sustainably.
It's going to happen anyway in a couple of decades so why not start now?
Rob R

You're right, we do need to differentiate, which is why it's frustrating that you choose to differentiate based purely upon wether it is meat or not, despite having gone through that debate already.

Biodiversity on non-livestock holdings *is* quite a bit different to livestock holdings, or at least the potential for it is. Biodiversity can be improved on most arable farms by bringing livestock in - the same can't be said for most livestock farms.

I notice from your summary that you are quick enough to say what the government, NFU & retailers should be doing and I'm not disputing that but you are still not mentioning the massive power that consumers have.
dpack

the triple system of arable(fruit) ,grazing(dairy ,wool and meat) and pigs worked well for diversity and food security for millennia.

tis monocultures of any sort that seem very sparse pickings for "wildlife" and monoculture+pesticides systems are almost sterile in biodiversity terms as a default setting,ie wildlife is a pest or bycatch.
Tavascarow

You're right, we do need to differentiate, which is why it's frustrating that you choose to differentiate based purely upon wether it is meat or not, despite having gone through that debate already. I don't. I choose to eat less meat because of the impact it has on the climate. When I buy it I try to source sustainably produced which invariably means 'organic'.

Quote:
Biodiversity on non-livestock holdings *is* quite a bit different to livestock holdings, or at least the potential for it is. Biodiversity can be improved on most arable farms by bringing livestock in - the same can't be said for most livestock farms.
That's debatable. Arable farms have a variety of crops & often leave margins relatively wild. Pastoral farms have often one predominant species, perennial ryegrass.
IMHO it's the management that makes a holding biodiverse not the type of farming.
Although It is probably easier to maintain fertility with a mixed farming practise I don't think it necessarily adds to biodiversity. That again depends on management.

Quote:
I notice from your summary that you are quick enough to say what the government, NFU & retailers should be doing and I'm not disputing that but you are still not mentioning the massive power that consumers have
Consumers have power but the majority are no more than sheep. They believe the advertising & buy the promoted products.
If advertising didn't work these companies wouldn't spend so much money on it.
Now imagine we live in a world where that advertising was turned towards selling environmentally friendly food.
I can see the M&S add already.
Not just any lamb but lamb reared on herb rich pastures diverse in wildlife.
Jordans have done it with their cereal bars no reason why it can't be applied to other produce.
Rob R

You're right, we do need to differentiate, which is why it's frustrating that you choose to differentiate based purely upon wether it is meat or not, despite having gone through that debate already. I don't. I choose to eat less meat because of the impact it has on the climate. When I buy it I try to source sustainably produced which invariably means 'organic'.

And presumably you pay twice the asking price when you do.

Quote:
Biodiversity on non-livestock holdings *is* quite a bit different to livestock holdings, or at least the potential for it is. Biodiversity can be improved on most arable farms by bringing livestock in - the same can't be said for most livestock farms.
That's debatable. Arable farms have a variety of crops & often leave margins relatively wild. Pastoral farms have often one predominant species, perennial ryegrass.
IMHO it's the management that makes a holding biodiverse not the type of farming.
Although It is probably easier to maintain fertility with a mixed farming practise I don't think it necessarily adds to biodiversity. That again depends on management.

Now, this is where what you say becomes confusing. On the one hand you slate dairy farmers for growing more annual crops like maize but at the same time the margins are better on arable farms than whole fields on stock farms. I tend to agree that management is undoubtedly important but I tend to think that an organically run stock farm has greater potential for biodiversity than a conventional arable farm. Again, however, you are calling for eating less meat as a primary solution whereas I am focussing on the management of landscapes to fulfil their potential for biodiversity alongside production.

Quote:
I notice from your summary that you are quick enough to say what the government, NFU & retailers should be doing and I'm not disputing that but you are still not mentioning the massive power that consumers have
Consumers have power but the majority are no more than sheep. They believe the advertising & buy the promoted products.
If advertising didn't work these companies wouldn't spend so much money on it.
Now imagine we live in a world where that advertising was turned towards selling environmentally friendly food.
I can see the M&S add already.
Not just any lamb but lamb reared on herb rich pastures diverse in wildlife.
Jordans have done it with their cereal bars no reason why it can't be applied to other produce.

I didn't say advertising didn't work. I said that you completely glossed over the power that consumers have to make a difference, and now you're belittling the effect that consumers do have.

Advertising is turned towards so called sustainable food - take a look at the side of a packet of Oatly which says that they created the product so that cows can "go back to the pasture and chill with pride" - total BS. No better than the battery eggs with pictures of chickens in fields on.
sean

- take a look at the side of a packet of Oatly which says that they created the product so that cows can "go back to the pasture and chill with pride" - total BS..

Lions chill with pride surely. Cows chill with herd.
Tavascarow



Quote:
Biodiversity on non-livestock holdings *is* quite a bit different to livestock holdings, or at least the potential for it is. Biodiversity can be improved on most arable farms by bringing livestock in - the same can't be said for most livestock farms.
That's debatable. Arable farms have a variety of crops & often leave margins relatively wild. Pastoral farms have often one predominant species, perennial ryegrass.
IMHO it's the management that makes a holding biodiverse not the type of farming.
Although It is probably easier to maintain fertility with a mixed farming practise I don't think it necessarily adds to biodiversity. That again depends on management.

Now, this is where what you say becomes confusing. On the one hand you slate dairy farmers for growing more annual crops like maize but at the same time the margins are better on arable farms than whole fields on stock farms. I tend to agree that management is undoubtedly important but I tend to think that an organically run stock farm has greater potential for biodiversity than a conventional arable farm. Again, however, you are calling for eating less meat as a primary solution whereas I am focussing on the management of landscapes to fulfil their potential for biodiversity alongside production.

. I said it was debatable, & that IMHO management practises will determine how biodiversity is encouraged or destroyed not the type of farming.
You are the one claiming livestock farming is more biodiverse than arable & we should eat more meat.
I appreciate that habitat like your ings need grazing to maintain them, but there was a time (before you & I where born) when the corn fields of Britain where very biodiverse as well.
Tavascarow

You're right, we do need to differentiate, which is why it's frustrating that you choose to differentiate based purely upon wether it is meat or not, despite having gone through that debate already. I don't. I choose to eat less meat because of the impact it has on the climate. When I buy it I try to source sustainably produced which invariably means 'organic'.

And presumably you pay twice the asking price when you do.
I'm happy to pay a premium.
If your beef was in my local butchers & there was some way of identifying its provenance from the rest likewise.
I don't want to buy a side of beef or a whole joint.
A little goes a long way & thus costs are minimal.
Rob R

You are the one claiming livestock farming is more biodiverse than arable & we should eat more meat.

That is a very selective summary of what I have claimed.

What I actually advocate is a move over to sustainable and appropriate production systems and let that be the limitation on what we do or do not eat.


I appreciate that habitat like your ings need grazing to maintain them, but there was a time (before you & I where born) when the corn fields of Britain where very biodiverse as well.

Yes, at a time when there were pockets of cultivation within a pastoral landscape. They kept it to a minimum as it was such hard work. The land that adjoins our ingsland was a warren and the adjacent vegetable land was rough grazing and heathland.
Rob R

You're right, we do need to differentiate, which is why it's frustrating that you choose to differentiate based purely upon wether it is meat or not, despite having gone through that debate already. I don't. I choose to eat less meat because of the impact it has on the climate. When I buy it I try to source sustainably produced which invariably means 'organic'.

And presumably you pay twice the asking price when you do.
I'm happy to pay a premium.
If your beef was in my local butchers & there was some way of identifying its provenance from the rest likewise.
I don't want to buy a side of beef or a whole joint.
A little goes a long way & thus costs are minimal.

You are just like most of the population - convenience is king in food retail. And that's why we don't sell many joints - steaks, mince & dice are the most popular cuts these days. Each one labelled with the identity of the animal it came from. Noone has ever paid more than the asking price though, beyond rounding up the change. No vegan has ever expressed an interest in putting the money they've saved from buying only plant foods into preserving meadows.

I don't want everyone to only eat meat and can live quite happily alongside vegans, vegetarians (hell, I was one once) and intensive consumers, but what I can't stand is dishonesty about the reasons behind it and the effects it has, such as the oatly spiel.
Tavascarow



I don't want everyone to only eat meat and can live quite happily alongside vegans, vegetarians (hell, I was one once) and intensive consumers, but what I can't stand is dishonesty about the reasons behind it and the effects it has, such as the oatly spiel.
If it helps preserve or increase biodiversity I don't care if it is a complete pile of BS.
We get fed enough of it from other quarters why not put it to some good?
Rob R



I don't want everyone to only eat meat and can live quite happily alongside vegans, vegetarians (hell, I was one once) and intensive consumers, but what I can't stand is dishonesty about the reasons behind it and the effects it has, such as the oatly spiel.
If it helps preserve or increase biodiversity I don't care if it is a complete pile of BS.
We get fed enough of it from other quarters why not put it to some good?

Because it's not good if it is lies and it doesn't help anyone, least of all the consumer.
Rob R

- take a look at the side of a packet of Oatly which says that they created the product so that cows can "go back to the pasture and chill with pride" - total BS..

Lions chill with pride surely. Cows chill with herd.

I guess that's a slogan for egg replacers.
Tavascarow



You are just like most of the population - convenience is king in food retail. And that's why we don't sell many joints - steaks, mince & dice are the most popular cuts these days. To be fair most people don't have that luxury of choice.
It requires two incomes to pay the mortgage, working hours are longer.
Most houses are too small to fit a decent freezer so convenience isn't a luxury it's essential.
The days of Mum at home raising the family & cooking a hot meal for hubby when he comes home from work are long gone.
Rob R



You are just like most of the population - convenience is king in food retail. And that's why we don't sell many joints - steaks, mince & dice are the most popular cuts these days. To be fair most people don't have that luxury of choice.
It requires two incomes to pay the mortgage, working hours are longer.
Most houses are too small to fit a decent freezer so convenience isn't a luxury it's essential.
The days of Mum at home raising the family & cooking a hot meal for hubby when he comes home from work are long gone.

Yeah, but it's all about priorities - we live in a caravan but still manage to have a decent freezer in.
Mistress Rose

It is partly choice as Rob says. I won't say I was perfect, but when son was growing up and I was working, we did have meals made from scratch most of the time. I discovered the farm shops I currently used when he was in his teens I think; it was the time of the BSE crisis and my other sources of decent meat had disappeared, and I never have liked supermarket.

We were fortunate that we had a reasonable sized house and a garden, although when we were first married we did look after an old ladies garden as ours was small. One of the early cases of garden sharing.
Tavascarow

George Mombiot in Mondays Guardian.
Think dairy farming is benign? Our rivers tell a different story.
Quote:
While the state of rivers in this country remains dire, as a result of our excessive use of water and of chronic, low-level contamination, the number of severe pollution incidents has declined in all sectors except one. Farming. In this case, it is rising.

Farming is now, by a long way, the nation’s leading cause of severe water pollution. And of all kinds of farming, dairy production causes the greatest number of serious incidents.
Rob R

George Mombiot in Mondays Guardian.
Think dairy farming is benign? Our rivers tell a different story.
Quote:
While the state of rivers in this country remains dire, as a result of our excessive use of water and of chronic, low-level contamination, the number of severe pollution incidents has declined in all sectors except one. Farming. In this case, it is rising.

Farming is now, by a long way, the nation’s leading cause of severe water pollution. And of all kinds of farming, dairy production causes the greatest number of serious incidents.


Yes, that needs sorting, but it's not because we're producing or consuming more than we used to. That said we didn't have NVZs back in the day, which have been a major cost to the industry in recent years which has no doubt accelerated the intensification and therefore the number of serious incidents.
Tavascarow

NVZs? Rob R

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, that are forcing dairy farmers to improve their slurry storage and handling facilities. Rob R

It is partly choice as Rob says. I won't say I was perfect, but when son was growing up and I was working, we did have meals made from scratch most of the time. I discovered the farm shops I currently used when he was in his teens I think; it was the time of the BSE crisis and my other sources of decent meat had disappeared, and I never have liked supermarket.

We were fortunate that we had a reasonable sized house and a garden, although when we were first married we did look after an old ladies garden as ours was small. One of the early cases of garden sharing.

I don't expect everyone to be perfect either but I would happily wager that 'meat free monday' would be a more powerful tool if it were actively encouraging people to buy local one day a week. Not that everything local is perfect, but it's a lot less easy to hide imperfections if you know where your food was grown and you know your customers may be walking past than if it were shipped from the far east, as many of the dairy replacements are.

The problem I have is that people may live near the Ings, (but not many of them, because we don't have a high population density) but relatively few care about them. Meanwhile there are people in central London who do care and take the time out to support it.

Legislation as a means of controlling bad behaviour is valuable, but without the economic incentive to choose the better option it is not very valuable. There are two groups destroying our biodiversity - those who don't care, and those who care too much, and it is the latter group that hold the power to make the real difference but choose not to because they believe that the more extreme approach is the better one.
Tavascarow

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, that are forcing dairy farmers to improve their slurry storage and handling facilities. There lies the problem.
Everywhere should be a 'Nitrate Vulnerable Zone'. & what should be an asset used to improve fertility has become an expensive waste issue with increasing pollution incidents.
The retailers (& the politicians who got rid of the MMB) are to blame for the low prices forcing intensification not the consumers in this instance.
Rob R

Many more places did used to be NVZs, including here , but they have been reclassified as improvements have been made.

I don't think that consumers are part of the problem but they are certainly part of the solution.
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