"If you eat responsibly as a whole, pastured animals, local and organic crops and whatnot, the animals contribute to a healthy ecosytem. A properly managed pasture is an excellent carbon sink while vegetable and grain production often leaves bare land most of the year."
This was a response from my sis-in-law (who i greatly admire and respect) to one of my vegan posts on fb. What would you say to this?
Don't be shy tell her how you feel and you shouldn't be afraid to drop some knowledge on her. People are ignorant because they don't know any better nothings going to change if you won't speak up!
Improperly managed and irresponsible conventional mono-cropping will leave lands bare and sterile. Vegetable, fruit and grain production that utilizes integrated pest management, organic composting as appose to chemically made salts(takes tons of electrify to make these ferts), proper crop rotation, and companion planting builds the Earth and its micro-organisms like nothing else can.
in all honesty, animals should be as free to roam the land as humans. not kept as any sort of 'crop' or food source. it hurts me when people think of an animal as someone who has a life of lesser value than themself
you can still have a synergistic relationship with animals for farming though. Having a bee hive for the sake of pollination, or having a some chickens roam the fields to pick out slugs, and lay down manure is a great way to have a win win with the animals.
A properly managed pasture is an excellent carbon sink while vegetable and grain production often leaves bare land most of the year.
Interesting choice of wording there comparing the best case scenario to the worst case. Actually from studying permaculture and natural farming, it can be done, yep. Animals less efficient use of land compared to plants, also yeah.
How many omnivores eat "responsibly" in this fashion 100% of the time?
One word: Permaculture.
Permaculturalists, though, are usually associated with integrated animal systems. I've lived on various different permaculture or 'sustainable agriculture' sites, and all of them utilize animals on their farm, and are of the strong opinion that animals are needed for a complete system. Unless it's a food forest, which, really, is all we fruitarians want anyways!
Even sites that have animals just for farming purposes, like pigs for digging/manuring or chickens, seem to have some sort of negative aspect to them. One site, though they don't eat their pigs, sells the pigs' offspring (which is obviously going to be eaten) and sells their goats' offspring (also to be eaten). Even to get the pigs, chickens or goats relies upon somebody else breeding them for some nefarious purpose. Chickens lay eggs, so what do you do with the eggs? What if they hatch, and all of a sudden you have way too many chickens, what then? I've yet to see a place (vegan-minded) that can successfully utilize animals that's ends in a mutually beneficial relationship. Perhaps the Bullock Homestead on Orcas Island, but I haven't been there to see it.
I've been looking into John Jeavons, a biointensive researcher who advocates a completely vegan diet for the regeneration of soil and to feed our advanced population. He's a complete-diet kind of dude (though vegan) who suggests growing 'compost and calorie crops' - crops that yield high organic matter for compost and high calorie crops like grains, corn, etc. Using this method he removes the need for animals on a farm by producing a 'complete diet' in addition to all the compost needed to grow it. Interesting, but, if we were eating just fruit and greens instead, there'd be a lot less work. Fruit trees tend to do what they do best without much help - fruit!
And, yeah, as for what she said about vegetable and grain production leaving the land bare - that's not sustainable agriculture. Cover cropping, winter cropping, rotations, polycultures and mulching are what intelligent or educated farmers tend to do. Intelligent people also grow vegetables and fruit, because you don't have to get up at 5am to milk your apples, or never take another vacation in your life because you have to spend so much time taking care of your 'healthy ecosystem' which only continues to exist if you're there to tend it. Unless you're Sepp Holzer.
GrrrAAwww farming. Being a vegan farmer gives one a frustrating group of peers. :P
Having domesticated animals is not a 'requirement' for permaculture.
Most of em aren't vegan that's why they doing it..
Permaculture is about imitating nature and there's no domesticated animals in nature..:)
I'm starting my permie food forest soon and other than birds, bugs and other wildlife there will be no animals there (except of me of course..:))!