Somehow this TED Talk featuring Allan Savory just now landed on my desktop. Though it was published two years ago, I have finally got to see and to love it:
Watch it – and you will never think the same about Nature, Animals, Vegetarianism and how to create a “better world”.
And this is what I (Heidi) think about the topic:
Yes, vegetarianism has a lot to do with the health of the planet – but not necessarily in the sense we are used to looking at it.
It is a fashion today – at least in our Western countries, to become a vegetarian, maybe even a vegan. No animals should die for our nutrition, for our clothing and for all the other things for which animal products are still used.
The individual reasons for not consuming animal products, especially as food, are sometimes well thought through and reasonable, sometimes a fantasy or a wishful belief that it serves the creation of a better world, sometimes it is a choice for health reasons. All these choices are legitimate, but most are based on not more than simple beliefs without much reality checking involved..
Many of us think it is GOOD not to raise animals and kill them for food or other uses
I would say: Yes AND No.
Mass production of animals is truly not something to approve of, the average amount of meat we eat is probably too high, and the amount of meat and animal products thrown away in the supermarkets is scandalous. We can easily agree that ANIMALS SHOULDN’T BE KILLED JUST TO THROW THEM AWAY. Life is too precious to be condemned to be nothing more than litter or land fill.
I invite you now to see the bigger picture in your decisions and what you suggest to others regarding what lifestyle is the best for us humans and how we can best respect respect nature and animals. It is not always as we think at first sight. Allan Savory, as he notes in his Ted Talk, had committed major erronious and disastrous decisions (like the killing of thousands of elephants in order to stop desertification) before he understood the dangerous limits of prevailing professional opinion and before he opened his mind to the unthinkable.
But let’s begin with everyday life and ask what would happen if all humans became vegetarians. Well, animals as we know them today living with or near us wouldn’t exist any more. Who would keep sheep or cows just for fun? Maybe some horses, dogs or cats. Apart from the fact that we wouldn’t have any milk, cheese,leather and wool any more, we would have todepend more on the chemical industries, not only for substitutes for the animal products, but also for FERTILIZERS, because all manure would be gone. And wasn’t it exactly the goal of the GREEN MOVEMENT to stop to the chemical industries from poisoning our air and water – and our food? NO ANIMALS MEANS MORE POISONING of ourselves and the planet!
But this is only the beginning. As vegetarians we need cereal crops as well as fruit and veggies. They all need a rich soil. Chemical fertilizers destroy the soil in the long run. The experience is that if in rain forests, we cut down the trees to grow crops, the soil lasts only a few years and becomes a desert. Already a third of the earth surface is DESERT. And we increase this by NOT having huge numbers of animals grazing and leaving behind their their rich fertilizer mixed with plant material. We would live without the lovely meadows in our landscape and have only woods and fields. And if we want to use crop rotation – which can preserve the quality of soil by giving back what is taken out – we must grow forage plants as part of that regular rotation: What would we do with them? compost? (grass compost doesn’t work well), burn? (kill all the small animals whose habitat is there?)
Isn’t it much better to grow a sufficient number of animals to take care of the grass and for fertilizing the soil where they eat, thereby turning deserts into green land again? We need huge numbers of animals migrating in a guided way so that the right balance is obtained so that new life can grow and flourish, preventing the barren deserts that are rapidly spreading world wide.
Get inspired by Allan’s talk – and enjoy eating meat from grass fed animals grown in a sustainable way. Don’t be tortured any more by bad conscience because you LIKE meat and you cannot master your desire for meat completely: you are not MEANT to cancel meat from your table – otherwise you would contribute to climate change and the expansion of deserts on our planet.
Info from the YouTube Video:
Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change
Published on Mar 4, 2013
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.”