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Biodiversity conservation The key, reducing meat consumption
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Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 15 8:06 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10538

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Think I would agree with that Rob.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35099
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
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.

Tavascarow wrote:
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.

Tavascarow wrote:
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
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41954
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
- 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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:


Tavascarow wrote:
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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
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.


Tavascarow wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 15 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:


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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 15 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:


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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 15 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Rob R wrote:
- 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.

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