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Biodiversity conservation The key, reducing meat consumption
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Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 15 5:36 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 15 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 15 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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 ?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4281
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Joined up thinking is what is lacking,

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

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:


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



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:


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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
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.

Last edited by Rob R on Wed Sep 30, 15 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4281
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 15 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
crofter wrote:
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



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 15 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 15 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

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