Author Topic: Climate Change Breeding  (Read 6497 times)

Andrew Barney

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #30 on: 2019-12-25, 06:23:57 AM »
Curious as to what you dont agree with?

It all seems pretty straight forward to me. Fresh water use and greenhouse gas emissions alone seem to suggest that reliance on large animal sources as food are unsustainable long term at worst and terribly inefficient at best. Though land usage and increasing deforestation for animal farm use is something I haven't thought about,  but makes total sense.

EDIT: by large animal sources im mostly thinking beef, dairy,  and chicken at large industrial scales.

I've been eating a lot of meat lately,  but to be quite honest i don't like it all that much,  and my preferred diet is high in fruits and low in meat. So I totally would be perfectly happy to switch to total vegetarian or vegan in a heart beat. Finding a suitable replacement for cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese however might prove challenging. But it seems I am becoming more and more lactose intolerant all the time anyway.

The vegan thing with not wanting animal inputs for vegetables is an extreme stance,  though interesting in a way. I think that may be a little extreme, though I think green manure might be a better alternative for other reasons,  but I'm still learning and thinking about better ways green manure can be used to increase efficiency.
« Last Edit: 2019-12-25, 06:27:05 AM by Andrew Barney »

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #31 on: 2019-12-25, 06:33:35 AM »
Well, I'm not vegetarian. Let alone vegan.

Note: Bison taste good. So we could turn rangeland back over to them and still eat some Bison meat.

Note: I bet I could grow all my families food and food for 6 hens, some meat chickens, and two small dairy goats on the historically plowed 3 1/4 acres of my 8 acre parcel.  So even if I grew all my own food like Will Bonsall something I would like to do, I think I'm still going to have some dairy, eggs, and meat in my diet. Though maybe not as much.
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Lauren

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #32 on: 2019-12-25, 07:13:36 AM »
There's no supporting information in the article about this claim. However, I'm guessing that the 75% is based on the amount of agricultural land currently used for meat production. These articles take into account greenhouse gas (we'll leave that one for the moment) and area of agricultural land use. This theory does not take into account a number of things, but here are two to consider:

1) The amount of additional food that would need to be grown in order to make up the difference. Meat is much higher in nutrients, fat and calories than most vegetable forms of food. Even if we were able to put that 75% into other food production our calorie production would fall drastically. Much more land would have to be devoted to oil production alone, because humans need oils and fats to live. At an average 10/1 ratio (assuming ten pounds of seed to 1 pound of oil--it ranges between 5 and 50 to 1) this greatly increases the necessary space.

2) Much of the land currently used for animal production cannot be used for vegetable production. Soils and water just aren't suitable. A well that can take care of cattle wouldn't touch the needs of a comparable (calorie) production market garden. Soil that supports prairie grasses would likely be entirely unsuitable for grains. Animals can thrive where vegetables or grains would not. If we assume half of the land currently used for meat is suitable for crop production, that's still a huge drop in actual production.

Richard Watson

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #33 on: 2019-12-25, 11:29:04 AM »
Agree entirely Lauren. Something else to consider as well, how much land does it take to produce each kg of meat protein?, I dont have the figures but I would assume that pork production would require a lot more land than for say meat rabbits.

I often wonder too, where do these 'veganic' drew the line in the sand in what terms of what is derived from an animal and what is not, sure, they dont use remnant manure but they cant guarantee there produce hasnt been produced off soil that's rodent or bird shit free, then take into account the major role insects play in making new soil. Its totally impossible to produce 100% vegan food.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
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Lauren

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #34 on: 2019-12-25, 01:18:53 PM »
Or pollinated by bees, or worms in the soil. When they say "This is the way nature works" they're talking about a tiny percentage of the whole system.

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #35 on: 2019-12-25, 02:29:27 PM »
Well, there is a smidgen more of a backstory to it. Both Will Bonsall and John Jeavons have written pretty good gardening books that explain their thinking in regards to worms and bird and deer poo.

Also in regards to 75% claim in article I linked, references are hyperlinked. Leads back here to a scientific paper here:

http://josephpoore.com/Science%20360%206392%20987%20-%20Accepted%20Manuscript.pdf

I think the middle ground between Veganic for everyone vs
 producing 60% more food by 2050 might just be eating less feedlot fed cows and cow milk and factory farmed chicken, eggs, and pork. Growing corn to feed cows, pigs, chickens, and gas tanks might not be the best use of soils.

One thought on bad soil. I would rate my own eight acre parcel as perhaps not suitable for vegetable growing. Its got 7 inches of topsoil over 7 inches of clay accumulation, over lake bed sediments. It was formerly used for beef production, irrigation was once attempted. The flatter porion was plowed and replanted with aggressive non-native grasses.

However, I could add 6 inches of sand to two acres of it for about $20,000 so assuming I had enough money to spend $20,000 on a car and chose to buy sand instead I could greatly change my soil structure and soil depth instead. Of course if everyone wanted to spend that kind of money on their soil we wouldn't have enough sand at that price. However, there are multiple ways to solve a problem, another might be growing a carbon crop and burning it to make charcoal. Then double digging and incorporating the char into the clay accumulation layer of the soil profile. Doubt I will do this, at least not quickly, but I would rather have better soil than a newish car.

Likewise it's pretty silly to destroy productive soils for buildings.
« Last Edit: 2019-12-25, 02:57:09 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Richard Watson

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #36 on: 2019-12-25, 02:36:58 PM »
Without have to hunt down those books what was there take on it William.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
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William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #37 on: 2019-12-25, 03:09:35 PM »
Well, Will Bonsall makes sense when he says he figures it's just plain old less work to grow food for his family then for his family and a bunch of livestock. He doesn't worry about the deer and bird and worm poop. He just figures on using most of his acreage as a wildlife preserve. He also doesn't market gaeden. Keeps the nutrients in place.

John Jeavons reckons we all need a way to maximize food production. He figures with double dug beds we can grow lots of food organically for lots of people. Reckons less of a fuss that way. Also says how to do it without animals. Pretty sure that's space conservation. Animals need room.

Incidentally lots of indigenous people have been growing food since time immemorial without livestock. Why feed an acorn to a pig when you can eat it yourself? Why chain a pinon forest at a negative ROI to feed cows when Pinon nuts are good eating? Why turn a Camas meadow into a hayfield?

« Last Edit: 2019-12-25, 03:35:26 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Steph S

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #38 on: 2019-12-25, 04:41:51 PM »
I admit I'm not even close to figuring out the growing of animal feed locally.
I know that I can expect lower growth rate and lower yields if I excluded animal ferts.  Chemicals are not an option for me, which are technically 'vegan'.  So as of now, I'm really not comfortable with excluding farm animals from the equation.
I read this recently:
http://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-plant-based-food-its-more-about-money-than-you-may-think-127272
which makes some interesting points about the commercial, conventional production of vegan 'meat alternatives' and how profitable that can be on a massive scale of chemical agriculture.
I'm more interested in the '4 per mille' initiative, to sequester carbon in agricultural soil.  This does not exclude manures or animal products but also has the potential to make a carbon negative footprint.   Still more to learn about it, and how to implement and achieve the goal.
https://www.4p1000.org/

Richard Watson

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #39 on: 2019-12-25, 08:10:24 PM »
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

Lauren

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #40 on: 2019-12-25, 09:15:43 PM »
So the article cited isn't just about animals themselves--it's taking into account the amount of land used for the animals feed, transportation of that feed, and does state that 65% of the land used for animals (ruminants specifically) is unsuitable for growing crops. I can't find anything about 75% reduction in land use, so if someone has seen this article and found that information please tell me where it is.

"To identify solutions that are effective under this heterogeneity, we consolidated data covering five environmental indicators; 38,700 farms; and 1600 processors, packaging types, and retailers."

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #41 on: 2019-12-25, 10:13:21 PM »
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.

Though you do have those super cool edible beetle larvae that compost whole trees....
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Steph S

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #42 on: 2019-12-26, 06:42:06 AM »
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.
Richard, that's good to know!   One thing for sure, I have more to learn about the alternatives. 

Lauren

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #43 on: 2019-12-26, 09:42:30 AM »
I think I see what they did in the articles mentioned. They did specify in the study that 85% of our ag land is used for animals, and also that 65% of that can't be used by other crops. So if we got rid of animal agriculture our usable land would immediately drop by 65%. If you add in land (not specified) that can't really be used for anything except their feed, the total would probably drop by 75%, leaving us only 25% of the former farmland. I don't see a net gain here.

The articles that used this as a source suggested that we would no longer need that 75%. The assumption in these numbers is that without animal agriculture our food needs would DROP rather than rise.

Richard Watson

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #44 on: 2019-12-26, 10:05:51 AM »
Though you do have those super cool edible beetle larvae that compost whole trees....
True. Though some people dont think they are so cool, the beetle flies at night so they have been known to freak the odd person out when they crash into ya.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps