> Where do I get ahold of this John Robbins peice?
John Robbins has written at least two books. The one I have finished reading is
"May All Be Fed". His premise is not that meat production is destabilizing
Rural American communities but that it is causing famine in South America and
Africa as more and more arable land is taken out of the production of food
staples and planted to feed grade soy beans and other grains which are then
exported primarily to the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. And yes, the import
of these commodities is a direct result of the feed lot system but also of the
amount of meat we see fit to raise.
I do not agree with everything John Robbins writes. I, too, think that animals
are necessary to organic farming and I do eat meat. However, he makes a
compelling case that large scale meat production in the U.S. etc..., is
directly responsible for much of the famine and hunger that exists today.
I did not mean to suggest that John Robbins believes that wide spread hunger
and poverty lead to instability and that such 'instability' is very contagious,
these are my beliefs.. It is also my belief that the "global marketplace" is a
disaster and that its dynamic almost requires that the prices of the food and
goods we consume in the "developed" nations must continue to go down. As more
and more land is put into animal production, the prices will continue to drop
which, of course, will require that even more land be taken out of food
production and given over to animal production etc., etc..
In an Interview in 'Acres', Fred Kirshenmann, an organic farmer and rancher,
made a point that what we don't need small scale food production as much as we
need food production to be done on an "appropriate scale". I absolutely agree
with this and with Joel Salatin's position that most of the environmental
damage that results from modern day meat production is a consequence of the
concentration of animals in feed lots and factory 'farms' as well as the
practice of feeding grazing animals grains. Mr. Kirschenmann, also states that
he feeds his animals "crop residues" rather then "cash grain" although he does
have pasture land that has never been plowed.
I would go further than Joel Salatin or Fred Kirschenmann but not quite as far
as John Robbins. I do not believe that any land should be given over to animal
production unless there is enough locally grown food available to feed the
area's population and absolutely not for export. At the same time, it makes
sense to me that having pasture as part of a rotation and grazing animals on it
helps the soil maintain its fertility. Even dedicated pasture land, like the
900 acres on Mr. Kirschenmann's farm, has a place and most localities have some
land that really is unsuited to any kind of cropping, raising animals on such
land seems like the perfect use for it.
I think you run into more problems with poultry and dairy production because
then, it seems, that it really is difficult to raise the animals without
supplemental grain feeding and particularly if you want reliable egg and milk
production. But this is all book learning for me. I don't have any real
Believe me, if you lived anywhere near me, I would be at your door with purse
in hand. I really miss my bacon and I caved the other day and bought some in
the grocery store.
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