>Not sane. A sustainable agriculture is going to have to include livestock.
>What would be sane is a program that does not encourage the overproduction
>of grain and instead would produce the sane production of animals in
>grass/legume based systems. Humans were intended to eat meat. Humans were
>not intended to eat animals that are raised on top of their own fermenting
>manure in damp sunless buildings, pumped full of antibiotics, fed animal
>by-products, fed the fat from McDonalds fryers etc.
>Free range pig, chicken, and rabbit producer
As someone who embraced the ideals of teachers like Helen and Scott Nearing
and Stephen Gaskin and thought I would move to the country, become a
vegetarian and farm without animals, and who thought if we weren't feeding
so much grain to animals we could support a lot more people with full
stomachs I was in for quite a rude awakening.
I found I could NOT farm successfully without animals. Indeed, I couldn't
keep the animals away. Bees, earthworms, and everything in between had its
rightful place, and I found cows to be right in the middle of this as one
of the most beneficial animals in nature. I also found that as I was of
type "O" blood I was wasting away on a vegetarian diet and I got down to
135 pounds with way too little energy and too much need to lean on the hoe
handle. I ALSO found that the animal confinement operations and all that
went into operating them--particularly cash grain farming--was the worst of
what was going on in agriculture. But I found that having farm animals
didn't mean confinement operations. Those weren't farms. They were animal
So now 24 years later I've become a successful farmer who knows how to heal
the earth and grow it into fertility and I could hardly agree with what
Greg says here more. For the ideologues who insist everyone who has animals
on their farm is keeping their animals in slavery and violating natural law
by consuming or even wearing anything from animals I have this to say.
Learn to observe what goes on in nature and how essential it is to have a
balance between plants and animals if you want a healthy, fertile ecology.
And learn to do your own thinking. Either that or suffer the consequences
of subscribing to a dogmatic mindset.
While Dave Miller's proposal (below) has some very good points to it, I
hope he will take into account the things I'm saying above.
>From: Dave Miller <email@example.com>
>To: sanet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Thursday, December 23, 1999 11:01 AM
>Subject: Farm Subsidies Are Unfair
>>Sane or Not?
>> I am pleased to offer the following propositions for next year's
>>National Nutrition Summit designed to reduce the national incidence of
>>obesity and generally improve our nation's health:
>>* Congress should eliminate preferential subsidies for fatty animal
>> Because of their overwhelming political clout, producers of meat and
>>dairy products and the associated feedcrops are granted a
>>share of American agricultural subsidies. Producers of wholesome
>>vegetables, fruits, and grains and legumes raised for human consumption
>>deserve a more level playing field in competing for the American food
>>* USDA should stop dumping its meat and dairy surpluses on the School
>>Program. USDA has long been using the National School Lunch Program as a
>>ground for surplus commodities purchased to prop up the meat and dairy
>>industries. Consequently, American children acquire lifelong dietary
>>in schools where lunch and breakfast fare is loaded with fat,
>>* US and state governments should provide healthful nutrition education
>>schools. In addition to accepting the meat and dairy surpluses, many
>>welcome national fat food franchises and junk food machines. Nutrition
>>education materials pushing the discredited "basic four food groups" are
>>provided with the compliments of the meat and dairy industries. Between
>>USDA, the fat food franchises, and the meat and dairy industries, our
>>never have a chance to develop healthy eating habits.
>>* HHS should work with public interest and trade groups in promoting
>>healthful eating. The National Cancer Institute set a brilliant example
>>in encouraging formation of the Produce for Better Health Foundation to
>>interest groups to improve school lunch menus.
>>* Dietary Guidelines should recommend explicitly a low-fat, low-calorie
>>plant-based diet. The 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans pays lip
>>service to "choosing a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables
>>and fruits" and to "choosing a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and
>>cholesterol." Yet, it fails to recommend the only diet that complies
>>fully with these recommendations -- the plant-based vegan diet.
>>FARM can be reached through the following information:
>>FARM - 1-888-ASK FARM, www.farmusa.org
>> "Saving Our Planet, One Bite At a Time"
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