Its very disappointing this important topic and message didn’t get any responses of support. Industrial poison Ag and factory animal “production” (aka torture and abuse) must be stopped, and that must include the toxic waste generated - disposed of the cheapest ways possible, and the pollution of streams, rivers, bays and estuaries - the nurseries of the Seas!
If you love animals don’t eat them, or tolerate their abuse!
Getting back to farming(growing crops as I say) to ways of yesterday may help preserve the precious soil required for good nutritious foods. It will help the global warming crisis but is far from solving the entire issue. Until the military is included with any real concrete plan the point is moot. The US military is the single biggest emitter of GHG’s on the planet. However getting back to conservative growing practices, controlling human population by reducing it by 5-6 billion people nothing will really matter because Earth can’t support 7.6 billion people without poisoning itself. Small farms and no meat works with 2.5 billion people not 7-8 billion. Peace
My early life was spent on a family farm and this is the type of Agriculture my father followed. Most farmers in the area did the same. As kids we would go through pastures (Dad would put land into pasture after a few years of crops) and they teemed with all manner of insects, berries, plants and shrubs. Most farmers also left small bushes remain on the land rather then plow it under so as to raise more crops and these were an ecosystem all their own teeming with wild gooseberries, Saskatoons , choke cherries and wide varities of trees and plants. Our land was also low lying and rather flat for the area and this allowed for sloughs which we cut on the fringes in early summer for hay. Again an entirely different ecosystem with ducks, frogs and insect life that favored that sort of ecosystem. This all one one section of land.
The monoculture practiced today where it all one crop as far as the eye can see with every acre of land put into production is a travesty and a crime against nature.
Go Vegan for Personal Health, for the Health of the Planet and especially for the Health of the Animals.
There are thousands of plant based mouth watering substitutes, no sacrifice whatsoever, I have been doing it for over 40 years and never feel deprived of gastronomical pleasures.
The GND won’t be sustainable if the democratic public doesn’t have a say. It must also include real grassroots democracy:
The Green New Deal should include an end to animal torture/slavery/slaughter “agriculture,” and the promotion of veganism.
Applause to Kelsey Kruger and to CD for the excellent article. These are key points.
They are also points that I seldom see in discussions of the Green New Deal. It could be a very fine thing, but it matters just what farming and distribution methods are backed.
We have been vegetarians leaning more towards vegan for a few decades now… we have never joined up with the meat substitute thing. We try and eat real food rather than TVP et al. though if people really want to go that way It’s preferable to killing our fellow animals.
I would remind people though that all that fake food is just that fake - full of salt and flavorings high in salt, fat and nonnutritive food items. If you are not eating flesh why are you trying to make food that tastes like flesh? It kind of creeps us out to be honest…
…but whatever stops us killing our fellow living creatures I guess…
I have mentioned my CSA here before. They started with a derelict farm 20 plus years ago - two non ag college grads. It is now an amazing small holding filled with fruit trees, nut trees, veggie plots, specialty grains all rotated and fallowed on a schedule, organic. They take care of their soil like the liquid gold it is and the abundance it produces is amazing. I emphasize they are completely self taught - raised as tract house suburbanites. They say if they can do this anyone can.
Spouse and I have black thumbs we say! but we have managed a couple of apple trees, plum and peach tree and a small veggie patch plus herb garden organically and kept everything thriving for a decade or two without totally breaking our backs or quitting our day jobs just yet… I hope more people join the truckfarming bandwagon. Much healthier for the land and people than acres of corn or soy to be turned into processed junk foods… cheers.
Factory farms are scary—isn’t that how mad cow disease started? And in La Glorya Mexico, there were human issues of sickness with all the cows too. also I read of some black families in the South, who live close to a giant hog farm-s-- and the farms would spray the liquid from the poo ponds and the poor families who lived nearby would have the air and the sides of their homes filled with liquid pig poo . Shouldn’t this be illegal???
But this is all as awful as the people who work in the chicken plants who are breathing in blood and guts as the chicken flow past on the conveyor belts. It’s just impossible to eat any meat with all of this going on.
When I read Upton Sinclair’s novel, THE JUNGLE, it seemed horrifying but—today factory farms have returned to the diseased food awfulness of the awful old days in the early 20th century!
Go and look at the Green New Deal as proffered by the Green Party since 2011 if you think that more action is required than the milque toast idea being pushed by “progressive” Democrats.
None of this stuff will ever work without some type of population controls. We need spaying and neutering, just like domestic dogs and cats.
Thank you for this essential piece of reality that most people don’t seem to want to admit. The combination of too many humans at this high standard of living is simply not sustainable by our precious planet.
The NYTimes and Wapo editorials, and neo-liberal Democratic candidates are all focused on C02 in isolation, as opposed to addressing every single component of global warming, as proposed in the New Green Deal, and as this article suggests. That is the centrists’ standard ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. The GND needs every single input from everyone. Only the strength of many can win over the polluters and their big bucks.
Never say never. I sit here on the 21st floor of a city among many on the other side of the world, having skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. Well, that isn’t so far because it is hard to see around skyscrapers.
What if every one of those skyscrapers on every roof, in every balcony, and at every window had small trees and plants?
My life began on a farm in the province of Manitoba. Life was great. I supposed that my cousins from the city of Winnipeg envied me. I had bush, pasture, farm buildings, hay loft, chicken barn, pig barn etc. I can’t believe how small they were when I return now.
Both my Dad and Uncle attended the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba, learning relevant skills for their future as their Dad turned the farm over to them. My labors on the farm began in earnest at about 12 years of age - - carrying chopped grain to chicken and pigs, helping Dad train yearling heifers and milk cows to return to the barn for the winter ( minus 40 is very cold in Fahrenheit or Celsius) pitching bales of hay into stacks, pitching bales down a chute from storage to feed inside barn in winter, cleaning out barn stalls with a stone boat and a horse, loading wood on wagon and delivering it to house furnace and many more ‘joe jobs’.
The trade off was a warm bed, good food, transportation to town to play with cousins etc. At no point was there a wage involved. But I felt more than fairly treated.
Then off to university and a Bachelor’s degree and job opportunities.
By then I had decided I wanted more, and now had some better grasp of economics.
My parents, while not ancient, were transitioning to a combination of farm income and off farm work. The farm property was still a very desirable place to live and the fields were as productive as they had ever been, mainly due to location - - deep top soil, annual rainfall , and good farming practises.
But the passage of time meant that the living they had for 30 years could not be extended to the next generation.
This story, my own rose colored glasses included, can be repeated millions of times in the prairies of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, The Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa etc.
Farms had to do one of two things, get bigger or more intensive to retain the next generation on the land.
This trend continues today and is driven by people, families, not big corporations.
Those folks who revere a lifestyle that involves more labor, less hi input Ag, boutique breeds of chickens hogs cattle - - - those folks for the most part can AFFORD to give such a lifestyle a try, and will not be able to carry on when they get past their physical prime.
Small, beautiful Ag is a dream that only a few can try to realize.
There are no 21st century Ag programs that are tax supportable to fund a return to the past.
There ARE however, excellent realistic options for Agriculture.
1 farm only the very best Ag soils and farm intensively, observing all the appropriate sustainable practises - - yes including commercial fertilizer and herbicides from those big companies you love to hate.
2 return millions of acres of class 3 and 4 soils to ranching and native grass land
3 where possible and suitable plant trees in large tracts of less productive soils
4 continue to subsidize primary agriculture because it will disappear without help. Sons and daughters will leave otherwise.
Well, I’ve run out of gas for now. I love Common Dreams, discovered when us Canadians were in cottage grove Oregon one summer and talked to a young activist on a street corner.
But, Agriculture is THE focus area where Common Dreams’ journalism is so far back in their thinking they feel like they are ahead, to coin a phrase.
Please start talking to Ag professionals or your ideas run the risk of naively being adopted by a naïve generation and a world of hurt will follow.
Dave Whitehead, North Battleford Saskatchewan
Well let us just say I disagree with much of what you say as to modern practices. My Cousin attended the University of Alberta for a degree in agriculture and took over my fathers olf place and farms it today. He has cut significantly down on the input of chemicals and fertilzers and tends to get the best yields in the region. His input costs are also orders of magnitude lower then are those of his neighbors who still use pesticides and herbicides with abandon. Coupled with lower input costs due to less need to spray on extensive chemicals along with all the hours needed to do the same, his crops fetch a better price from the buyer.
The sloughs, brush and the like on my fathers home place were all left intact, contrasted with some neighboring farms where these were all plowed under to put more land into production. His use of chemicals has plummeted when compared to others simply by using Drone technology to monitor the crops and only apply to spots in his fields where there might first be a breakout. In fact he does not spray fror most insects . I recently visited and noticed all the grasshoppers on land he was working on and he pointed out that the species in question was in fact beneficial to crops and he just let them be where most local farmers would spray their entire field as soon as they saw them.
Another method of growing food is vertical agriculture. This is being practiced in places in Europe and can garner more food per acre then almost any other method.
Sounds like you would have a problem with the "Thunderdome’s poo-power energy system.
It’s got to go somewhere, might as well be used to our benefit.
Landfill’s are powered with the methane they produce.
I hear that dried cow pies make good fuel for fire production, mostly small scale I imagine
Thank you for replying.
When I DO get a feedback conversation going that is thoughtful, I’m always grateful.
If I seem like I may be playing both sides here, I certainly am not.
It’s just hard to get all thoughts collected in a rather quickly written critique.
I don’t know if you’re the journalist that wrote the article, but my gut reaction when I read the article actually harkened some of the rural sociology that is bedrock for ag extension services (my whole career).
Farming changes, it always has, it is a limited entry ‘game’ and hard to do unless you love it. Examples of farms, mostly the intensive Livestock ones that have lost focus give the whole industry a skeptical pause by consumers.
OK, gotta stop!!
North Battleford SK.
I think that many settlers used cow pies. aka buffalo chips for fuel in early America— using bisons, and other creatures that left poo----BUT those creatures were not filled with today’s antibiotics which have made scary meat a problem for the world!
With that much pool surrounding creatures in the giant factory farms —disease is rampant----last Thanksgiving the Jenny-O turkeys were recalled too. All year long meat is being recalled somewhere.
I remember seeing that awful picture of hundreds of dead hogs floating down a river in China --Ick–I wonder what killed them—and is their disease now infecting the fish or the river water?
I object to poo in the anounts where poo ponds overflow and air sprayed poo fills the breathing space of so many. Like humans ----when too many animals are forced to live in unhealthy conditions-----the creatures become sick and then , so do the customers. Poo makes great fertilizer, if it hasn’t been contaminated with so much of Big Pharma’s nefarious deeds. : (