My sister sent me this link to this perspective-shifting TED talk that (indirectly) addresses the question about the sustainability of raising grazing animals–something that, as a meat-eater, I have been concerned about.
Brilliant and mind blowing. Definitely worth the time (22 mins).
My sister’s neighbor raises pastured beef commercially. In response to the video, he wrote in an email:
“We are strict adherents to managed grazing and all its principles…. We rotate our cattle through sized sections depending on weight of cattle grouping, density of forage, type of forage and height of forage. We are really creating some good soils while sequestering carbon. I will also ‘bale feed’ out in these fields to not overgraze and the animals will spread their nutrients where the soils most need them.
“We have ‘Prescribed Grazing Plans’ on all our grasslands. It’s much more work than just letting them go. But it creates better soils, forage and water. We are monitoring our weight gains (the cattle I mean) and they are doing great because the soils and forage we are creating are so good and can continue to be whether in drought or too much rain.
“It sounds corny so I never say it to anyone, but we are improving the environment, the earth while producing high protein food. I cannot tell you how proud I am of that.”