[permaculture] Diet for an endangered planet (was: global warming)

Kai Vido kaivido at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 26 09:16:15 EDT 2007


I will add my two cents, if I may.

> >Can we, acting collectively, actually make any difference?
> >Is it for generations hence to deal with or should we start now?

I think we collectively HAVE to try, and NOW! Future generations will
have to work with what we leave them. And right now, the legacy looks
mostly grim. Permaculture, and dozens of associated skills, will be of
inestimable value.

> The number-one thing everyone can do is to eat lower on the food 
> chain. We could reduce greenhouse gases by about half within a year 
> or two by stopping the breeding and eating of livestock.,

Perhaps. However, I would venture that it is more ecologically sound
for me to eat meat in the form of lamb, goat and chicken that I have
raised chemical-free, fed with the hay and grain I grew myself or
bartered for with a local farmer, than for me to buy even "organic"
produce in the winter, trucked or flown thousands of miles to my
northern climate,.

The criteria I have when buying food I don't raise are: 

*Is it raised locally, or could I feasibly raise it myself in this
climate?
*Is it raised by a small farmer (even one who uses a few mild 'cides)
and am I supporting the local community and local economy with my
purchase? Better yet, can I arrange a barter system with the producer?
*Is it in season? I'm not going to find local raspberries in eastern
Canada in January, so I don't eat them.
*In the event I can't find a product that meets the above, I will
consider "long-distance" food with the "organic" label.

I say, if you like vegetarianism, go for it. I likely would if living
in a southern climate. From May to October I eat almost no meat, it not
being "in season", and instead a large proportion of dairy products. In
mid-winter when our goats and sheep are nearly dry, a big glass of milk
is not seen every day. Fish and seafood are almost never on the menu
(we live a distance inland, and not near any lakes), except a few brook
trout in season. The commercial fishing industry is an ecological
nightmare, and personally I would not support it even if that meant
never eating fish again. 

Of course all industrial-scale food production, even using organic
methods, is riddled with problems--another argument for raising your
own food or buying small, local and sustainable.

> Animals give us more than just meat - manure, fibre, leather etc, so
> it would be hard to replace all those things immediately.

True. Livestock are a vital part of our farming system, a part that
brings it full-circle. I would not want a farm without animals. 

Keep up the lively discussions!

Kai Vido
N.B., Canada



--- mossmans <mossmans at internode.on.net> wrote:

> Lawrence asked,
> >Can we, acting collectively, actually make any difference?
> >Is it for generations hence to deal with or should we start now?
> >What do we do?
> 
> One answer:
> 
> The number-one thing everyone can do is to eat lower on the food 
> chain. We could reduce greenhouse gases by about half within a year 
> or two by stopping the breeding and eating of livestock.,
> 
> My thoughts:
> 
> I often wonder why no one takes our advice, when we promote such
> radical solutions to global warming. (vegetarianism)
> 
> Perhaps we should temper it by saying that there are many things you
> can do individually to make a difference, and provide the information
and
> help to do it.
> 
> And yes, reduce the meat you eat, or at least purchase or grow meat
> locally, but if we are saying that vegetarianism is the only
solution, no
> wonder no one is listening to us.
> 
> I love meat, but now have reduced it to about 3 meals a week.  I
> don't eat a lot of fish, because fish are becoming more endangered.
> 
> Animals give us more than just meat - manure, fibre, leather etc, so
> it would be hard to replace all those things immediately.
> 
> Sue



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