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Efficiently managing livestock is crucial to rejuvenating the soil and trapping carbon in grassland and savanna ecosystems, which have evolved with ruminant herds and cover nearly 40% of the Earth's land surface. As environmental and climate advocates, it's our responsibility to consume food from these vital regions where farmers and ranchers cultivate nutritious produce. This includes animal products produced using ecological practices and vegetable and tree-based foods that integrate well with livestock management.
By Managing Holistically, the Land, Animals, Water, and World will be Healthier!
According to the University of Kentucky, "Holistic management is a method of managing the land in a way that mirrors nature. With less artificial inputs and actions, advocates believe that by managing holistically, the land, animals, water, and world will be healthier. Inputting less also has economic benefits."
From the Savory Institute (See its animation on Holistic Management below): "Holistic Management is so much more than just grazing. Holistic Management is a framework for managing complexity. The living world is comprised of beautifully and infinitely complex adaptive living systems – land, animals, people, plants, fungi, and more all interconnected and in relationship – and the way we manage decisions amidst these complex living systems matters."
Holistic Grazing Improves the Soil with Increased Microbe Activity & Organic Matter
Holistic Management International states that this system produces cleaner water, more wildlife habitats, increased food security, and less pollution.
Forty years ago, Allan Savory developed Holistic Management as an approach to help land managers, farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, and policymakers develop strategies for regenerating degraded landscapes and the livelihoods of the people living on them. According to Soil4Climate advisor Hunter Lovins, in an op-ed published in the Guardian, "In brief, he contends that grazing livestock can reverse desertification and restore carbon to the soil, enhancing its biodiversity and countering climate change."
Savory’s argument, which counters popular conceptions, is that more livestock rather than fewer can help save the planet through a concept he calls “holistic management.” In brief, he contends that grazing livestock can reverse desertification and restore carbon to the soil, enhancing its biodiversity and countering climate change. Monbiot claims that this approach doesn’t work and in fact does more harm than good. But his assertions skip over the science and on the ground evidence that say otherwise.
Fake Foods are not the Answer to Climate Stability and Food Justice.
In no scenario — none — is fake food, cultured meat, or industrial, glyphosate-sprayed, GMO soy-based and ocean dead zone-expanding, Imposter Foods, or similar patented Franken foods a solution for the environment or the climate.
On the contrary, they are precisely the convenient but wrong approach that exacerbates our reliance on chemicals and industry. Furthermore, and perhaps of tremendous significance, they disenfranchise, not empower, the small and medium-sized producers who are the heart and soul of every nation from time immemorial. All concerned citizens are responsible for pushing against this corporate assault on common sense.
Allan Savory, a Soil4Climate advisor who inspired the start of Soil4Climate, believes holistic management "ensures economic, ecological, and social soundness." See the video below where Allan and Soil4Climate's Seth Itzkan discuss Holistic Management.
Soil4Climate is honored to stand with the heroes of soil-enhancing regenerative agriculture, including organic farmers, Maasai pastoralists, and holistic ranchers.
That includes those who know the smell of compost and the sound of calving — those who are doing the most to restore soil and drive back desertification — those who are not just mitigating but helping to reverse global warming while simultaneously producing complete protein, naturally, ethically, and in sync with the rhythms of Mother Earth.
But don't just take our word for it; see the results in Soil4Climate's Science Compendium, such as a featured study below, "The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America," in which Richard Teague, a range scientist from Texas A&M University, is finding significant soil carbon sequestration from holistic range management practices.
Allan Savory explaining the role of ruminants properly grazed to restore soil and biodiversity.
2016 Texas A&M study in Journal of Soil and Water Conservation finds 1.2 metric tons of carbon per acre per year drawdown via adaptive multi-paddock grazing and the drawdown potential of North American pasturelands is 800 million metric tons of carbon per year.
The authors propose that "with appropriate regenerative crop and grazing management, ruminants not only reduce overall GHG emissions, but also facilitate provision of essential ecosystem services, increase soil carbon (C) sequestration, and reduce environmental damage."
Teague, W. R., Apfelbaum, S., Lal, R., Kreuter, U. P., Rowntree, J., Davies, C. A., R. Conser, M. Rasmussen, J. Hatfield, T. Wang, F. Wang, Byck, P. (2016). The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint in North America. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 71(2), 156-164. doi:10.2489/jswc.71.2.156 http://www.jswconline.org/content/71/2/156.full.pdf+html
Examples of Grassland Restoration - Excerpt from Talk by Allan Savory at Tufts University
Excerpted from Allan Savory's presentation on January 25, 2013, at Tufts University's Fletcher School, this segment highlights how Holistic Management restores degraded land and deserts back to grasslands. This innovative, natural, and simple idea mimics nature by using careful livestock management to stimulate the regrowth of grasses and animals and sequester significant greenhouse gases (GHGs).
See the CNN feature story that covers how "there are ways to produce meat that is bad for the planet and ways to produce meat that is good for the planet. " And ..."Soil touched more by hooves than tilling machines held 25% more microbes, 33% more insect diversity and three times the number of grassland birds. With spongier ground, AMP [Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing] farms absorbed over twice as much rain per hour."
A Savory Institute Animtion. "Holistic Management gives us the power to regenerate grasslands from an ecological, economic, and social perspective."
Seth Itzkan and Allan Savory, a Soil4Climate Advisor, and President of the Savory Institute, discuss Holistic Management. Allan Savory initially developed Holistic Management to halt the spread of desertification and the resulting human impoverishment.
The Science, Practice, and Policy A collaborative webinar of 4 per 1000 and Soil4Climate. Dec 14, 2022
The Role of Ruminants in Reversing Global Warming: GreenZine Interview with Seth J. Itzkan, March 9, 2023. Thank you Henry S. Swayze for this wonderful opportunity.
Seth discusses the need to take carbon out of the atmosphere and how grazing, in the way that nature intended is how carbon got into the soils in the first place.
Give a Love Donation to Regenerative Ag projects in East Africa! Give a $100 and receive a Soil4Climate hat as a thank you!