Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) August 2, 2007
Holistic Management InternationalÂs COO Peter Holter reacted today to a recent article in The Guardian, ÂEat Your Greens,Â which suggested that people should seriously consider shifting to a vegan diet because Â according to a well-publicized UN report - the global livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport.
ÂWhile I would never want to discourage anyone from switching to a vegan diet, the problem with livestock is not so much their emissions per se, but how the animals are managed under our industrialized feeding system,Â Holter said. ÂThe manure, methane and carbon dioxide build-up the UN report cited are actually caused by confining cows and other livestock in feedlots.Â
The Guardian article also reported that the British government is developing a benchmark to measure the carbon impacts of all goods and services, especially food. ÂWeÂre glad to see that the British government is becoming so active in trying to combat global warming,Â Holter noted, Âbut we disagree that we must drastically decrease or eliminate meat and dairy consumption to reduce both the human and livestock sectorÂs carbon impacts.Â
Holter suggests that we instead aggressively work to change our methods of livestock management and allow animals to graze out on pastures in a controlled manner. With over two decades of experience, HMI has found that the benefits of controlled grazing are that:
1. Animals release their manure into the soil with more even distribution.
2. When animal hooves work the soil, manure is more quickly absorbed - increasing the soilÂs organic matter, fertilizing it, and making it healthier.
3. A larger base of healthy soil absorbs more carbon dioxide, reduces the amounts of methane released into the atmosphere, and has a positive impact on global warming.
4. We can substantially reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels in tractors and fertilizers.
HMI, a non-profit, works with internationally with stewards of large land holdings (including farmers and ranchers, other non-profits and government agencies) to restore their lands to health and profitability. Worldwide, 30 million acres are currently under Holistic Management.