Oddly enough I was thinking about animal husbandry yesterday, after reading this: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/…green-protest/
Yes, Dutch farmers are being told to cull their herds because the Brussels bureaucrats want to cut *nitrogen* emissions. Not CO2 (which has precious little to do with the climate, but Nitrogen — which is 78% of the atmosphere. Not sure what they expect to replace it with… maybe the hot air they produce in such quantities, no wait… that’s mostly CO2.
When I was a little kid, we lived in half a vicarage. My dad kept ducks and geese which lived in the orchard. At age 3 or so I started to learn basic maths when I went with him to collect the duck eggs. The vicarage also had a huge tithe barn which was rented out to a man by the name of Stan Fortune who bred rabbits. He had 3 types of rabbits: white ones bred for research at the nearby Cambridge colleges, generic brown ones bred for meat, and various exotic breeds which were destined to become pets.
While I was too young to understand what “research” entailed, I was very much aware that the brown rabbits I’d played with while they were hopping around their pen in the barn were the same brown rabbits whose carcasses were hanging up at the market. I’d seen them slaughtered. I also understood that the final destination of the geese (Diddle and Daddle were one year’s crop that I named) was our Christmas dinner table.
So I grew up with the understanding that meat animals get slaughtered to become meat and if you want good quality meat, you have to take good care of your animals.
What’s really angering the Dutch farmers, apart from the financial loss from culling (a sudden influx of meat on the market will drive prices down), it that building a profitable herd, whether for meat or dairy, takes time and work. While having 1,000 cows does mean they have numbers and ear tags for identification rather than names, it doesn’t mean they’re anonymous. The farmer needs to know a lot about each individual animal in order to ensure they’re in good health, that the cows which produce the best milk and/or calves get bred, and the ones that don’t perform get slaughtered first.
A friend of mine in upstate New York is a shepherd. She has around 300 sheep which she’s been raising for around 30 years. She’s built up the flock over generations and while she sells a lot for meat, her primary interest is in raising sheep with gorgeous fleeces which she sells to hand spinners. She makes more money from fleeces than from meat. However, in order to get a good fleece, the sheep needs good food, shelter, and a stress-free life. She’s won prizes for her fleeces and I know people who unable to buy a fleece from a particular sheep one year will book the next year’s fleece in advance.
You can’t do that sort of thing unless you care about your animals.
Another guy I know raises West Highland cattle and Berkshire & Tamworth pigs in Pennsylvania. His animals are free range, but he moves them across his acreage every couple of days so that the land is grazed evenly. The pigs forage in some woodland. The night before their “one bad day” they get to sleep in the truck that will take them to the abattoir in the morning, so they arrive there relatively unstressed.
Sure, there’s cruelty and disregard for animal welfare in parts of commercial agriculture. That’s something that can be prevented. Mostly.
However, if the UN managed to implement a world-wide meat ban, several things would happen:
1. All the cows, pigs, sheep, buffalo, goats, etc. would be slaughtered because there’d be nothing to feed them. All the grains and (yuck!) soy they get fed would be needed to feed people.
2. The necessary intensive arable farming would kill off a lot of wildlife (flora and fauna)
3. The use of artificial fertilizers would increase dramatically.
4. The incidence of all sorts of deficiency diseases would rise (Pernicious anemia from lack of B12, protein deficiency, type 2 diabetes, etc.)
5. A whole load of people would be put out of work and lose their livelihoods.
6. There’d be a black market in meat (some of which would have dodgy origins)
7. The elites would still have their meat.