And the war rages on. — jtl
The folks behind the documentary “Cowspiracy” asked BEEF Daily Editor about her statement that cattle grazing supports wildlife. She responds with 8 resources to demonstrate the relationship between cattle and wildlife, plus describes what she sees on her own ranch.
When it comes to Internet activists and extremists, usually the best policy is to ignore them and focus on the 95% of folks who genuinely want to know where their food comes from and how it was raised. I have found that most consumers, once they get to know me or my peers in agriculture, truly like who we are and appreciate what we do on our farms and ranches. But every once in a while, there’s someone worth addressing directly, and that’s the case with the misinformation found in the documentary “Cowspiracy” and those who believe the drama and the hype it presents.
In case you missed my earlier blog post, I described how the documentary paints the beef business in a very negative light, citing cattle as the sole reason we have sustainability issues on our planet. In the trailer of the documentary, the creators insinuate they are taking a big personal risk, even endangering their lives, by making this film. Insert eye roll here.
After I wrote about the documentary, challenging ranchers to “beef” up on their knowledge of how cattle help the environment, a self-described “vegan idealist” blogger took me to task on my facts, which I promptly responded to.
Following that blog post, the folks behind “Cowspiracy” tweeted to me the following: “Tell us more about how grazing cattle supports wildlife.” They included a link to a video which suggests that ranching is detrimental to wildlife.
I have to scratch my head a little bit because the blogger who took me to task insinuated that cattle gulp down a lot of water, so I would assume they wouldn’t appreciate wildlife drinking water either. But, I’ll happily answer the question, as we’ve written about the wildlife/cattle connection repeatedly on the beefmagazine.com site. So here is a roundup of 8 articles that show how cattle grazing supports wildlife:
- Why Consider Wildlife In Your Ranch Management Plans?
- Sage Grouse, Cattle Thrive On Rest-Rotation Program
- Can Wildlife And Cattle Coexist?
- California Research Shows Cattle, Wildlife Can Coexist
- LX Ranch Cattle And Wildlife Pasture Tour
- Study Shows Benefits To Cattle Grazing On Wildlife Land
- Yes, It’s True: Cattle Grazing Can Reverse Desertification
- Teaming Up With NRCS: Creating Cattle And Wildlife Haven
As I write this blog, I’m not envisioning some sort of unreachable utopia or imagining an impossible ideal.
But as I look out my window, I see many things that demonstrate the relationship between cattle and wildlife. On the horizon, I see our cattle grazing on rolling pasture hills. As they walk, they aerate the soil with their hooves, creating a healthy environment for bugs and native grasses to grow.
On their shoulders, birds stop to visit, nibbling on bugs. Pheasants waddle under foot, finding haven in the line of trees we planted. Rabbits hop in my backyard. Deer sneak vegetables from my garden and this fall and winter, they will feast on the food plot we planted. Fish swim in the creeks that our cattle drink out of. At night, we can hear the coyotes howl. And even a mountain lion or two has been spotted sulking along the river valley on our ranch, and we believe even killed a calf this summer for a tasty meal.
If the above description doesn’t sound like cattle and wildlife can’t coexist and thrive, I don’t know what does. It’s not a romance; it’s my reality. Raising cattle is something I’m proud to do. Plain and simple, cattle benefit the environment and feed and nourish families.
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.