DEAR READERS: Senior reporter Josh Loeb’s thought-provoking editorial “Cows and the carbon conundrum,” and his function article “COP26: Is change afoot in livestock farming?”, are each well timed contributions to the discourse. CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), notably pig and poultry factories and beef and dairy cow feedlots, are anathema to sustainable farming practices. So is the overstocking and overgrazing of grasslands by cattle, sheep and goats, as emissions of methane — a short-lived however important greenhouse gasoline — are problematic.

The problems with local weather change, international warming and lack of biodiversity name for a reexamination of {our relationships} with and therapy of vegetation and animals wild and domesticated from the integrative perspective of One Earth, One Economy and One Health. Continuing to lift and kill farmed animals for his or her meat is a significant contributor to those planetary issues.

Ecologically sustainable and regenerative agricultural programs, equivalent to biodynamic farming the place farmed animals are built-in with crop manufacturing, can contribute to nutrient biking and carbon sequestration, or no less than considerably decreased carbon emissions. Relatively novel farmed species starting from tilapia fish to earthworms to black soldier fly larvae can present proteins, fat and different vitamins for people, companion animals and livestock alike. Also, livestock manure could be transformed into biogas to scale back deforestation, with the remaining slurry used to fertilize crops.

We are studying extra in regards to the important roles of microorganisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in nutrient biking and carbon sequestration. Industrial agricultural and agroforestry practices have degraded the soil high quality and biodiversity, with the lack of fungal mycelia now being a documented concern. Correcting such dysbiosis, an effort some see as no much less important than reforestation, would do a lot to assist cut back the severity of local weather change and enhance plant and animal well being.

Our air pollution of marine and freshwater ecosystems has decimated populations of nutrient-recycling and carbon-sequestering phytoplankton and zooplankton, which type the idea of the meals chain for different species. Too a lot of a superb factor within the fallacious place creates dysbiosis and pathogens. Over a thousand endangered manatees have starved to loss of life in Florida waters as a result of the sunshine wanted to develop sea grass, their principal meals, was blocked by algal blooms.

The economic system of nature, and in the end, our meals safety and well being, depend upon the ecological companies offered by the indigenous biodiversity of vegetation, animals and microorganisms. Our increasing inhabitants, and our encroachment and decimation of wildlands, will increase the chance of viral and different pathogen spillover of zoonotic ailments from wildlife. According to the United Nations report “Groundswell,” by 2050, 200 million folks could also be climate-change migrants in search of refuge from uninhabitable homelands.

Our overharvesting of krill for oil and livestock feed for human consumption starves whales and likewise starves carbon-sequestering plankton of important vitamins from the fecal wastes of krill-eating whales. This is illustrative of our extractive and consumptive international industries and commerce that should develop into “green,” with round and sustainable economies and commerce primarily based on the rules of One Earth, One Economy and One Health.


The Brazilian authorities beneath President Jair Bolsonaro has been unable to cowl up the lack of over 5,000 sq. miles of the Amazon forest (destroyed for timber, mining and land-clearing to lift beef and soybeans) that occurred between August 2020 and July 2021. This legal ecocide, which can be against the law in opposition to humanity, isn’t helped when different nations, together with the United States, proceed to just accept imports of beef and soybeans from Brazil.

“Green” moral circumstances have to be put in place for the worldwide agricultural commodity import-export enterprise, and political commerce wars have to be eradicated. “Business as usual” isn’t sustainable. Quite the alternative: It is decimating wildlife habitats and indigenous peoples. Consumers have the precise to see country-of-origin labels of all consumables available on the market, and President Biden must put this on his agenda.

In gentle of repeated cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow illness, in Brazilian beef — and of delayed reporting of those cases — Sen. Jon Tester lately launched laws to “suspend Brazilian beef imports to the U.S. until experts can conduct a systematic review of the commodity’s safety,” per an announcement from his workplace. In my opinion, the ban ought to be everlasting.

Send all mail to or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The quantity of mail obtained prohibits private replies, however questions and feedback of basic curiosity might be mentioned in future columns.