I would like to share with you an incredible TED talk from Allan Savory—an elephant lover and an environmentalist extraordinaire! It's short, jaw-dropping, and it's the kind of video that could change the world if everyone saw it!
I hope you have a chance to give it a view, but here is a short summary for those with busy schedules:
- Grass and ruminants (Cows, Sheep, and other grazing animals) have a powerful symbiotic relationship that is foundational to our planet's health—the survival of every person and animal on the planet depends on this relationship.
- Land in the absence of grazing animals naturally tends towards desertification—Allan has some pretty sad photos of American national parks which are turning into deserts due to “unknown reasons” (unknown apparently to the government that poorly manages these national treasures).
- Reconnecting ruminants to the land actually reverses desertification and restores a lush green landscape by rebuilding topsoil and improving water retention after rain fall. In short, it restores a natural cycle that can turn deserts into incredibly productive and beautiful land.
- Lush growing grass sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere, taking it from the air and putting it back where it belongs—into a rich, diverse, living layer of soil and plant life.
- Proper land management—specifically, rotational grazing (which is what we do here at SonRise) is not only necessary, but is actually the most powerful step we can take towards healing our planet.
By supporting your grass-fed rancher, you are doing wonders for the environment! Many folks understand that eating healthy animals is good for their health. But most people are still under the impression that eating meat is environmentally unfriendly. Well...it all depends on what animals you eat....
When you take Cattle off of grass and put it in a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), it poisons the land (and water) with overly concentrated fecal matter. The subsidized mono-crops (corn, wheat, soy) that are fed in CAFOs are incredibly energy intensive to produce and result in desertification (thank you, MONSANTO).
At SonRise, we follow a different model. Our beef are solar powered! Instead of killing the land, they restore and rebuild the land and the soil. Not only do our beef not contribute to greenhouse gasses, they are actually net-negative! This model of rotational grazing that we use here on the ranch is not new. It is simply a return to a healthy and normal relationship with our planet and our environment. Once upon a time, there were millions of buffalo roaming the American landscape. Tragically, I don't think they will be returning anytime soon. This means it is us, a handful of ranchers doing what we do, and a few visionaries like Allan Savory (and Joel Salatin) who are on the cutting edge of environmental progress—feeding people and having a positive impact on our planet at the same time. As our customers, you are the most important link in this chain.
When you spend your hard earned dollars on grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork and fowl, you are supporting ranchers like us—we can't do it without you! You are also supporting sustainable and profoundly necessary change in the way we interact with the environment. Here at SonRise Ranch, we are proud to be a part of positive change, and we are extremely thankful to our customers who make it all possible. Hope for the future, and I hope to see you at the market!